Appointment of the Director of Communications & Brand and Head of Media & Communications

Welcome

Croeso and thank you for your interest in our University. As a recent arrival myself to this wonderful institution, I am aware how exciting embarking on a job application can be.

Bangor is a unique institution, the most Welsh in language and attitude, but also the most international in outlook and ambition. Despite current challenges, the University’s leadership is focused on building our research and teaching strengths to create a strong, confident Civic University which not only serves Bangor and our region, but is also genuinely transformational for Wales and the world.

I joined the University earlier this year and following a strategic review of our marketing, recruitment and communications activity we are now seeking to appoint to the new roles of Director of Communications & Brand and Head of Media & Communications.  These new roles, which can be based either in Bangor or Wrexham, play a crucial role in raising the profile and understanding of the University and, in so doing, underpinning and supporting student recruitment activity to enable the University to significantly increase the number of applicants it attracts.

Across both roles and as part of my wider leadership team, the post holders will need to combine strategic vision and strong planning and delivery skills to deliver complex multi-channel brand, communications and media programmes which provide measurable results. You will have high profiles in the University and be trusted advisors to senior management.

Bangor University has fantastic academic and teaching credentials and these two crucial posts will play a critical part in leading a new strategic drive to raise our profile. I am delighted to have joined this wonderful institution and I do hope you share our aspirations and are excited by the prospect of joining us.

Lorraine Westwood
Chief Marketing Officer and Vice-President International

About us

Our History and Today

The University was founded as a direct result of a campaign in the late nineteenth century for higher education provision in Wales. Funds were raised by public subscription to establish a college of university rank in Bangor. An important feature of its foundation was the voluntary contributions made by local people, including amongst others, many farmers and quarrymen who could ill afford to donate money, but did so despite the difficulties in order to benefit future generations.

The University was founded as the University College of North Wales. It opened its doors on 18 October 1884 in an old coaching inn with 58 students and 10 members of staff. The students received degrees from the University of London until 1893 when the University of Wales, Bangor became one of the three original constituent colleges of the University of Wales.

Bangor has had a long tradition of academic excellence and a strong focus on the student experience. Today around 11,000 students study at the University, and it has approximately 2000 staff, based in fourteen Academic Schools within three Colleges, and supported by a number of Professional Services. In addition, we have 600 students studying at Bangor College China and around 2400 students studying validated programmes in the UK and overseas. We have more than 150 Students’ Union Clubs and Societies which were named best in the UK at the WhatUni Student Choice Awards 2018.

The University is ranked in the top 40 in the UK for research, according to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014. The REF recognised that more than three-quarters of Bangor’s research is either world-leading or internationally excellent, ahead of the average for UK universities.

The most recent National Student Survey results place Bangor amongst the UK’s top 10 mainstream universities for student satisfaction and we are particularly proud of our Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) Gold which highlights our staff’s work in providing outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for our students. Sustainability is central to all our activities and we are ranked 8th in the world in the UI Green metric

More recently, the University, alongside many others, is facing challenges. Recruitment has been below target in recent years which has led to associated financial challenges, and we are exploring ways of increasing and diversifying our income streams. Good progress has already been made in addressing these challenges (numbers are improving, particularly in postgraduate) and this provides an opportunity for these two new positions to have a key role in taking the University into the next phase of its development.

Teaching and Learning

The University prides itself on the quality of teaching offered. This was supported in a recent review by the UK Quality Assurance Agency, which resulted in the highest possible endorsement of the University’s academic standards.

Students are enrolled on 324 undergraduate programmes and 125 postgraduate taught programmes. Undergraduate students are registered to 1883 modules. There are 340 undergraduate modules offered through the medium of Welsh, and Bangor is recognised as the leading provider of Welsh medium education in Wales.

Research

Research is central to Bangor University; it is an integral part of our teaching and a passion of our academic staff. The 2014 Research Excellence Framework recognised that more than three-quarters of Bangor’s research is either world-leading or internationally excellent, ahead of the average for all UK universities.

Research in Sports Science; Modern Languages; Welsh; Education; Linguistics; Ocean Sciences; Biological Sciences; Environment, Natural Resources and Geography; Psychology; Healthcare Sciences; and Medical Sciences have all been ranked in the top 20 in the UK.

