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British Veterinary Association seeks Head of Media and Public Affairs

British Veterinary Association 5<y Senior Level  London, England, United Kingdom 3 Jan 2018

Job Description

Head of Media and Public Affairs

We are the British Veterinary Association. We’re the largest representative body for UK vets with more than 17,000 members and are widely recognised and respected as the voice of the veterinary profession. We champion and support vets and the issues that matter most to them – including animal health and welfare and workforce matters.

We are looking for someone to lead our media and public affairs team and deliver BVA’s visibility and communications strategies ensuring that BVA has proactive and effective relations with the media, parliamentarians, and other stakeholders.

We are looking for an individual with experience of campaigning for policy change at a senior level in media relations and/or public affairs with impeccable communication skills and the ability to manage and motivate a small, busy team.

Purpose of Role

  • Lead and manage the media and public affairs functions of the British Veterinary Association.
  • Implement comprehensive media and public affairs strategies and joined-up campaigning to ensure BVA provides an effective voice for the UK veterinary profession.

Key Responsibilities

  • Ensure BVA has effective relations with the media, parliamentarians, the public, and external organisations, both nationally and internationally
  • Promote BVA policy, advice and guidance to the media, Government, parliamentarians (UK and European), stakeholders, members, and the public
  • Manage a proactive and responsive media team: identify opportunities; write press releases, letters and articles; brief journalists and BVA spokespeople
  • Manage BVA’s main Twitter account and help develop and deliver BVA’s social media activity.
  • Manage and develop the news and campaigns areas of the BVA website and contribute to the overall development of the BVA website.
  • Manage BVA public affairs activities: draft parliamentary briefings; brief politicians; devise lobbying campaigns; draft Officers’ political speeches
  • Oversee organisation of BVA lobbying and networking events, including the regional lobbying dinners, and parliamentary and Christmas receptions
  • Work with policy and marketing/events teams to deliver BVA’s Visibility Strategy, and input into the development and delivery of BVA’s communications strategy
  • Oversee the management of BVA’s Voice of the Veterinary Profession survey panel
  • Organise full out-of-hours cover for media enquiries
  • Represent BVA at external meetings

Scope of role

  • Organise and plan own workload and set own priorities
  • Oversee workload and priorities for media and public affairs team members, including encouraging innovation and initiative and setting objectives
  • Annual planning for BVA events and campaigns People
  • Line management responsibility for Public Affairs Manager, 2x part-time Media Managers (job share), and Media Officer
  • Close liaison with BVA Officers (President and vice presidents), Chief Executive, and Directors, as well as committee chairs and officers of BVA divisions and branches
  • Close liaison with policy and marketing teams
  • External liaison with media, parliamentarians, government officials, key personnel from various stakeholder groups
  • External liaison with external suppliers and service providers Initiative/innovation
  • Generate new and creative ideas for media coverage and spot opportunities to influence policymakers
  • Identify issues that require BVA policy positions and issues that have the potential to become proactive BVA campaigns
  • Input into external groups as appropriate on behalf of BVA Resources
  • Ensure the media and public affairs budget is appropriate and managed
  • Manage tendering exercises for external service provision
  • Responsible for annual negotiations with service providers


  • BVA policies and positions are well publicised in the media and understood by parliamentarians, government, members, and the public
  • BVA’s public profile is enhanced and BVA has a reputation with the media and parliamentarians as a source of prompt, reliable and informed comment
  • BVA campaigns for policy change are successful
  • BVA’s profile with members and divisions is enhanced and BVA is seen to be speaking with one voice for the veterinary profession
  • BVA spokespeople feel well briefed and are confident in their ability to speak to media and parliamentarians
  • The BVA media and public affairs team is held in high esteem by media and parliamentarians, and the BVA Board has confidence that the resources devoted to media and public affairs are well managed

Knowledge, skills and expertise

  • Graduate level education
  • Experience of working at a senior level in media relations and/or public affairs, or a wider communications role
  • Experience of campaigning for policy change
  • Impeccable written, oral and interpersonal communication skills
  • Extensive knowledge of media relations with national, regional, trade and social media
  • Extensive knowledge of public affairs procedures and parliamentary and lobbying processes, ideally in the UK and Europe
  • Ability to manage and motivate staff
  • Ability to work unsupervised


If you are interested in this exciting opportunity, please see the attached full role profile. The starting salary for this role is £49.5k plus a generous benefits package.

To apply please send your CV with a covering letter, explaining why you are interested and how you would make an impact, and giving an indication of your current salary, to or mail to Anita Maddox, BVA, 7 Mansfield Street, London W1G 9NQ.

The closing date for receipt of applications is 9am on Monday 15 January 2018. First interviews will be held on Tuesday 23 January and second interviews on Wednesday 31 January.

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