Digital Communications Manager

South African Institute of International Affairs Digital Communication Manager

The South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) is an independent, non-governmental development and foreign policy think tank focusing on South Africa’s and Africa’s international relations. Its goal is to contribute to achieving a well-governed, peaceful, economically sustainable, and globally engaged Africa. It has been consistently ranked among the top think tanks in Africa.

The role

The successful candidate will report to the Head of Communications and manage the Communications Officer. They will lead and execute the day-to-day communications activities of the Institute, striving to drive greater awareness of SAIIA’s research and ensuring all its outputs are of the highest quality.

The candidate will be a team player, working closely with SAIIA researchers, the events department, web developers and service providers. This critical position requires an organised, innovative, and self-motivated person with a digital-first skill set and excellent writing and editing skills.

You must have a demonstrable flair for translating policy research into compelling narratives to reach wider audiences using various digital channels (website, social media, newsletters). Adopting innovative approaches to communication and leveraging the media to profile SAIIA’s research and policy expertise is crucial to success in this role.

Key roles and responsibilities

On Communications:

  • Support the Head of Communications in implementing the communications strategy for SAIIA, integrating traditional and digital dissemination channels for optimal visibility and impact.
  • Work closely with researchers to design and implement digital media campaigns and strategies that support specific programmes’ outcomes and targets.
  • Manage SAIIA’s key digital communication channels – website, social media and newsletters, ensuring messages reach intended audiences and engagement grows across digital platforms.
  • With guidance from the Head of Communications, develop and maintain a content calendar to ensure a steady stream of messaging that promotes SAIIA’s research while also being responsive to current affairs.
  • Write and edit content such as newsletters, press releases, social media posts, website articles and annual reports.
  • Create basic infographics and text-based videos that package research findings in engaging ways. (Training will be provided if required).
  • Manage service providers appointed for specific projects, such as videographers and podcasters, to ensure products are of the highest quality and consistent with SAIIA’s brand.
  • Working with SAIIA’s web developer, oversee the technical aspects of SAIIA’s website and databases so that they are robust and responsive to our needs.
  • Manage the communication department’s budget.
  • Manage the reporting for the communications unit, using relevant analytics tools to assess the impact of SAIIA’s digital communication and media engagement.

On Media Engagement:

  • The candidate will guide the Communications Officer in developing and managing relationships with targeted media outlets (national, regional and global) to amplify coverage and dissemination of SAIIA’s work.
  • Contribute to keeping an active media database with influential contacts relevant to SAIIA.
  • Monitor African and international affairs to proactively identify opportunities to bolster SAIIA’s media presence (interviews, podcasts, panels, etc.).
  • Be familiar with the African media landscape and multilateral and development spaces to widen SAIIA’s engagement opportunities.

On Events:

  • Represent SAIIA in engagement with the press and related stakeholders at the Institute’s events.
  • Plan regular media briefings in collaboration with the research programmes ahead of crucial policy windows.
  • Support the Events team with all communication aspects related to events, such as e-mail invitations, presentations, and other digital material.

Experience and skills

  • Degree in journalism, communications, or a related discipline.
  • Minimum five to seven years in a communications role; at least two to three years experience in a management role.
  • Experience working in the non-profit sector and in research communications.
  • Proven success with developing and implementing effective communication strategies that meet programme objectives and support the uptake of evidence-based research in policymaking.
  • A skilled communicator with excellent writing, editing and proofreading skills who can tailor messages for specific audiences.
  • Strong technical skillset: website management through WordPress or other content management systems, Mailchimp newsletter distribution and management, and Google Analytics for performance evaluation.
  • Demonstrated experience with managing social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram).
  • A demonstrated ability to summarise dense/complex content into engaging and easy to understand messages.
  • Network of press contacts relevant to SAIIA’s work.
  • Strategically minded with the ability to develop communications strategies and plans and see them through.
  • Graphic design and video skills, or experience with platforms like Canva, will be advantageous.
  • Awareness of data protection legislation relating to marketing/communications activities.
  • Current knowledge of African/international relations and the latest trends in the media landscape.
  • Planning, project management and financial management skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal, presentation and time-management skills.

Send your CV to [email protected].