Vacancy -- Press Officer

Recruitment Principles

The Welsh Government's recruitment processes are underpinned by the principle of selection for appointment on merit on the basis of fair and open competition as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s Recruitment Principles.

Vacancy Details

Office of the First Minister
Communications
HEO - £30,600 - £37,410
£30,600
Full time (applications are welcome from people who work part time, as part of a job share or who work full time)
Permanent
Cardiff
TBC

Purpose of Post:

Welsh Government press office is a key part of the Welsh Government Communications Service, delivering a 24/7 news service.

The press office is a busy and interesting place to work, which handles lots of media enquiries, while also developing proactive, creative opportunities to promote the Government. 

As Welsh Government press officer, you will work with your team to communicate some of the most important and high profile issues facing Wales today. You would also work alongside our digital media colleagues to develop creative and effective digital content on behalf of the Welsh Government and its Ministers.

Working with policy, marketing and digital colleagues, you’ll communicate Government messages through the media, engaging with different audiences and developing exciting press plans.  

You will provide media advice and support to Welsh Ministers and senior officials.  Through monitoring and evaluating your media work, you will ensure objectives are being met.

Delivering positive coverage in the media is a central part of the job, so a good news sense, creativity and enthusiasm is essential. A big part of this is successfully selling-in stories to news editors and journalists – so, we’re looking for someone with a positive, resilient, can-do attitude. 

Responding swiftly and accurately to breaking news, you must be able to effectively horizon scan to spot potential problems and work with colleagues to draft concise, accurate responses.  

As a member of our press office you will be expected to take part on the out-of-hours duty rota, for which overtime is paid.

Key tasks:

Act as a media contact for Ministers on a specific portfolio.

Ensure that the policies and initiatives of the Welsh Government are clearly communicated through the media via proactive and reactive media communications, including press notices and statements to the media

Develop and manage social media channels, and create content, using analytics to evaluate impact.

Meet regularly with Ministers, Special Advisors, and senior officials to plan future media activity and handling as required.

Develop communications plans to support key announcement or issues.

Provide regular evaluation of activity for Ministers and officials.

Accompany Ministers on engagements, advising on media arrangements, organising and managing interviews, and capturing social media content.

Build strong links with UK, Welsh, regional and specialist media.

Establish and maintain good working relations with a range of individuals and organisations including Ministers, special advisers, policy colleagues, other Government Departments, external agencies, stakeholders and contractors.

Adhere to high professional standards, including good writing skills.

Keep abreast of developments in the communications landscape, in particular how best to incorporate digital and social media into integrated communications plans and share learning with colleagues

Work with communications colleagues in other disciplines to deliver cross-cutting strategic communications activity and develop wider knowledge of all communications activity.

Take part in the evening and weekend press office duty rota as required.

Development opportunities:

This is a demanding, rewarding role in a key communication area. The post offers the opportunity to develop skills in the areas of press and digital media and wider communication disciplines.

Closing Date:

13/08/2021, 16:00

Disability Confident

Welsh Government accepts the social definition of disability, in which it is recognised that barriers in society act to disable people who have impairments or health conditions or who use British Sign Language. We are committed to removing barriers so that all (or potential new staff) can perform at their best. The Equality Act 2010 uses the medical definition of disability (“a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term impact on a person’s ability to carry out normal day to day activities”).

We guarantee to interview anyone who is disabled whose application meets the minimum criteria for the post. By ‘minimum criteria’ we mean that you must provide us with evidence in your application which demonstrates that you generally meet the level of competence for the role and any qualifications, skills or experience defined as essential. We are committed to the employment and career development of disabled people.

If you have an impairment or health condition, or use British Sign Language and need to discuss reasonable adjustments for any part of this recruitment process, or wish to discuss how we will support you if you were to be successful, please email SharedServiceHelpdesk@gov.wales as soon as possible and a member of the team will contact you to discuss your requirements and any questions you may have.

A Great Place to Work for Veterans

This vacancy is part of the Great Place to Work for Veterans initiative.

