Main purpose of job:
To lead a diverse communications and marketing team to deliver high-impact communications that promote the British government’s prosperity, security and consular priorities in Japan; competitively engaging and influencing a wider audience on UK Government (HMG) key messages and policies through a combination of media work, strategic campaigning, innovative digital diplomacy and crisis communications. The role requires sound judgement, often reporting to the Ambassador and senior management team (SMT) and across all the teams in the Japan Network (the Embassy in Tokyo and Consulate General in Osaka) to manage the communications aspects of issues in the bilateral relationship, as well as crisis comms.
Roles and responsibilities / what will the jobholder be expected to achieve?:
Effective leadership/team management of the Japan Network Media, Communications & Marketing Section, including:
- Comprehensive understanding of HMG and senior management strategic priorities; shared coherently with team who understand how their work supports Country Business Plan (CBP) objectives.
- Monitor/manage outputs and outcomes to maximise resource efficiency; apply flexible leadership styles to deliver through others, support staff development and bring out best performance.
- Budget responsibility for communications spend; work directly with senior management and Department for International Trade (DIT) country director on GREAT campaign planning and financing to ensure value for money.
Act as lead communications/campaigns advocate within the Japan Network and region, including:
- Strategic communications recommendations integrated into business planning for all sections, following OASIS model and aligned to CBP and HMG objectives.
- Drive adoption of comms strategy, central HMG key messages and campaign communications guidance.
- Represent the section at Ambassador and SMT meetings; advocate best practice within the network; encourage adoption of latest techniques.
- Propose creative solutions and challenges at senior management discussions, including the Japan Business Planning Board, UK in Japan Campaign Board and Sports Events Board.
- Represent Japan in the global FCO Communications network and Senior Regional Communicators (SRC) network, joining monthly calls, leading training, sharing expertise and strategy, leverage these networks for regionally-sensitive work.
Ensure delivery of high-impact communications activities and campaigns, including:
- Competitive portfolio of services, equipped with latest skills and tools required to deliver hard and soft messages, that influence a diverse mix of business, government and public audiences.
- Latest comms evaluation techniques integrated into planning with regular reporting and recommendations to secure/maintain senior management and stakeholder buy-in.
- Drive collaboration among sections and partners across government, understanding different needs to ensure communications proposals secure funding, partners and private-sector sponsors to further HMG reach and impact.
- Ensure digital by default approach, especially as we continue to respond to COVID-19; encourage risk-taking and a culture of innovation with digital staff focused on growing both reach and engagement; working creatively with new channels and networks of online influencers; directing smarter use of agencies and vendors when necessary.
Protect and enhance HMG reputation in Japan through effective media relations, including:
- Own monthly forward look of top communications risks and opportunities.
- Flag risks and respond promptly to issues, liaising directly with FCO Comms Directorate, desk and department leads in London; propose recommendations to SMT.
- Maintain excellent network of influential Japanese and international media that can be leveraged to promote messages and defend HMG interests.
- Oversee a first-class press team that delivers professional service and innovative media arrangements for visits by ministers, VIPs and UK representatives; generating maximum coverage and measurable outcomes of benefit to HMG priorities.
- Lead the Japan Network Crisis Media Team, ensuring preparedness of team members, advising HMG spokespersons and handling media/digital response in the event of a crisis.
Resources managed (staff and expenditure):
- 11 communications staff in Tokyo and Osaka; Line management of two section deputies.
- Japan Network communications budget (GIS) - Approx. 6 million JPY.
- Japan Network GREAT Campaign communications/marketing budget oversight - Approx. 10 million JPY.
- Section travel and entertainment budget (DEE); subscriptions - Approx. 1 million JPY.
- External agencies (project based).
Essential qualifications, skills and experience
- Fluent spoken and written English essential (IELTS band 7 or TOEIC 875 points or above or equivalent)
- Fluent spoken and written Japanese preferable (with a minimum of JLPT N2)
- Public or private sector experience in media, PR or communications industry with good understanding of the Japanese media landscape.
- A good understanding of current digital media tools and channels.
- Prior experience of leading and managing teams.
- A willingness to work out of hours, on an occasional basis.
Desirable qualifications, skills and experience
- Strong media contacts and/or ability to leverage influencers for achieving communication objectives.
- Prior experience of UK government policy, values and social issues if possible.
Seeing the Big Picture, Leading and Communicating, Building Capability for All, Delivering at Pace
Application deadline: 8 July 2020