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Job description

The British Council builds connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language.

We work in two ways - directly with individuals to transform their lives, and with governments and partners to make a bigger difference for the longer term, creating benefit for millions of people all over the world. We help young people to gain the skills, confidence and connections they are looking for to realise their potential and to participate in strong and inclusive communities. We support them to learn English, to get a high-quality education and to gain internationally recognised qualifications. Our work in arts and culture stimulates creative expression and exchange and nurtures creative enterprise. We connect the best of the UK with the world and the best of the world with the UK.

These connections lead to an understanding of each other's strengths and of the challenges and values that we share. This builds trust between people in the UK and other nations which endures even when official relations may be strained. We work on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2019-20 we connected with 80 million people directly and with 791 million overall, including online and through our broadcasts and publications.


This leadership role sits within the Corporate Communications Directorate reporting to the Director of Communications.

The Directorate leads the global communications strategy across internal and change communications, media, digital, crisis communications and events management.

It is also part of the Marketing Centre of Excellence.

Marketing at the British Council is a strategic function which drives awareness, understanding and engagement across our diverse audiences. We use insight, knowledge and analysis of our markets and our customers to engage them with the British Council's international cultural relations mission, our products and services in the most impactful and effective way.


This is a pivotal time for the British Council and this is a unique opportunity to shape and lead our media strategy.

Like many organisations Covid-19 has had a profound impact on our operations. Effective communications are crucial to a successful recovery.

Leading a high performing team to share our work with a wide audience while safeguarding our reputation at home and abroad will be key to success in this role.

So whether we're running a cultural festival in Europe, building research collaborations with East Asia, giving young people the skills to transform their communities in North Africa, or engaging with 100 million people online who want to learn English - we need to tell the story about how we are changing people's lives as a force for good and contributing to the UK's global mission.

You'll achieve this through:
  • Providing a clear strategic direction for media relations, PR and reputation management to develop consistent and measurable ways of working at a Centre of Excellence, regional and country level.
  • Strengthening media relations capabilities through providing direction and advice on best practice, and ensuring there are sound frameworks, tools and templates for planning and delivery of media relations
  • Working with our Director of Communications and Regional Communications Teams to promote our work, raise our profile and manage global reputational issues

Skills / Experience

As the British Council's chief media adviser, to succeed in this role we will be looking for your excellent news sense and UK media network. This will be alongside a strong understanding of the international news landscape and how to tell a story across multiple markets.

You will know how to reach different audiences across different sectors-from education to arts and foreign affairs. Creative in your approach, you'll have demonstrated experience of working across teams to deliver media moments to support high impact campaigns.

Maintaining and building strong internal and external relationships is critical in this role, including the senior management team, journalists, partner organisations other government communications professionals. As such, you will need to be an effective communicator who is able to influence and manage at all levels.

Naturally you'll be an adept, inclusive leader who is able to support and develop a team working at pace within the context of a changing organisation.

Further Information

Location: Any British Council UK Office (but must be able to travel regularly to London)
Contract: Indefinite Contract (also open to considering secondment from other Civil Service Departments)
Pay Band: Senior Manager & Professionals
Requirements: Must have right to work in UK
Application Close Date: 5th August 2020 (23:59 UK Time)

A connected and trusted UK in a more connected and trusted world.

Equality Statement

The British Council is committed to a policy of equality and to valuing diversity and is keen to reflect the diversity of the societies in which we work at every level within the organisation. We welcome applications from all sections of the community. We aim to abide by and promote equality legislation by following both the letter and the spirit of it to avoid unjustified discrimination, recognising discrimination as a barrier to equality of opportunity, inclusion and human rights. All staff worldwide are required to ensure their behaviour is consistent with our policies.

The British Council has Disability Confident Employer Status. We offer a guaranteed interview scheme for disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for the role. Applicants are encouraged to highlight any specific requirements or adjustments needed to enable participation in the recruitment process.

The British Council is committed to safeguarding children, young people and adults who we work with.

We believe that all children and adults everywhere in the world deserve to live in safe environments and have the right to be protected from all forms of abuse, maltreatment and exploitation as set out in article 19, UNCRC (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) 1989.

Appointment to positions where there is direct involvement with vulnerable groups will be dependent on thorough checks being completed; these will include qualification checks, reference checks, identity & criminal record checks in line with legal requirements and with the British Council's Safeguarding policies for Adults and Children.

If you have any technical problems please email askhr@britishcouncil.org
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Learn more about British Council

Be unique. Be authentic. However you prefer to say it, we really mean it. Our culture embraces people’s diverse perspectives and creates a positive environment where everyone belongs. We’re determined to build a better, more connected world for everyone.

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