Welsh Language Requirements

The Welsh Government is a bilingual organisation and Welsh language skills are considered an asset to the organisation. We encourage and support staff to learn, develop and use their Welsh language skills in the workplace. 

The following list of language requirements represents an objective assessment by the line manager on behalf of the Welsh Government of the Welsh language skills required to undertake the duties of this particular post.

Desirable
No skills
No skills
No skills
No skills

Social Partnership

In Welsh Government, the relationship between the employer and trade unions is based on social partnership. We believe our goals can best be achieved by management and trade unions working together.

Our 3 recognised trade unions are:
•         PCS
•         Prospect
•         FDA

This relationship is underpinned by a partnership agreement. This sets out how our unions work with Welsh Government on issues such as:
•         pay
•         terms and conditions
•         policies and procedures
•         organisational change.

Our Welsh Government trade union colleagues work together to give their members a real say in the workplace. They make sure that the interests of their members are promoted and protected. They also help reduce inequalities and improve terms and conditions.

The Welsh Government has an excellent track record of working in partnership with its trade unions. We encourage staff to get involved. We support you to join a recognised trade union, to ensure your voice is heard in the workplace. and to learn more about trade unions and partnership working.

Competencies / Job Specific Criteria

Competencies:

Strategic Cluster – Setting Direction (Making Effective Decisions):
Make decisions when they are needed, even if they prove difficult or unpopular. 

Engaging People (Leading and Communicating):
Communicate in a straightforward, honest and engaging manner with all stakeholders and stand ground when needed. 

Insight (GCS Competency):
Maintain an awareness of the news agenda and emerging news trends 

Ideas (GCS Competency):
Develop outline communication plans, identifying the most effective channels and tools to engage audiences and maximise reach.


Job Specific Criteria: 

  1. Ability to plan targeted and creative media strategies and campaigns
  2. Effective written skills that can be adapted for reactive statements, writing press releases, scripts, social media posts etc.
  3. Experience of working to tight deadlines to provide appropriate communications handling advice to senior colleagues. 

Assessment Process

Shortlisting of applications

Once your application is received there will be an initial sift against the evidence that you have provided for the Job Specific Criteria. If you are successful at the initial sift the remainder of your application will be assessed. This will determine if you are to be invited to interview. 

Interviews

The interview process will consist of two elements, a written exercise and a panel interview.  Further details of the written exercise will be made available to you prior to your interview.

Feedback on your application will only be provided if you attend an interview.

Other Information

Location:  The role requires frequent (approx. twice weekly) contact with Ministers based in Cardiff. 

Welsh Government Communications Service

The Welsh Government Communications Service supports Ministers in delivering effective public sector communications. 

The service supports the Government by informing people of legislation and polices that affect them, and delivering responsive and informative communications 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Jo Sabin Deputy Head of News, Welsh Government jo.sabin@gov.wales

How to apply

All applications for this vacancy should be made online via the Welsh Government's online application system.  If you have an impairment which would prevent you from applying on-line, please e-mail SharedServiceHelpdesk@gov.wales to request an application pack in an alternative format, or to request a reasonable adjustment related to an impairment in order to submit your application.

To apply, you'll need to have an account on our online application system.  Click the 'Apply' button below, and you'll be asked to 'Log in' if you already have an account, or 'Register' if you don't yet have an account.  Registration takes just a few minutes to complete.  You'll need an e-mail address to be able to register.  Once you've registered for an account and logged in, you'll be taken to the online application form, which you'll need to fully complete and submit before the deadline on the closing date.  

If you’d like to apply for this vacancy in Welsh, please use the ‘Newid Iaith / Change Language’ link at the top of this page, to take you to the Welsh version of this advert, from which you can apply in Welsh.

For further information regarding the Welsh Government recruitment process, please see the Recruitment Guidance for External Candidates (link).

When evidencing your suitability for the post, it is recommended that you refer to the Civil Service Competency Framework (link)

This vacancy is closed to applications.