The Early Intervention Foundation (EIF) is a young, dynamic and ambitious charity established in 2013 to champion and support the use of effective early intervention to improve the lives of children and young people at risk of experiencing poor outcomes.
We are seeking a positive, proactive and experienced press and media professional to bring new skills and expertise to the organisation, and to achieve a step-change in a vital area of EIF’s work.
Working with the Head of Communications and colleagues across the organisation, including the senior management team, the successful candidate will take a lead role in ensuring EIF is able to tell positive, compelling and influential stories through appropriate external channels, about the need for and impact of early intervention, and about EIF’s own role, activities and impact. The successful candidate will join a section of the weekly Senior Management Team meeting and attend the monthly Project Board meeting to ensure a media perspective is built into all our projects from the outset.
The role requires creativity, persistence, a keen understanding of the demands and opportunities of traditional and online media outlets, and the ability to understand and work with highly nuanced messages or technical content. This opportunity would suit a journalist or editor looking to move into the charity sector, or a mid-level press officer keen to take responsibility for building a new, increasingly impactful media function.
Key roles and responsibilities
- Manage EIF’s media and social media function, including receiving and triaging inward requests, responding quickly to external opportunities for profile, writing high-quality press releases, actively pitching and placing EIF-generated content, and developing and maintaining warm working relationships with key outlets/editors/journalists.
- Increase the frequency, reach and impact of EIF press activities.
- Draft content for senior colleagues to refine and agree then pitch into external media
- Identify, initiate and manage news stories based on EIF’s ongoing work and research outputs, and suitable channels for creating and placing content, including national print, online and broadcast media, sector press and external blogs.
- Develop and maintain a coherent narrative across EIF’s media activities, to reinforce key messages and establish EIF as a recognised source of expert comment.
- Increase the profile of and demand for comment and appearances by the chief executive and other senior colleagues.
- Oversee the technology and services required to maintain a high-quality press function, including relationships with suppliers and commissioning of new technology or services as required. Develop internal processes as required.
- Manage a media grid, to monitor external, political/policy and sector events and the news cycle to identify opportunities for proactive or reactive press activity, and to inform EIF scheduling decisions. Monitor press coverage of EIF, early intervention and relevant sector issues. Report to senior management on the substance of key debates in the media, prevailing narratives and associated organisational or reputational risks, and advise on tactics to respond to or manage the same.
- Train and brief EIF colleagues (including senior management) for media and other external appearances, and prepare representatives for specific bids.
- Oversee and grow the readership of the EIF blog, ensuring a regular output of content from colleagues, and ghost-write blog content on behalf of senior colleagues as required.
- Ensure EIF social media channels enable journalists looking for stories to find our work, and use social media to pitch EIF stories to select journalists and editors.
- Develop EIF’s capacity to write and place comment-style articles and blogposts with external politics/policy and sector outlets.
- Work closely with colleagues in the evidence and policy and practice teams to identify and clarify messages in our reports and other work
Experience and skills
- Demonstrable experience as a journalist, or in a dedicated media or press role, with a track record of delivering high-quality media activities and output.
- Substantial hands-on experience in all aspects of media operations, including placing stories with individual outlets, chasing up (including by phone) on press releases and approaches to ensure pitches are converted into coverage, and using social media to create opportunities for press activity.
- Detailed knowledge of national, major local and key sector media outlets. Excellent contacts among relevant editors and journalists.
- Good awareness of the national political and policy landscape, and key individuals, organisations and events relevant to EIF’s work.
- Understanding of how press coverage can influence policy decisions and build an organisation’s reputation.
- Demonstrable experience of developing a new or expanded press function, and of increasing the media profile of an organisation.
- The ability to identify ‘top lines’ in content and outputs from EIF’s research programme, and to translate research content to produce accurate, accessible and influential content for press, policy, sector and general audiences.
- Excellent written communication skills, including the ability to write press releases and similar public notices, and to write and edit short-form content on behalf of EIF and colleagues, including comment articles, blogposts and reactive quotes.
- Excellent professional judgment, appropriate decision-making and risk-awareness.
- Demonstrable experience of developing and maintaining valuable working relationships with a wide range of people, within and outside the organisation.
- Excellent organisational, administrative and time-management skills, with the ability to work to tight deadlines and assess competing priorities.
- Knowledge of early intervention or issues related to children and families’ wellbeing.
- Experience in one or more of the policy or delivery sectors involved in EIF’s work (national government, local government, health, schools, policing, VCS).
- Experience in a research-focused organisation, or other workplace producing technical, scientific or other complex content.