Research and teaching are closely inter-linked: almost all research academics teach, ensuring that our students benefit from the knowledge created by our research.

Community

The University’s Arts and Innovation Centre, Pontio (meaning ‘to bridge’ in Welsh), provides a wide variety of high quality activities and entertainment for both the University and the local community, championing Welsh language and culture. The University has a dedicated Widening Access Centre that provides a vital link between the University and its surrounding community. We are also committed to the principles of sustainable development and global citizenship and to ensuring that all our functions reflect this.

Mission

A strong, confident institution recognised regionally, nationally and internationally as a centre of excellence for its varied portfolio of teaching and research, and for the unique, multicultural, inclusive experience it provides for its staff and students.

Further Information

Click here for the recent annual review and accounts

Click here for the 2015-2020 strategic plan

Language and culture

Since its inception in 1884, the University has a tradition of integral links with its local community. Our identity is inextricably associated with our location and we play a leading role in the Welsh culture and economy and in fostering the Welsh language. We are the leading provider of higher education through the medium of Welsh, in terms of volume, breadth of courses and expertise, and we are the sector’s standard-bearer for Welsh Language services and support.

The University actively supports staff to learn Welsh and in using it at all levels of University work. This support will be made available to the successful candidate, if required.

Structure

The academic activities of the University are grouped into three Colleges.

The College of Arts, Humanities and Business comprises the following schools and academic centres:

  • Bangor Business School
  • School of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences
  • School of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics
  • School of Law
  • School of Music and Media
  • School of Welsh and Celtic Studies

The College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering comprises the following schools and academic centres:

  • School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering
  • School of Natural Sciences
  • School of Ocean Sciences
  • The BioComposites Centre

The College of Human Sciences comprises the following schools and academic centres:

  • School of Education and Human Development
  • School of Health Sciences
  • School of Medical Sciences
  • School of Psychology
  • School of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences

The roles

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Director of Communications & Brand

Job reference:
AQ1001

Grade: 10
Location: This post can be based at either the Bangor or Wrexham campus. The appointee can decide on their main base, they will be expected to be prepared to travel to the other campus on occasion.

Purpose of the job

To raise the profile and understanding of Bangor University locally, regionally, nationally, UK wide and internationally. In so doing to underpin and support student recruitment activity the enable the University to significantly increase the number of applicants it attracts. To redesign all functions for which responsible, to enable them to be sector leading for innovation, delivery and impact.

The postholder will be set targets in relation to the development of brand awareness regionally, nationally, UK wide and internationally. They will be expected to develop all of their areas of operation to contribute towards the delivery against these targets and thus provide a brand awareness platform which will underpin all aspects of the Universities work including student recruitment, staff recruitment and research profile.

Working directly with the Chief Marketing Officer and Vice-President International, the post holder will be expected to be a trusted advisor to the senior management of the University. The post will hold significant responsibility and influence.

Main duties and responsibilities

Develop strategic plans with measurable and accountable KPI’s for all areas of responsibility, which will ensure delivery against the targets set by senior management.

To strategically lead and manage the specific assigned areas to deliver against these strategic plans. More specifically:

Communications

  • Lead the strategic and operational development of the external communications functions of the University.
  • Develop a fully integrated external communications strategy which incorporates and fully exploits all media channels.
  • Reinvent the University social media presence, with creative and effective targeting of both channel and message.
  • Increase University coverage via broadcast media, particularly TV, UK wide and internationally to include breadth and depth of stories covered. To enable this, take the lead in the development of on campus facilities and staff training.
  • Lead on the development of corporate content and messaging and support its use across the University.
  • Advise on internal communications and lead on the development of internal communications plans at a corporate level.
  • Lead a review and relaunch of the internal staff bulletin, enabling it to be more dynamic, creative and accessible.
  • Build strategic relationships with the Students Union Executive to enable collaborative working in the communications area.
  • Lead on identification and relationship building with local and regional stakeholders.
  • Seek out, recommend and build capacity for regional/destination promotion outside of the region, in collaboration with other local organisations.
  • Lead on the development of an annual programme of creative, high impact communications campaigns.
  • Build the UK and international profile of key University staff to enhance the University profile.
  • Proactively anticipate issues, challenges and opportunities and advise the CMO and University accordingly.
  • Develop the University Crisis Communications Plan in line with the wider University planning and lead in delivering against it in partnership with the CMO.

