Press & Communications Officer


Location: Edinburgh

Employment hours: Full time, 37 hours

Salary: From £25,300

Contract type: Permanent

Closing Date: Thursday 5th May 2022, midnight

Job purpose

The postholder will be positioned within the Scottish Liberal Democrats’ central team, providing the Scottish Liberal Democrat leader, MSPs, and to a limited extent the wider party, with press and communications advice and support. This will be a day-to-day press officer post. It will involve monitoring and responding to breaking news. It will include support for events and visits, organising interviews and press conferences. The postholder will be expected to demonstrate an ability to understand and promote political positions and policy, they will be expected to build credibility with journalists and commentators, they will be expected to work quickly and accurately under pressure, and they should have a general understanding of how social media is used in political communication.

Key responsibilities

The principle parliamentary responsibilities are:

  1. Timely drafting and distribution of reactive lines to breaking news;
  2. Working with other staff to produce pro-active media initiatives;
  3. Alerting MSPs, staff and, where appropriate, other senior party figures to significant news stories;
  4. Drafting articles for MSPs;
  5. Planning visits for MSPs away from Parliament;
  6. Ensuring that MSPs are fully briefed before media appearances;
  7. Providing on-call cover at the weekends and in the evening as part of a rota;
  8. Pro-actively seeking slots on broadcast media and filling broadcasting bids;
  9. Developing a professional working relationship with political and specialist journalists;
  10. Representing the views and outlook of the Scottish Liberal Democrat MSPs - and wider party - to journalists;
  11. Maintaining an up to date distribution list for journalists and stakeholders;
  12. Maintaining an overview and awareness of political and policy developments in Scotland and elsewhere;
  13. Other duties as may be required to support the Scottish Liberal Democrat parliamentary group.

The principle party policy responsibilities are to:

  1. Attend and provide press support to party conferences;
  2. Contribute to the production of party political broadcasts;
  3. Provide press support for campaigns. The wider party role takes precedence in the period of elections.

Requirements

  • Be a quick learner with the ability to multitask and work within tight timescales.
  • Have an interest in politics with the confidence to represent someone in a media-related capacity.
  • Be capable in monitoring media developments and sourcing information from a range of channels.
  • Be able to respond flexibly and creatively to a range of requests through media enquiries and press releases, including handling complex information.
  • Be a proactive problem solver with the motivation and resilience to adapt and deal with challenges.
  • Be creative in designing and communicating over a range of formats, covering both traditional and newer forms of media.

You must be able to support the MSPs in carrying out their duties in accordance with the organisation’s aims and values.

Experience of working in political, public affairs, campaigns or similar environments with an understanding of Scottish politics and its processes is desirable.

Application Details

Applicants should submit a CV alongside a supporting statement (a statement of no more than two pages). For more information about the role or to submit your application please contact [email protected].

The successful candidate will be required to undergo standard Scottish Parliament security checks.


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