Acting Head of Communications

Remote working or agile office based. Head Office is in London SW7.
£39,000 - £44,000
01 Jul 2022
18 Jul 2022
Business Type
Brand / In-house
Senior Manager
Contract Type
Freelance / Contract

Job title: Acting Head of Communications
External Relations
Terms: Full-time (35 hours per week), fixed-term maternity cover contract until June 2023 (with possibility of extension). Requests for part-time or flexible working will be considered.
Salary: £39,000 - 44,000
Reporting to: Director of External Relations
Responsible for: five staff in the Communications team 
Based: Remote working or office based. The Head Office is based in London, but the organisation has an agile working policy enabling people to work at another UK location up to 4 days/week (this is currently a trial policy and subject to review).
This employer welcomes applications from people based in other parts of the UK.

Role overview 
The Acting Head of Communications is responsible for the strategic direction of this organisation's marketing and communications activity. Working with senior colleagues, you will develop and oversee the marketing and communications strategy for the charity overall, as well as some of its high-profile programmes. You will have responsibility for the full spectrum of their communications function, from digital marketing to traditional media relations, and for communications output across earned, owned and bought media platforms, leading a small team to deliver against the goals set at both a programme and organisational level.

You will oversee a small, centralised communications budget (<£100,000) in addition to the communications budgets attached to core programmes, including the British Science Festival and CREST Awards. You will ensure that the communications strategy meets the needs of audiences; you will grow the reach and impact of the organisation's communications activities and deliver action plans that support the KPIs of their programmes, including ensuring that they achieve targets agreed with funders.

You will also, as part of the organisation's Strategy Group of senior leaders, have the opportunity to play a full role in wider organisational development and change.

Key responsibilities: 
The main responsibilities of this role are to:

  • Develop and deliver a bold and exciting marketing and communications strategy for the organisation, based on their vision, mission, strategic objectives and KPIs.
  • Have overall accountability for the marketing and communications output for all the organisation's programmes, including the British Science Festival, CREST Awards, British Science Week, For Thought, and others.
  • Have oversight of the corporate communications strategy, offering support and guidance to colleagues on the delivery of the strategy.
  • Act as the lead on messaging, tone of voice and brand, ensuring consistency and appropriate use across all communications output.
  • Liaise with relevant media to raise the profile of this organisation and its programmes, as well as offering guidance and support to other comms team colleagues in their interactions with the media.
  • Build greater awareness of this organisation and its spokespeople amongst the media, opinion formers, and public audiences as appropriate.
  • Set the tone and direction of the organisation’s digital communications output, supporting colleagues to develop and deliver innovative content ideas.
  • Lead on the evaluation and monitoring of all communications activity, including providing reports to the organisation’s Council and other senior stakeholders / funders.
  • Set the learning and development priorities for the communications team, as well as offering opportunities for knowledge exchange across teams.

About you 
The Acting Head of Communications role would suit someone who has experience in delivering broad, multi-channel marketing and communications campaigns for a range of audiences.

They would expect the successful candidate to have extensive experience in communications, including media relations, digital comms, and stakeholder influencing. You should be an excellent storyteller, with an eye for a compelling story or narrative.

You do not need to have worked in a science-based organisation previously, but it would be beneficial to have an understanding of the UK’s research and/or education landscape.

You should have experience of leading high-performing teams by motivating them to achieve and exceed the expectations set for them.


  • Agile working policy enabling you to work at home or in another UK location up to 4 days per week, if office-based, and to vary your working hours outside of the 10am – 12pm and 2pm – 4pm core hours, subject to the needs of the organisation;
  • 27 days holiday per annum plus bank holidays (pro-rata for part-time employees);
  • Up to two days paid leave per year for significant voluntary commitments in support of professional and personal development, such as being a trustee of a charity or a school governor;
  • Auto-enrolment pension scheme (4% paid by employer);
  • Up to five days’ unpaid leave per year (this is down to the Manager’s decision and ensuring it does not affect work);
  • Life assurance from your first day, subject to scheme rules;
  • Occupational sick pay: up to six weeks’ full pay per year (pro-rata for part-time employees);
  • Confidential telephone counselling service, offered by the employer's legal insurance;
  • Interest-free loan for season ticket, bike to work, and assisted study;
  • Discounts may be offered on Science Museum tickets and in the shop.

The closing date for applications is 23:59 on Wednesday 13 July 2022.
Interviews are due to take place on Thursday 21 July 2022.

Please click 'Apply' - you will be prompted to complete a short CHM Recruit form before being redirected to complete your application.

Please note, you are not applying at this stage.

You will be informed as soon as possible after the application deadline whether you have been selected for interview.

As part of the charity’s commitment to being a Disability Confident employer, all disabled applicants who meet the ‘essential criteria’ for this vacancy will be offered an interview under the guaranteed interview scheme.

Only applicants who have a legal right to work within the UK will be considered. You will be asked to bring along proof of nationality and/or proof of ability to work in the UK.

You will also be asked to declare any previous convictions in line with your rights under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) order 1975.

No agencies please.

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