Regional Senior Media and Communications Manager
This role can be based in Amman or Beirut.
The Syria crisis is often described as the worst humanitarian catastrophe since the end of the Cold War. Inside Syria, over 6 million people are internally displaced and 13.4 million are in need of humanitarian assistance, with 4.8 million in hard-to-reach areas. There are 4 million Syrian refugees in neighboring countries. This is no short-term humanitarian episode. The devastating human consequences to huge numbers of people will endure for decades. The destruction of relationships, communities, livelihoods, homes and infrastructure will take years to repair.
IRC is offering a robust humanitarian response to the Syria and Libya crisis. With an annual budget in excess of $120 million, supported by more than 2,250 staff in the region, IRC is undertaking programs in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Libya in the fields of health, child protection, education, women’s protection and empowerment, cash assistance, and livelihoods programming. Our work in these challenging settings gives rise to some of the most pressing issues facing contemporary humanitarian action, including questions of access, security, funding and coordination.
This position offers an exciting opportunity to provide strategic, skilled and dynamic management to planning and execution of communications, messaging and media relations to give a voice to those who are impacted by crises in the countries where IRC has programs in the MENA region (Syria, Libya, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan). The Regional Media Manager is a key position to ensure quality and timely communications and media materials are produced for media organizations, other partners, and IRC external relations teams, including digital, marketing and fundraising, and to ensure visibility of issues affecting women and children in humanitarian crises as well as IRC’s work. A key part of this role is to secure international and regional media coverage on crises in the MENA region, ensuring media is an integral part of our emergency responses and delivering breakthrough communications results in IRC’s target markets, including the MENA region, US, UK, Sweden, Germany and Brussels.
Appropriate and strategic media engagement is pivotal for the IRC’s advocacy and fundraising. This includes the development of emergency response media strategies, the regular development and updating of messaging documents, press releases, web site and social media content, building a network of regional media contacts, facilitating media and high profile IRC and celeb visits and interviews, pitching stories that highlight IRC’s work and humanitarian needs.
The Communications and Media Manager has dual reporting to the MENA Regional Director of Policy, Advocacy and Communications in Amman and the Associate Director, Global Crisis and Response Communications via Management in Partnership. The role collaborates closely with the Regional Policy, Advocacy and Comms team, the Global Crisis and Response Communications Team as well as other external relations colleagues in the US, UK and Europe. S/he will also work closely with IRC’s Middle East Regional Vice President and Country Directors and Advocacy/Comms focal points for Syria, Libya, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon. This position can be based in Amman or Beirut and requires travel throughout the region and occasionally to Europe and the US, estimated at 30%.
•Convene, collaborate, and engage with a dynamic range of IRC teams across the Middle East and North Africa to develop and implement communications strategies that drive awareness of the IRC’s impact and advocacy, enhancing the IRC's reputation, supporting fundraising objectives, and influencing target policy makers, particularly in the IRC’s target markets, including the Middle East, US, UK, Sweden, Germany and Brussels.
•Work with (and persuade) internal stakeholders, including communications team-members, advocates, fundraisers, and country level programs teams to facilitate and support dynamic communications tactics, including innovative media outreach, top tier op-eds, creative digital content and dynamic, audience-driven social media output.
•Act as the main point of contact for media issues between IRC regional, country programs, field staff and HQ comms teams, work with Country Offices to arrange reporters’ field visits, and accompany as required, and serve as an external relations resource for field staff, including to train IRC staff on media spokespersoning.
•Write newsworthy press releases and generate information/story angles for circulation to the international and regional news media (in accordance with usual sign-off procedures).
•Deploy excellent writing skills to deliver pitches that land IRC-led features, high-level IRC messages for cross-organizational use, top tier landing op-eds, and talking points for spokespeople.
•Support risk mitigation approaches during sensitive moments for media outreach.
•Facilitate international news media spokespersoning, liaising with HQ and country office teams and act as a spokesperson when needed.
•Responsible for working with Regional Vice President, Policy, Advocacy and Comms Director, regional security director and relevant global comms colleagues on reputational risk comms and issues relating to disruption of IRCs work in the region (attacks etc).
•Lead rapid, real-time Communications response for emergency/crisis situations in the region and be willing to deploy into emergencies at short notice, and able to execute on digital content asset collection (eg Iphone) as needed for IRC channels.
•Network with international, regional and national media to proactively pitch stories about the humanitarian impact on civilians, IRC’s programs, advocacy priorities and partnerships that results in high-quality, top-tier coverage.
•Closely follow top-tier media coverage from the region to seek opportunities to align messaging
•Build links with programme staff to facilitate information sharing and the dissemination of press releases/quotes during times of crisis and other moments of significance.
•Respond to information requests from news media; assess and evaluate media requests, including research as necessary; give and arrange interviews; and assist journalists and photographers in coordinating coverage of IRC programs.
•Coordinate with appropriate personnel in partner NGOs for joint media/advocacy initiatives.
•Monitor and evaluate media coverage generated and draw lessons to improve coverage.
•Seek thought leadership and media opportunities for IRC’s thought leaders / senior staff.
•Degree in journalism, communications, international affairs or related field.
•At least five years of experience in public relations, communications or journalism in the Middle East/North Africa.
•Superb English-language oral and written communication skills. Fluency in Arabic is also required.
•Demonstrated ability to write and edit media products (press statements, talking points, Q&As, briefings) on deadline and of highest quality.
•Experience of leading Media activities in a challenging environment and a good knowledge of the political contexts and sensitivities in the Middle East, demonstrated understanding of both the international and regional media scene, networks, and media contacts.
•Excellent relationship building skills in order to work for limited periods within programmes under pressure of running emergency responses
•Experience of effective spokespersoning across a range of media
•Strong knowledge and strategic use of social media for comms/advocacy purposes
•Multimedia skills, including photography, filming, editing, audio production highly desirable
•Persistent and determined drive to uncover opportunities for and to pitch stories to media.
•Excellent networking, interpersonal, communication, relationship-building and negotiation skills
•Proven ability to persuade and influence colleagues not under supervisory authority.
•Excellent time management and organizational skills.
•Ability to respond to multiple priorities in a timely manner, delivering high-quality products.
•Culturally sensitive; able and interested in working with a diverse team.
•Strong commitment to the IRC’s mission, purpose and values.
•Must be willing and able to travel frequently within the region.
Returning National Candidates: We strongly encourage national or returning national candidates to apply for this position. If you are a citizen of the Country in which this position is based and are currently located outside of your home country and possess over two years of international work experience, the Middle East Region has introduced an attractive remuneration package. The package includes
Professional Standards: IRC staff must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way – Global Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, Accountability and Equality. In accordance with these values, IRC operates and carries out policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti-Workplace Harassment, Respect at Work Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation.