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Communications and Engagement Lead

  • Employer: West Sussex County Council
  • Reference: CRS00552
  • Published: Fri 14/01/2022, 3:59 AM
  • Closing on: Fri 28/01/2022, 3:59 AM
  • Working Pattern: Full Time
  • Hours: Full Time
  • Salary: £40876 - £43857 per annum
  • DBS Check: No
  • Location: West Sussex, Hampshire, Based in Horsham or Chichester, but working countywide , Based in Crawley, Based in Chichester

Here at West Sussex County Council (WSCC) we have a new permanent opportunity for a Communications and Engagement Lead for our Fire and Rescue Service. WSCC is a diverse organisation that provides services to more than 850,000 residents every day. Our teams use their experience to enable and challenge the Council to deliver improved efficiency and effectiveness. For more information on WSCC services please visit our website, and further information can also be found about our Fire and Rescue service at the West Sussex Fire and Rescue Website.

Salary: £40,876 to £43,857 per annum

Working Pattern: Full-time (37 hours per week)

Location: County Hall, Chichester


As the Communications and Engagement Lead for Fire, you will deliver the communication strategy and actions to maintain effective communications across the county's council's fire service, both internally and externally.

The purpose of the role is to coordinate communications and engagement activity to manage our communications for West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service. This includes designing and delivering communications campaigns to make sure residents know how to keep themselves and their communities safe from fire risk, communicating service changes or new services, and having oversight of our media responses to fire specific issues.

You will be horizon scanning for communications issues that may affect the department and directorates and coordinate and manage crisis communications. You will need to have an oversight of engagement activity in your subject area and coordinate as necessary

You will be creating communication plans for the year ahead and identifying key campaigns for the service area, and you'll be responsible for delivering those campaigns through the Communications and Engagement team. You will need to remain up to date with all relevant legislation, organisational procedures, policies and professional codes of conduct in order to uphold standards of best practice.

You'll also need to ensure consistency across all communications produced, media relations and engagement activity, by effectively liaising with other Communications and Engagement Leads, Senior Communications and Engagement Managers and the Head of Communications and Engagement as required.

Experience and Skills

You will have demonstrable experience of managing a communications team in a complex and political organisation. You will be able to personally offer strategic communications advice at all levels of the organisation.

In addition you will be able to demonstrate the following skills and experience:

Key Skills:

  1. Ability to manage a small team of communications professionals delivering fire service communications under your direction, and reporting to the Head of Communications.
  2. Ability to listen to a client's requirement, diagnose the salient problem, research the issues, engage the appropriate colleagues and partners, offer a range of viable solutions and gain approvals for the recommended proposal within agreed delivery timescales.
  3. Ability to research, analyse and interpret information to make effective and robust judgements, and write reports which plan long term policy and business implications, set timescales and make articulate recommendations, taking account of the broader impacts on the business.
  4. Excellent communication skills with the ability to influence the actions of others and communicate information which may be complex and contentious. Including the ability to undertake facilitation of issues in group settings, gain engagement / buy-in and agreement from others by successfully convincing others of the need to adopt appropriate policies and/or courses of action.
  5. Ability to work within a client's brief (challenging and expanding the scope of the brief as necessary) to identify issues and offer appropriate action by means of creative and pragmatic solutions.
  6. Ability to cost resources in order to provide accurate and viable solutions which can be delivered within available budgets.

Qualifications and/or experience:

  • Relevant degree or equivalent qualification or equivalent experience.
  • National Council Training for Journalists (NCTJ) or similar journalistic qualification (equivalent to graduate level), or experience demonstrating a thorough understanding of media activities and communication styles. Desirable
  • CIPR Diploma in Public Relations or equivalent qualification. Desirable.
  • Relevant advanced knowledge of systems, procedures and policies associated with providing consultancy on complex communications issues which often have significant business or organisational implications.
  • Knowledge of consultancy and management techniques, models and systems.
  • Detailed knowledge of wider communications best practice, organisational policies, practices and procedures, including knowledge of campaign management, media relations, engagement activity and internal communications.
  • Demonstrable evidence of providing timely, sound and accurate advice and guidance direct to managers in relevant topic areas and demonstrating sound business acumen.

Rewards and Benefits

In addition to 29 days annual leave and a generous pension scheme as an employer we recognise that it is our employees that are central to everything we do. We aim to create a supportive and dynamic working environment where employees can achieve their full potential, achieve a healthy work-life balance and are rewarded for the work they do.

For a full list of the benefits offered to you as a West Sussex County Council employee you can find them on our Rewards and Benefits page.

The reference number for this role is CRS00552.

Apply Now

  • Employer: West Sussex County Council
  • Reference: CRS00552
  • Published: Fri 14/01/2022, 3:59 AM
  • Closing on: Fri 28/01/2022, 3:59 AM
  • Working Pattern: Full Time
  • Hours: Full Time
  • Salary: £40876 - £43857 per annum
  • DBS Check: No
  • Location: West Sussex, Hampshire, Based in Horsham or Chichester, but working countywide , Based in Crawley, Based in Chichester

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