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National Citizen Service Trust seeks Head Of Public Affairs

National Citizen Service Trust seeks Head Of Public Affairs

National Citizen Service Trust 5<y Senior Level  London, England, United Kingdom 6 Nov 2017

Job Description

Head Of Public Affairs

Role description

We are currently recruiting for a Head of Public Affairs to play a central role within the newly established NCS PR and Communications team which comprises PR, Corporate Communications, Internal Communications, Public Affairs and NCS Patrons/Ambassadors. Helping to shape and deliver the corporate communications strategy and build the public affairs capability, this individual will have the drive, experience and insights to fully support NCS as it moves from being a Community Interest Company to a Royal Charter Body.

The successful candidate will report to the Director of PR and Communications and work closely with the Head of PR and Corporate Communications and Policy Manager to align messaging and strategies. You will be responsible for delivering a proactive public affairs strategy and producing best-in-class campaigns to build understanding and appreciation of NCS amongst key stakeholder groups and to further the reach and impact of NCS. The role is responsible for ensuring NCS effectively uses public affairs to bring about its vision and is responsible for coordinating the broad framework across different audiences including civil society and government. You will work closely with our CEO using your experience to provide public affairs advice and support implementation across our network, including engaging young people in social action. You will liaise closely with all areas and levels of the organisation to understand their often complex public affairs requirements and determine the most appropriate ways of handling them in a timely and impactful way.

As part of a new team building a brand new approach to communications, you’ll have the opportunity to shape the role and play a key part in the future development of public affairs at NCS.

In this role, you will

  • Lead consultation on public affairs matters, including engaging young people and working closely with relevant colleagues
  • Develop mechanisms for NCS to amplify the voice and opinion of young people across its external and internal communications
  • Lead, motivate and manage the Public Affairs team and direct agency resources to ensure the public affairs strategy is delivered
  • Provide public affairs support to the wider NCS network, including speaking at regional meetings, conferences and workshops
  • Develop a public affairs strategy and update as required following initial implementation experience
  • Develop tactical public affairs plans that identify key communications required, expected delivery timeframes and appropriate delivery mechanisms
  • Create a calendar and support events requiring public affairs support
  • Create public affairs initiatives which bring the NCS brand to life, specifically in relation to corporate calendar moments such as the publication of various reports and assent to Royal Charter
  • Evaluate the success of public affairs strategies and activities, including gathering and analysing feedback from stakeholder groups to inform improvements
  • Support with crisis management planning and responses
  • Lead public affairs projects to support new initiatives
  • Work in close collaboration with other teams/departments and the NCS network to ensure clear alignment of communications strategies, activities and consistency of messaging
  • Manage and deliver public affairs events throughout the year
  • Provide strategic public affairs advice to NCS management, including on responses that may be required to proposed changes e.g. legislative
  • Write briefings, articles and campaign and training material
  • Work with relevant colleagues and teams to maintain regular contact, in person and in writing, with politicians, civil servants and/or staff in local authorities and regulatory bodies to brief them on NCS objectives, work and concerns
  • Respond to requests for information, often delivered at short notice
  • Lead social media and digital engagement on public affairs activities, working closely with the Digital team
  • Responding to new challenges such as dealing with general/local election strategies, party manifestos and reactive policy pronouncements from politicians
  • Monitor information sources to keep NCS informed of relevant policy, political and public affairs developments
  • Ensure that NCS public affairs work reflects our values and is on brand

Required Competencies

  • Substantial agency and/or in-house public affairs experience
  • Experience of political affairs, including MP visits to the NCS programme and wider engagement and maintaining a CRM system for MPs
  • Experience of political events such as select committees, APPGs and party conferences
  • Experience of researching and analysing information and developing broad public affairs outcomes
  • Developed and implemented public affairs strategy and plans and achieved significant national success
  • Experience of digital engagement and resources, ideally using social networking media for engaging politicians and/or young people, carrying out research and using digital platforms for consultation
  • Expertise in social action built on a successful track record working in a relevant area
  • Experience of working within a complex organization preferably including local branches
  • Ability to manage complex projects from inception to completion
  • Strong ability to work collaboratively with internal and external stakeholders
  • Able to work on own initiative and as part of a team
  • Promote a cross-team approach to solving problems and achieving results
  • Build and maintain strong relationships with people at all levels and of all ages both internally and externally
  • Demonstrate excellent verbal communication skills and a clear writing style
  • Ability to implement work plans and minimize/remove barriers
  • Manage, motivate and support team members
  • Outstanding interpersonal and relationship-building skills with the ability to develop strong working relationships across stakeholders
  • An understanding of complex organisations and the requirement to work across locations and diverse audience groups
  • The ability to build effective networks and manage conflicts appropriately
  • Good organisational, planning and time management skills
  • Confidence to deal with senior executives
  • Strong track record of developing successful and impactful public affairs campaigns
  • Experience of managing crisis communications and the ability to maintain a cool head during pressurised situations
  • Experience of working alongside senior leadership to provide strategic and tactical public affairs advice and guidance
  • A creative thinker able to develop campaign concepts
  • Highly entrepreneurial, ability to thrive in a fast-paced, fast-growing dynamic environment – willing to roll up your sleeves and get stuck in with all levels of work as the team develops


The role is based in West London


The salary for this role is competitive, dependent on skills and experience. Additional benefits are a 5% non-contributory pension and a discretionary 10% performance award scheme.


Please send your CV and cover letter to sophiemusgrave@ncstrust.co.uk.

Your cover letter should:

  • Include the job title in the subject line
  • Make clear the role you are applying for
  • Outline how you satisfy the specific requirements we list above
  • Say what attracts you to us and this role
  • What makes you the right candidate for this role

Please note there will be at least two rounds of interview for this position

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