Media Officer – 74417
£35,405 – £39,000
We encourage applications from people from all backgrounds and aim to have a workforce that represents the wider society that we serve. We pride ourselves on being an employer of choice. We champion diversity, inclusion and wellbeing and aim to create a workplace where everyone feels valued and a sense of belonging. To find out more about how we do this visit:
From keeping drugs out of prisons and cutting crime, to overhauling sentencing laws and making pet theft a specific offence – the Ministry of Justice is one of only a handful of Government departments that can truly dominate the news agenda.
And our Press Office, bursting with talent, is widely recognised as the gold standard within government for shaping stories and influencing news across print, broadcast, and online. With a diverse remit including, prisons and probation, family justice, legal aid and modernising the courts system, no day is ever the same in this busy office.
We are looking for creative, hard-working, passionate people to join our team, so if you’re looking for an exciting, challenging job, where you can develop with support from experienced communications professionals, keep reading.
You could have responsibility for setting up and managing media facilities, organising interviews, drafting sharp, reactive statements and briefing journalists to generate and influence our coverage. There will be opportunities to advise Ministers and provide them with media handling advice on announcements, visits and speeches, and to help us boost our social media presence.
If these challenges sound exciting, you have experience in media relations, communications or journalism, and you enjoy the buzz of a busy environment – apply now to be a Ministry of Justice media officer. You are exactly who we’re looking for.
About the role
We currently have one role available in our office. The team works across a wide range of areas, from proactive announcements on specific policies such as prisons and probation to reactive work, fielding calls from journalists on our busy news desk.
While responsibilities will depend on the desk you join, all media officers are expected to:
- Create proactive announcements and media strategies, using everything from traditional broadcast and print media to consumer websites and social media.
- Provide regular media handling advice to Ministers, officials and colleagues on sensitive, complex and high-profile issues.
- Anticipate and spot news stories so you can swiftly prepare and issue robust responses to potentially negative stories.
- Develop and maintain strong relationships with Ministers, officials, journalists, stakeholders and colleagues in other departments.
- Work effectively with the Communications team and wider Government so media plans are joined-up with digital, internal and strategic communications.
- Understand departmental and Ministerial priorities so you can communicate key messages clearly, accurately and creatively to media.
You would also contribute to the Press Office out-of-hours service, for which overtime is paid.
We are looking for candidates who have work experience in journalism, in-house press offices or PR and communications agencies.
The salary range for this post is £35,405 – £39,000 plus generous overtime payments for participation in the out of hours rota. Existing civil servants on level transfer will retain their level of pay unless this is lower than the starting salary as per MoJ T&Cs.
As part of the application process, you will be asked to provide a CV, provide short examples demonstrating the behaviours below in previous roles and give us your assessment of the main media issues facing the Ministry of Justice over the next six months.
We’ll assess you against these behaviours during the selection and interview process:
- Communicating and Influencing
Communicate clearly and concisely both orally and in writing; Express ideas clearly and with respect for others; Listen to and value different ideas, views and ways of working; Respond constructively and objectively to comments and questions; Handle challenging conversations with confidence and sensitivity.
- Delivering at pace
Regularly check performance against objectives, making suggestions for improvement where necessary; Identify what is required to ensure success, set clear goals and continually assess workloads considering individual needs; Have a positive and focused attitude to achieving outcomes, despite any setbacks.
More details on these can be found in the Civil Service behaviours (PDF).
We’ll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:
Understand how to reach the biggest and/or most appropriate audience for an announcement using a mix of media channels. Maintain an awareness of the news agenda.
Work up ideas for stories and case studies to help increase media interest in a positive news story.
Draft high-quality press releases that maximise media coverage and punchy statements that rebut criticism effectively.
Monitor media coverage and evaluate your success in reaching the target audience and delivering key messages.
More details on these can be found in the Government Communication Professional Competency (Technical Skills) Framework.
