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Communications / Marketing

Prison Resourcing Press and Communications Officer – 69168
£31,265 – £39,000
National

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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.

Prison Resourcing Press and Communications Officer

Band C / IO

2 Years FTA

  • This role is being offered on a FTA interim basis for 24 months or on loan. 
  • If applying on loan, there is an expectation that you will return to your substantive post on completion of this role, although it is possible longer-term or more permanent roles in the MOJ communications team will become available. Applicants should discuss this with their line manager before applying. 

Location: National

Number of roles: 1

Pay Scale: 

National: £31,265 – £34,446

London: £35,405 – £39,000

Job description

Are you looking for an opportunity to work in an exciting new team on issues that really matter and have a big social impact?

We are looking for a highly skilled and passionate press professional to work in our central award-winning Ministry of Justice team to generate extensive and creative external press coverage to reach the public to tell the amazing stories going on in prisons, helping to increase the number of applicants for prison officer roles and to get our staff the recognition and praise they deserve. 

For too long prisons have been overlooked, there is not enough recognition of the amazing work that goes on every day, incredible stories of compassion, progress against extraordinary odds, and rehabilitation. We employ 43,000 people, including 22,000 prison officers, but we are the hidden service – our aim is to address that and find ways to take the public behind those real and metaphorical walls. 

You will work as part of an ambitious and exciting new project team who will be responsible for increasing understanding of the work prison officers, and others working in prisons, deliver day to day. Your objectives will include placing myth busting creative national and regional press and wider communications to increase staff pride through positive media coverage and raising awareness and consideration of prison officer roles as an employment opportunity and career. 

Working as part of a new team of central and regional communications experts, you will achieve these objectives by going out and about to visit prisons, building close relationships with key prisons and local/national and online media outlets and finding and placing the stories that inform the public about the prison’s work and the role its officers play in delivering that. This will also include local and national media or feature articles and broadcast packages, including potential work on documentaries. This role may also involve supporting wider communications eg supporting local engagement, which might include support for prisons in their community outreach work – for example volunteering, charity fundraising and open days.

Your press coverage for prisons will not only be used externally to raise awareness of the prison officer role but will also be vital to help raise staff pride, showing them their excellent work reflected in the media. This role would be ideal for someone with a background in Press/PR/ journalism and media.

You would also work closely with the central Ministry of Justice Press Office and the central recruitment marketing team, who lead on encouraging greater consideration for prison roles as well as the identification and targeting of potential candidates.

You will ensure all of your work is executed to brilliant standards, within an existing culture of continuous improvement and innovation, and evaluating performance on an ongoing basis. You will also be expected to develop strong networks.  

Your interpersonal skills will be first rate and you will be at ease engaging with senior internal and external stakeholders for example policy teams and prison governors who you may need to liaise with to generate media coverage.

Person specification

The role has several key requirements including: 

  • Expertise in delivering creative external press/PR and communications

You will think creatively to challenge the often negative narrative about work in the prison service. We want to do this by telling stories at a regional and local level about the great work the prison service and its people do to keep the public safe, to rehabilitate offenders by offering training, support and opportunities, and to help offenders move forwards with their lives. We want the work of prison officers to be recognised by the public as on a par with other frontline services such as police officers and healthcare workers, and for traditional stereotypes to be challenged. You will be expected to proactively look for other communications opportunities to bring new approaches and uphold best practice, including capturing video content, using digital channels and delivering communications to support the retention of applicants before they start in the prison officer role.

  • Political and news judgement to spot and mitigate risks

You will have good judgement, which will enable you to identify potential reputational risks in the work you propose, and seek appropriate sign-off and ensure mitigations are in place. 

  • Using insight and evaluating the impact of your work.

You will work to ensure that your work aligns with the MOJ annual communications strategy and to Departmental and cross-government priorities. Your work should be based on relevant audience insight, set outcomes, have an implementation plan, and include evaluation metrics to measure the impact of press.  

  • Effective collaboration.

You are expected to build effective working and collaborative relationships internally and externally. You will be able to use these relationships to unblock issues, manage risks, and deliver more effective communications. You will be working closely alongside internal communications colleagues and other external PR colleagues and are expected to work closely with them to ensure you join up seamlessly and share knowledge.

Public sector prisons are located across England and Wales and the role is likely to involve some travel to key sites to meet regionally located leaders and visit priority prisons, such as Berwyn (Europe’s largest prison) and prisons in the Midlands and East of England for example. 

Application process

We will be using success profiles to assess your communication and delivery abilities.

As part of the application process, you will be asked to complete a CV and provide examples of Civil Service behaviours (PDF) and technical behaviours based on the Government Communication Professional Competency Framework (PDF).

Civil Service Behaviours

We’ll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

Communicating and Influencing

Communicate purpose and direction with clarity, integrity and enthusiasm. Respect the needs, responses and opinions of others.

Delivering at Pace  

Regularly monitor your own work against milestones and act promptly to reassess your workloads and priorities when there are conflicting demands to maintain performance.

Working together

Form effective partnerships and relationships with people both internally and externally, from a range of diverse backgrounds, sharing information, resources and support.

Government communication service technical behaviours

Insight – Consider any relevant audience research/insight and the emerging news agenda when developing press plans.

Ideas – Initiate and lead the development of proactive press. Work constructively with other communications, policy colleagues and partners to gain expert advice and opinions.

Implementation – Handle high-profile and sensitive media issues. Adhere to confidentiality and provide a clear, trusted brief to media and other partners. Demonstrate strong editing skills to ensure quality and timely press releases and briefing documents.

Impact – Analyse media monitoring results to assess the effectiveness of press and inform future activity.

Selection process details

As part of the application process you will be asked to complete a CV and personal statement.

Your personal statement should demonstrate your suitability in no more than 1000 words that highlights the reason you are interested in the role and how your experience makes you the best candidate for the role requirements. In your statement you should also make particular reference to the Civil Service behaviours and Government Communication Service technical skills set out above.

Please note that that feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview.

Security clearance and residency

If you are successful at interview, we will work with you to acquire SC 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.

Salary

The national salary range is £31,265 - £34,446, London salary range is £35,405 - £39,000. Your salary will be dependent on your base location

Additional Information

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.

Benefits

The MoJ offers a range of benefits:

Annual Leave

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.

Pension

The Civil Service offers a choice of pension schemes, giving you the flexibility to choose the pension that suits you best.

Training

The Ministry of Justice is committed to staff development and offers an extensive range of training and development opportunities.

Networks

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.

Support

  • 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

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.