Communications & Public Affairs Co-ordinator (Social Inclusion Focus)

Job Description and Person Specification

A dynamic, experienced Communications practitioner is required to promote the mission of Irish Local Development Network and the work of Local Development Companies.

Irish Local Development Network CLG is the representative network for Ireland’s 49 Local Development Companies. LDCs deliver a wide range of social and economic programmes including SICAP (Social Inclusion Community Activation Programme), LEADER, Local Employment Service, Tús, Rural Social Scheme, Back to Work Enterprise Allowance Scheme, social enterprise and personal development supports etc.

The Network members directly employ 2,100 staff who deliver €300 million worth of social inclusion, rural development and employment services each year.

Through these programmes, they support over 15,000 community organisations and 170,000 individuals annually, directly impacting lives by helping people achieve personal goals, find jobs, launch businesses, improve their communities.

ILDN supports its members through policy development and research; collective and coherent voice to funders and policymakers; training and sharing of best practice; networking of 49 sets of staff via themes and role; internal communications and intranet via themes and roles; group procurement; external communications, public relations and advocacy. Its aims and objectives are set out in the newly adopted Strategic Plan which will act as a framing reference for all our work and which will be communicated to key audiences by the Communications & Public Affairs Coordinator.

This is an exciting time for ILDN and its members. Local Development Companies have been at the forefront of the Community Response to COVID-19 and will play the central role in assisting disadvantaged groups, communities and individuals to adapt to the new operating environment. LDCs will be working to ensure an inclusive recovery through all their programmes and channels and we require a dynamic, experienced practitioner to help us communicate this mission with maximum impact.

Job Description

Purpose of the role

ILDN wishes to increase the visibility of its members work, especially the transformative impacts of its social inclusion and community work programmes on individuals and communities. Communicating its effectiveness is crucial to securing the funding and policy commitments necessary to sustain the work. Effective communication with multiple audiences is required – service users, the wider public, funders, civic society, government and the political system generally as well as within the network itself.

What You Will Do - Key Duties & Responsibilities

Working under the direction of and reporting to the Manager, the C&PA Coordinator will be required to

  • Produce and implement a communications strategy for ILDN programmes with a special focus on social inclusion
  • Manage the publicity output of ILDN including social media
  • Ensure national and local visibility of ILDN and Member programmes and services
  • Assist and provide appropriate training and support to the 49 members with their local communications activities and strategies
  • Advise on and implement the public affairs activities recommended by the board and manager including liaising with funders, policy makers, political representatives, civil society organisers, regulatory bodies etc
  • Seek out good news stories and examples of best practice from across the network and ensure their promotion to key audiences
  • Put a particular focus on the theme of social inclusion, seeking out newsworthy stories and themes and making them accessible to key audiences
  • Produce reports, briefing materials, presentations that are attractive, accessible, persuasive, relevant, succinct and accurate.
  • Implement any branding and marketing changes required by the Board
  • Organise campaigns and events that are inherent to the communications activities such as themed campaigns, press occasions, awards ceremonies, political briefings etc
  • Attend ILDN member events where required for the purposes of training, briefing, learning etc
  • Attend meetings with funders in support of members
  • Assist the Manager, Board & committees in their work
  • Gather, collate, analyse and present statistical and other information from member companies
  • Prepare statistics and respond to queries in relation to funding and funding expenditure
  • Represent and promote the Irish Local Development Network in relevant forums and publicly where required
  • Carry out any other duties that may be assigned by the Manager.

The role requires the ability to handle a diverse, high-volume workload. It requires national travel and access to a vehicle. ILDN is a small but growing team committed to supporting its 49 members, their board and 2,100 staff. The team works on an agile, flexible and integrated basis mirroring the integrated, complementary nature of their members’ multiple services.

Person Specification

Essential Skills, Experience and Attributes

  • Track Record of Operational Success i.e. in achieving the publicity goals of previous organisations
  • Level 8 qualification or higher in a relevant discipline or equivalent
  • Qualification in Journalism, PR or Communications
  • Minimum 5 years’ experience in Communications, PR, Journalism relevant to the not-for-profit sector
  • Impactful content creator via press releases, copywriting, presentations, videos, social media sites etc
  • Experience of creation of communication strategies and campaigns
  • Experience in website, intranet and social media editing and content input.
  • Experience with graphic design software to create attractive internal and external communications materials
  • Sound knowledge and understanding of the workings of Government, its Departments and Agencies
  • Sound knowledge and understanding of the workings of the not-for-profit and community sector
  • Sound knowledge of community development, rural development and labour activation policy and programmes
  • Excellent planning and organizing skills
  • Ability to work on own initiative, innovative and flexible in outlook – willing to work outside regular business hours
  • Proficiency with statistical/survey/information gathering practices and software
  • Proficiency in relevant software and packages including Microsoft Office suite
  • Ability to remain calm under pressure
  • Evidence of ability to prioritise workload
  • Determined to Drive Change, Committed to Social Inclusion/Justice

Desirable Skills, Experience and Attributes

  • 3 years’ experience of public affairs work
  • Track Record of Operational Success in achieving change in political/policy/funding realms
  • Evidence of capacity to communicate social inclusion work in an impactful manner
  • Full Membership of PRII
  • Knowledge and experience of governance/reporting requirements in the not-for-profit sector
  • Experience of survey and statistical methods and packages

Terms and Conditions

  • Full-time (40 hours per week) contract until December 31st 2021 is offered, subject to a six-month probationary period. Flexible working is expected.
  • The Salary Scale is commensurate with qualifications and experience.
  • Final Terms and Conditions will be discussed at contract stage.
  • Work Arrangements/Location TBC

Application Process

Interested applicants should forward a completed application form (available at https://ildn.ie/jobs/) and a cover letter outlining their suitability for the post to Joe Saunders, MPRII via manager@ildn.ie

No applications will be considered without a fully completed application form.  No postal applications will be accepted. Closing date for applications is 5pm on July 27th 2020. Eligible applications will be shortlisted according to how the experience and skills submitted match the needs of the post. It is envisaged that there will be more than one round of interviews and that a presentation and/or other modes of assessment will be put in place. First interviews late August.

ILDN is funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development (under the Support Scheme for National Organisations and other schemes), the Department of Employment Affairs & Social Protection and the subscriptions of its members. This post is funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development.    Posts and salaries are dependent on the continuance of adequate funding provision.