Brand Marketing

  • Lead a review of the brand profile of the University.
  • Develop and deliver an annual brand marketing plan.
  • Develop and lead advertising campaigns aimed at raising the profile of the University in general to a wide audience and to underpin more specific recruitment activity.
  • Work with the CMO to further develop the University brand narrative and provide a suite of resources for use by the wider University.
  • Work with external agencies to develop highly creative and innovative ways of communicating the brand.
  • Review, measure and report on impact for all campaigns.
  • Work with the College marketing teams to ensure that brand marketing and College marketing is mutually supportive.

Website

  • Take responsibility for the provision and continual development of the website.
  • Develop partnership working arrangements with staff across the University to facilitate University content development and maintenance.
  • Lead on the development of annual plans for the ongoing development of the site.
  • Ensure that the website is sector leading, meets user needs and is fully integrated with social media and other communications channels.

Alumni

  • Lead on the development of a strategic plan for alumni relations including undertaking a root and branch review of current operations.
  • Develop services and facilities for alumni to encourage them to remain engaged with the University.
  • Identify and then utilise opportunities for alumni to enhance University marketing and recruitment ambitions in a way which is also beneficial to them.

General

  • Line manage other related areas and portfolios as may be assigned.
  • To be data led and data informed. Ensure that all activities and plans have clear and measurable KPI’s and that impact is measured and reported.
  • Monitor competitor behaviour and ensure that we are market leading.
  • Work with other Directors in the Directorate to ensure full integration, consistency and complementarity of activities between the services.
  • Work with the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) to develop and deliver a Communications and Brand Marketing Plan.
  • Line manage and develop a complex team covering the areas of communications and brand marketing in the first instance.
  • Manage budgets related to the areas of responsibility.
  • Deputise for the CMO as may be required.
  • To externally network and ensure active engagement regionally and across the HE sector.

Other duties and responsibilities

  • The post holder will be expected to participate in performance review and developmental activities.
  • The post holder will be expected to comply with the University equal opportunities policies, Dignity at Work and Study Policy and the University’s Welsh Language Policy and the Welsh Language Standards.
  • The post holder has a general and legal duty of care in relation to health, safety and wellbeing and must take all reasonable steps to ensure a safe and healthy working environment for him/her self and for other members of staff, students and visitors affected by his/her actions or inactions.  The post holder is also required to comply with all applicable health and safety policies, procedures and risk assessments.
  • The post holder must comply with relevant legal and financial policies and procedures and be aware of their responsibilities in terms of the legal requirements of their posts.

PERSON SPECIFICATION

Qualifications/Training 

  • Educated to degree level or equivalent in a related subject, or have significant technical experience in directly related fields.
  • Evidence of continuing professional development in directly related fields.
  • Postgraduate qualification, or significant relevant experience in a similar complex role.
  • Membership of a relevant professional body (desirable).

Experience/Knowledge  

  • Significant experience of the development of strategic plans for the areas of communications which fall under this remit, with evidence of the setting of measurable KPI’s and successful performance against them.
  • Significant experience of being the senior advisor to executive management on all areas which fall under your remit.
  • A track record of successful leadership of communications and brand at a senior level within higher education.
  • A track record of successfully leading on the development of an integrated service delivery for all aspects of communications.
  • A track record of gaining media coverage UK wide and internationally across the broadcast media.
  • A track record of developing an academic profile both in the general media but also in specialist media, including The Conversation.
  • Experience of developing high impact communications and marketing campaigns which are sector leading and deliver tangible results.
  • Experience in leading on the strategic and operational development of organic social media, ensuring it enhances the brand and reputation of the University across all audiences.
  • Experience of community engagement locally and regionally to strongly position the University as a key partner within the region.
  • A track record in successfully managing crisis communications across a range of issues.
  • Significant knowledge of the higher education sector.
  • Significant experience of working in communications and brand management within a large, complex organisation.
  • Experience of the development and delivery of award winning campaigns (desirable).
  • Experience of the management of other service areas which relate to marketing and communications (desirable).