Flexible working hours
The Ministry of Justice offers a flexible working hours system. Like most government press offices, our jobs mean working hours can be unpredictable at times, but you will not be expected to work overtime regularly and ensuring everyone has a healthy work-life balance is a priority for us. You will take part in the out of hours duty rota, which is rewarded through generous overtime payment, but there is flexibility, particularly for those with parental or caring responsibilities.
Security clearance and residency
If you are successful at interview, we will work with you to acquire security clearance. This is a straightforward process for most people but does, generally, require you to have been resident in the UK for at least the last five years.
£35,405 - £39,000
Working Arrangements & Further Information
The MoJ offers Hybrid Working arrangements where business need allows. This is an informal, non-contractual form of flexible working that blends working from your base location, different MoJ sites and / or from home (please be aware that this role can only be worked in the UK and not overseas). Some roles will not be suitable for Hybrid Working. Similarly, Hybrid Working will not suit everyone’s circumstances. Arrangements will be discussed and agreed with the successful candidate(s) and subject to regular review.
For nationally advertised roles, the successful candidate(s) will be appointed to a MoJ office location, which may include their nearest Justice Collaboration Centre or Justice Satellite Office. This will be discussed and agreed on the completion of pre-employment checks.
Some of MoJ’s terms and conditions of service are changing as part of Civil Service reform. The changes will apply to staff joining MoJ who are new to the Civil Service. Staff joining MoJ from other civil service employers will transfer onto the new MoJ terms if they are already on ‘modernised’ terms in their current post or onto ‘unmodernised’ MoJ terms if they are on ‘unmodernised’ terms at their current post. Details will be available if an offer is made.
Flexible working hours
The Ministry of Justice offers a flexible working system in many offices.
The MoJ offers a range of benefits:
Annual leave is 25 days on appointment and will increase to 30 days after five years’ service.
There is also a scheme to allow qualifying staff to buy or sell up to three days leave each year. Additional paid time off for public holidays and 1 privilege day. Leave for part-time and job share posts will be calculated on a pro-rata basis.
The Civil Service offers a choice of pension schemes, giving you the flexibility to choose the pension that suits you best.
The Ministry of Justice is committed to staff development and offers an extensive range of training and development opportunities.
The opportunity to join employee-run networks that have been established to provide advice and support and to enable the views of employees from minority groups to be expressed direct to senior management. There are currently networks for employees of minority ethnic origin, employees with disabilities, employees with caring responsibilities, women employees, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.
- A range of ‘Family Friendly’ policies such as opportunities to work reduced hours or job share.
- Access to flexible benefits such as voluntary benefits, retail vouchers and discounts on a range of goods and services.
- For moves to or from another employer or moves across the Civil Service this can have implications on your eligibility to carry on claiming childcare vouchers. You may however be eligible for alternative government childcare support schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. More information can be found on GOV.UK or Childcare Choices. You can determine your eligibility at https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/.
- Paid paternity, adoption and maternity leave.
- Free annual sight tests for employees who use computer screens.
Working for the Civil Service
The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.
We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s recruitment principles. Should you feel that the recruitment process has breached the recruitment principles you are able to raise a formal complaint in the following order
- To Shared Service Connected Ltd (0845 241 5358 (Monday to Friday 8am – 6pm) or e mail Mojfirstname.lastname@example.org);
- To Ministry of Justice Resourcing team (email@example.com);
- To the Civil Service Commission (details available here)
The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As a Disability Confident employer, MoJ are committed to providing everyone with the opportunity to demonstrate their skills, talent and abilities, by making adjustments throughout all elements of the recruitment process and in the workplace. MoJ are able to offer an interview to disabled candidates who meet the minimum selection criteria, except in a limited number of campaigns.
You will be able to request reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process within the application form. If you need additional help completing the application form, please contact the SSCL Recruitment Enquiries Team.
We encourage applications from people from all backgrounds and aim to have a workforce that represents the wider society that we serve. We pride ourselves on being an employer of choice. We champion diversity, inclusion and wellbeing and aim to create a workplace where everyone feels valued and a sense of belonging. To find out more about how we do this visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice/about/equality-and-diversity.