Senior Communications Officer

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  • Posted 2 months ago


Job Title:

Senior Communications Officer

Reports to: Communications Manager

Line reports: None

Contract terms: Full time

Salary: £36,065-£37,013

Location: London-based, with hybrid working

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth) is a membership organisation and the voice of the profession, with over 4,000 members in the UK and overseas. Our role is to champion the specialty, set standards of training and practice, and influence change to make a difference to the lives of patients with eye conditions.

Job Purpose

Part of the Communications and Engagement department, the Senior Communications Officer is responsible for devising and supporting strategic communication initiatives that elevate the College’s visibility, advocate for the importance of sustainable ophthalmology services, spotlight our work and values, and promote membership. Working with colleagues, members and external partners, you will craft, execute and evaluate multichannel campaigns, secure profile-raising media coverage, and create engaging content for all our communications channels.

Main responsibilities

Strategic communication planning

  • Plan, deliver and evaluate multichannel communications campaigns and plans – working with colleagues across the College to identify objectives, target audiences and key messaging.
  • Contribute to developing and implementing communications strategies to increase the College’s profile, promote its work and the importance of ophthalmology, and support membership recruitment and retention.

Content development and management

  • Contribute to developing, delivering and evaluating the performance of our content strategy and organisation-wide annual content plan.
  • Work with all College departments to develop promotional materials, and to identify and gather content, stories and information for sharing across College media.
  • Produce engaging, and accessible content for the College’s member magazine, social media accounts, website and e-newsletters.
  • Copyedit, proofread and format publications, and manage the production of printed materials, including liaising with printers, designers, and other external suppliers.
  • Lead on procuring, rolling out and maintaining an internal image bank/photo management solution, and work with colleagues to commission photographs.

Media relations

  • Identify new and nurture existing relationships with editors, journalists, commentators and producers, expanding and updating our contact list.
  • Develop and implement a schedule of strategic media engagement, identifying new opportunities upon which the College should capitalise.
  • Handle day-to-day proactive and reactive media relations, including acting as the first point of contact for media enquiries; writing and pitching comments, press releases, quotes, and op-eds; arranging interviews; and working with international, national and local media.
  • Record, monitor and report on the College’s media activities, coverage and performance.
  • Work with the Communications Manager to brief and commission training for College spokespeople.
  • Work with colleagues to keep our media lines on priority policy issues up to date.

Digital communications

  • Co-plan, produce and distribute targeted and segmented e-newsletters.
  • Develop and implement a social media schedule that is aligned with organisational and departmental objectives, capitalises on external opportunities, reflects the latest trends and best practice, and delivers regular, timely and targeted posts.
  • Manage the College’s social media channels day-to-day, producing topical and relevant content, and monitoring and responding to comments and messages.
  • Support the Communications Manager in maintaining and managing the College website, including inputting to reviews and redevelopment projects.
  • Support and train colleagues in using our content management system (CMS).
  • Monitor and report on the College’s digital performance monthly.

Brand management

  • Uphold the College’s brand identity and messaging across all materials and platforms.
  • Help champion and ensure compliance with the College’s brand and style guidelines.
  • Support the department in averting and handling communications crises as needed.

To undertake other duties as required

  • Undertake any other reasonable duties as required by the College
  • Working outside normal hours and/or overnight stays may be necessary to support the delivery of key organisational events.

Inclusion and diversity statement

RCOphth is committed to encouraging inclusion, equality and diversity among our staff, and eliminating unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation by complying with the Equality Act 2010. We want a working environment where individual differences and the contributions of all staff are recognised and valued. To do this, we will proactively tackle discrimination and disadvantage and ensure that no individual or group is directly or indirectly discriminated against for any reason. We expect all employees to champion and live our values through their work at every opportunity.

Our values are:


  • actively welcoming a diversity of experiences and perspectives
  • everyone being respected and encouraged to participate regardless of their background or role


  • being open and honest, demonstrating accountability in all its work
  • evidenced-based and transparent decision-making, utilising a range of data, information, expertise and experience


  • creating novel opportunities to advance and deliver on its aims, anticipating changing circumstances
  • actively welcoming fresh ideas and approaches
  • fostering a climate of ambition and excellence drawing on expertise from across the College’s communities


  • being a learning organisation, reflecting on both successes and mistakes
  • continuous and sustainable development across all its activities

Person specification

Knowledge, qualifications and experience

  • University degree or professional qualification in marketing, communications, journalism or similar, or equivalent experience
  • At least three years’ experience of working in a busy communications team, press office or newsroom
  • Experience of devising, implementing and evaluating multichannel communications strategies and/or campaigns
  • Experience of writing materials for a range of audiences, including blogs, magazine/news articles, newsletters, social media posts and website copy
  • Experience of commissioning, editing, and proof-reading copy, ensuring adherence to brand and style guidelines
  • Working knowledge of the media and experience of fielding enquiries, and developing briefings and press releases
  • Experience of using CMS, website analytics, social media monitoring and scheduling tools, and e-newsletter software
  • Knowledge of best practice and emerging trends in digital and social media
  • Working knowledge of IT systems – including Microsoft Office, CRMs, and digital asset management tools

Skills and abilities

  • Strong strategic planning, prioritisation and organisational skills
  • Excellent communications and editorial skills, with an outstanding command of written English and an exceptional attention to detail
  • Strong analytical skills to evaluate impact and identify opportunities for improvement
  • A creative eye and the ability to create digital collateral using graphic design and video editing software
  • Search engine optimisation writing and editing skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills and an ability to build positive relationships with internal and external stakeholders, including the media
  • Ability to generate new ideas, take initiative and problem solve
  • Adaptability and an ability to work well under pressure and manage often conflicting demands within tight timeframes

Personal qualities (attributes)

  • Commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion and understanding of how this applies to own area of work
  • Commitment to own continuing professional development
  • Demonstrates a positive ‘can do’ attitude

Staff benefits

We offer a friendly and supportive working environment and make sure our employees are well looked after with a great benefits package, which includes:

Work life balance and family friendly benefits:

  • Hybrid working
  • 25 days of annual leave, increasing to 30 days with length of service (plus bank holidays and office closure between Xmas and New Year)
  • 1 day of paid leave to move house
  • Enhanced parental leave

Planning for your future:

  • Employer pension contributions up to a maximum of 12%.

Career development

  • All staff are offered opportunities for learning and development, in addition to a comprehensive e-learning package
  • Study loans


  • Season ticket loan
  • Cycle to work scheme


  • Eye test contribution
  • Summer Fridays (staff can finish 90 minutes early from 17th July – 31st August)
  • Enhanced Employee Assistance Programme (with access to free counselling sessions)
  • Free flu vaccinations

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