Skills/Abilities  

  • Highly creative with the ability to innovate in all areas of communications and brand marketing.
  • Ability to monitor and evaluate progress and return on investment.
  • Ability to form, develop and maintain high performing teams.
  • Exceptional people skills, enabling the development of relationships internally and externally.
  • Exceptional networking skills, particularly externally, within higher education and beyond.
  • Self-motivated and resilient.
  • Creative in the area of visual communication development, with creative flair (desirable)

Other  

  • The ability to communicate through the medium of Welsh is desirable for this role.
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Head of Media & Communiactions

Job reference:
AQ1003

Location: This post can be based at either the Bangor or Wrexham campus. The appointee can decide on their main base, they will be expected to be prepared to travel to the other campus on occasion

The ability to speak Welsh confidently to carry out certain tasks is essential for this post e.g. speaking to staff and students, answering phone calls, dealing with urgent enquiries in Welsh.

Purpose of the job

Bangor University has fantastic academic and teaching credentials and wishes to improve its visibility and communications reach. This post will play a critical part in leading a new strategic drive to raise our profile regionally, nationally, UK wide and internationally.

The post holder will need to combine strategic vision and strong strategic and operational planning and delivery skills, to deliver complex multi-channel communications which provide measurable results. In particular the role requires someone with significant skills and experience to take full advantage of the opportunities available across organic social media and broadcast media.

The successful candidate will lead and develop a team of communications professionals and manage communications budgets, taking responsibility for the effectiveness and efficiency of this service. The post reports to the Director of Communications and Brand, with a reporting line also to the Chief Marketing Officer and Vice-President International (CMO) who they will directly support and advise.

Main duties and responsibilities

  • Act as a strategic advisor to the Executive on matters related to media relations and internal and external communications.
  • Take the lead on the development of the University strategy on media relations and co-ordinate the delivery, across the University, of this strategy.
  • Take responsibility for the management and development of the University brand and reputation via the media.
  • Take responsibility for the provision of a 24/7 media relations operation and be the Senior Officer on call.
  • Lead in the development of media relations activity which will significantly raise the profile of the University regionally, nationally, UK wide and internationally.
  • Develop media and communications campaign strategies and delivery plans with measurable targets.
  • Lead the identification and development of the University’s story and tell it in an exciting and engaging way to multiple audiences.
  • Seek out, identify and deliver media opportunities aimed at raising the profile of the University’s academic and research excellence.
  • Identify and build key relationships with journalists and media outlets worldwide.
  • Lead on the development of organic social media including content planning and channel management.
  • Act as the University senior advisor in all matters related to organic social media.
  • Lead on the co-ordination of social media channels across the University ensuring the provision of guidance and support to other channel managers.
  • Lead partnership working with marketing and student recruitment managers to plan and deliver multi-channel campaigns.
  • Lead the delivery of a broadcast media strategy, ensuring worldwide coverage and recognition. Including the management of the logistics of timely responses to broadcast media requirements.
  • Constantly monitor the media to identify opportunities for the University to raise profile and to take advantage of these in a timely and pro-active way.
  • Lead the management of an out of hours, 24/7, media response service and digital channel monitoring.
  • Lead the management of incoming media enquiries ensuring the positive profile of the University is maximised and that the reputation of the University is protected.
  • Manage media monitoring, including the management of our media monitoring contract.
  • Produce performance reports for senior management showing impact across all media.
  • Take responsibility for ensuring positive growth in the University profile broadly and within the higher education sector.
  • Manage crisis communications with the Director of Communications and Chief Marketing Officer, including advising the CMO on how to manage the communications, ensuring that the brand and reputation of the University is protected.
  • Network internally and externally to build relationships with influencers and build strategic alliances.
  • Manage communications-related budgets.
  • Line manage a team of communications professionals.
  • Deputise for the Director of Communications and Brand as required.
  • Act as a trusted advisor to the CMO and the University Executive particularly in relation to crisis communications.
  • Be prepared to travel and represent the University at exhibitions and events across the UK as and when required.

Other duties and responsibilities

  • The post holder will be expected to participate in performance review and developmental activities.
  • The post holder will be expected to comply with the University equal opportunities policies, Dignity at Work and Study Policy and the University’s Welsh Language Policy and the Welsh Language Standards.
  • The post holder has a general and legal duty of care in relation to health, safety and wellbeing and must take all reasonable steps to ensure a safe and healthy working environment for him/her self and for other members of staff, students and visitors affected by his/her actions or inactions.  The post holder is also required to comply with all applicable health and safety policies, procedures and risk assessments.
  • The post holder must comply with relevant legal and financial policies and procedures and be aware of their responsibilities in terms of the legal requirements of their post.

