National Audit Office
National Audit Office

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Job titleSenior Communications Manager
Minimum salaryGBP 47,657.00
Maximum salaryGBP 58,435.00
Close date27/09/2020
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Job description

Job descriptionSitting within the strategic communications function within our external relations team, and reporting to the director of external communications and marketing, the senior communications manager is responsible for planning and executing impactful and integrated external communications on behalf of the National Audit Office, and providing expert counsel to colleagues on communications issues.

You will work closely with the rest of external relations the other senior communications manager, digital communications manager, and press office, to implement our ambitious external communications strategy. You will be responsible for aspects of our work such as advising and supporting NAO colleagues on effective engagement with stakeholders, owning and producing content for channels such as newsletters and blogs, delivering corporate communications activity, exploring behaviour change techniques to help the NAO achieve influence, and evaluating and implementing improvements to our communications approaches.

This is a hands-on communications delivery role that requires a strategic approach, attention to detail and tenacity to ensure that communications plans and activities achieve maximum impact.

We offer fulltime working from home and after the pandemic, with the approval of the line manager, employees can work 1 or 2 days from home.
ResponsibilitiesThis role includes the following main areas of responsibility:

Strategic communications:

Advising and supporting NAO client-facing teams with the promotion of their and wider NAO work (such as good practice guides), in particular supporting the six knowledge hubs with their influencing plans. Strategically planning communications using an effective channel mix to achieve influence and behaviour change with target stakeholders.

Manage NAO corporate communications projects such as promotion of the Annual Report, Strategy and other corporate documents or campaigns around strategic themes. This responsibility will be shared with the other strategic communications manager.

Play a key role in our research and evaluation project, which is being led by the other senior communications manager and digital communications manager, ensuring that the external relations team has the insight it needs to make evidence-based strategic decisions about our future communications channels and approaches. This will involve reviewing our current channels, working with colleagues to implement improvements in line with our communications strategy, and ensuring that we have effective ongoing monitoring and a learning culture instilled in the team.

Own the NAO’s external newsletters and blog, ensuring their effectiveness at reaching and engaging with target audiences (as identified in our current stakeholder engagement project) is maximised. How you develop these channels in the future will be informed by the broader insight and evaluation project.

Form strong internal relationships with colleagues in the wider external relations team, and with audit colleagues across the NAO, to work in a truly integrated way to support the office to achieve our strategic communications objectives.

Stakeholder engagement:

Develop, implement and manage a new client feedback programme gaining support from internal stakeholders, procuring and contract managing a market research agency and reporting to senior leadership on results and recommendations.

Develop an NAO-wide stakeholder engagement and management plan, liaising with internal stakeholders, utilising best practice approaches, and embedding this as business as usual.

Working with the other senior communications manager, counsel our client-facing teams on how to improve engagement with their stakeholders, for example, through facilitating stakeholder engagement planning and advising them how to proactively share NAO insight and increase value for clients.

Advise and support on communications and engagement with local government and other bodies involved in local services to support of the local services communications’ strategy. This includes managing the local services e: newsletter (c. 3 pa) and partnership events.

Support the NAO and external relations team with other projects and tasks such as staff engagement and training; and giving presentations on our communications to other Supreme Audit Institutions.

Ensure that all external communications activity that you manage complies with GDPR and data security requirements.
Skills requiredEssential:

Seeing the big picture
• Understand how government, Parliament, the NAO and the public sector works.

• Anticipates economic, social, political, environmental and technological developments to keep activity relevant and targeted

• A strong sense of the role, value, and opportunities that communications can play in helping the NAO achieve its business objectives and strategy.

Core communications
• Uses insight effectively to ensure strategies and plans identify the most effective tools, techniques and channels to engage and influence target stakeholders.

• Develop engaging, targeted content and messages suitable for use across a range of channels. Ensure appropriate content, messaging, tone and consistency in all communication.

Deliver results
• Proactive and ambitious to deliver high performance and achieve successful business outcomes through self and others.

• Fast and responsive to meet demands, can manage multiple demands and be agile. Can think on their feet in demanding situations.

• Strong project management skills, ensuring communications projects are delivered to time and budget and achieve their objectives. Monitor and evaluate performance against objectives, sharing learning to inform future improvement.

Communicating and influencing
• Exceptional communication skills, both written and verbal. Writes clearly in plain, simple language, effectively distilling complex information into clear messages.

• Confidently engage with colleagues at all levels including executive leadership, providing robust, credible and deliverable communication advice, and generating commitment to goals.

• A strong collaborator, focused on working effectively with others, supporting colleagues and achieving success as a team.


• Stakeholder engagement – a strong understanding of how to work effectively with different organisations to achieve communication goals.

• Insight and research – experience of running insight or research projects and using results to inform future organisational or communications strategies

• Behaviour change – experience of running behaviour change campaigns

• Digital – strong understanding of digital communications and accessibility, and the use of online channels and techniques including podcasts, webinars, blogs.
Educational requirements

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