PERSON SPECIFICATION

Qualifications/Training  

Essential

  • Educated to degree level or higher (or equivalent) in a related subject or equivalent high level, relevant experience in a complex role.
  • Evidence of continuing professional development together with a Postgraduate qualification (or equivalent).

Desirable

  • Membership of a relevant professional body e.g. CIPR (desirable).

Experience/Knowledge  

  • Significant experience of working at a senior management level and being a senior advisor in a media relations role including advising on all matters related to internal and external communications.
  • Significant experience of developing and delivering media relations campaigns which have delivered successful tangible results including strategically utilising social media channels to engage audiences and significantly raise awareness and brand perception, both UK-wide and internationally.
  • Significant experience and success in developing and managing complex, multi-stakeholder relationships across multiple projects.
  • Significant experience of working successfully with broadcast media, in particular topical news.
  • Significant experience of successful crisis communications management.
  • Experience of managing resources including staff, budgets and third-party suppliers.
  • Experience of working in a senior management level media relations role within higher education (desirable).
  • Experience of raising academic profile, both of an organisation and individual academic excellence, UK wide and internationally (desirable).
  • Experience of setting up and running on-site broadcast media facilities (desirable).
  • Experience of using media relations to increase student recruitment (desirable).

Skills/Abilities  

  • The ability to recognise the potential, negative and positive, in a story and to advise and act accordingly with confidence. The ability to identify and tell a story in a creative and engaging way which is targeted at its audience.
  • Proven ability to take responsibility for significant decision making, knowing when it is appropriate to refer to more senior managers.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, including the ability to receive, understand and convey complex information which may be highly detailed, technical and/or specialist.
  • The ability to understand and breakdown complex tasks and projects and to work with multiple stakeholders to deliver effectively, on time and on budget.
  • Be results driven and able to work to targets, a standard setter and leader in seeking continual improvement.
  • Confidence in initiating and developing internal and external networks to support project delivery and possess the ability to build highly effective teams including cross-functional teams for which the postholder doesn’t have line management responsibility.
  • Strong negotiation and influencing skills, including at senior levels.
  • Knowledge and experience of the political context of higher education.
  • Experienced in using data to inform and enable targeting.
  • Experienced in preparing reports for senior management providing evidence of impact and success.
  • Ability to work with young people to engage and support them in media relations activity (desirable).
  • Ability to work with academic staff to support and coach them in working with the media (desirable).

Terms of appointment

  • Director of Communications & Brand (grade 10); up to £75,000
  • Head of Media & Communications (grade 9): £51,034 – £59,135

The posts are offered on a full time, permanent basis and can be based in either Bangor or Wrexham (the posts will be working from home until at least January 2021). An appropriate salary will be agreed with the preferred candidates.

All other terms and conditions will be in accordance with the standard terms and conditions of employment at the University for professional services staff.

How to apply

Anderson Quigley is acting as an advisor to Bangor University. An executive search and assessment process is being carried out by Anderson Quigley for the Director role.

Should you wish to discuss either of these roles in strict confidence, please contact Ed Pritchard on +44(0)7980 817 927, or Carolyn Coates on +44(0)7825 871 944.

The closing dates for applications is noon on Friday 6 November.

Applications should consist of:

  • A full CV.
  • A covering letter (maximum of 3 pages) setting out your interest in the role and details of how you match the person specification.
  • Please include current salary details and the names and addresses of two referees. Referees will not be approached until the final stages and not without prior permission from candidates.
  • Please complete the corresponding Equal Opportunity Monitoring Form.

Completed applications should be uploaded at www.andersonquigley.com/candidates using the corresponding AQ reference above.

Bangor University is committed to creating a supportive and inclusive environment for all our students, staff and our partners. We aim to take every opportunity to progress equality and diversity and celebrate the enrichment this brings to our community.

Search forward timetable

Closing date: Noon on Friday 6th November
Longlisting: Thursday 12th November
Preliminary Interviews with AQ: w/c 16th November
Shortlisting: Thursday 26th November
Final Panel Interviews: Monday 14th December