Closing date: 07 Mar 2019
About Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within. Now, and for the future. [More info below.]
Program / Department Summary
The Media Relations team is a small but dynamic group of professionals dedicated to getting the word out about Mercy Corps’ outstanding work to help people around the world survive through crisis, build better lives and transform their communities for good. The team strives to raise Mercy Corps’ public profile by working with international press and supports the agency’s fundraising and advocacy efforts.
General Position Summary
The Communication and Media Manager supports the global Media Relations team and Africa regional leadership team in articulating programmatic impact in our communities to advance profile-raising, advocacy and fundraising goals. S/he will actively enhance and grow Mercy Corps media network in Africa and elevate our reputation as a reference point for an informed and meaningful voice on key issues in the region. S/he will work on improving internal communications within the region to further accent achievements of the greater team. The Communication and Media Manager reports to the Communications Director and works in close partnership with the Regional Team and Country Directors.
Essential Job Responsibilities
Strategy & Vision
- In coordination with the Regional Team and the Global Media Relations team, develop and implement Africa communications and media engagement in line with the global Mercy Corps communications strategy.
- Contribute to the analysis of topics and events relevant to Mercy Corps’ work in Africa.
- Serve as the primary point person for all queries related to the Mercy Corps brand in the Africa and work in close collaboration with the Global Brand team to ensure brand efforts are in line with the wider global brand strategy.
Media and Communications Management
- Serve as a point person for media queries for Mercy Corps Africa in coordination with the assigned Global Media Leads on various issues and serve as a spokesperson when required.
- Identify media trends that could constitute an opportunity or a threat for Mercy Corps.
- Develop and implement media outreach plans; coordinate with fundraisers, brand marketing and web content experts to align storytelling and maximize value of outreach.
- Deploy to countries across the continent when needed to research stories, conduct media outreach, and gather stories, photo and video content.
- Attend internal and external communication and media meetings and events.
- Strengthen and expand Mercy Corps’ network of Africa contacts in traditional and social media domains, in coordination with global efforts.
- Initiate and/or support the production of communication and media materials for Africa, including talking points, news releases, contributed pieces and fact sheets.
- Actively work with Country Directors and teams on content gathering based on data analysis and learning generated from programs.
- Support Country Directors and teams in content review for public outreach material.
- Support the global team in content and information gathering for multiple purposes, including media engagement, advocacy and fundraising.
- Serve as an active member of any regional crisis and response planning and action.
- Assist global communications team with other duties (backfill) as needed.
- Assist country-level communications members with information, tools and resources to improve performance & reach objectives.
- Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country
- Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.
- As part of our commitment to organizational learning and in support of our understanding that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities they serve, we expect all team members to commit 5% of their time to learning activities that benefit Mercy Corps as well as themselves.
Accountability to Beneficiaries
- Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically
to our beneficiaries and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging beneficiary communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.
Reports Directly To: Director of Communications
Works Directly With: Africa: Country Directors; Regional Team; Global Media Team; Communication and Marketing Team; Advocacy and Influence Team
Knowledge and Experience
- BA/S or equivalent required; MA/S in related field – journalism, public policy, international affairs – preferred.
- 5-7 years of professional experience in media relations or journalism required.
- Demonstrated ability to work within a geographically dispersed team.
- Established track record of generating positive media coverage in U.S. and European national and international outlets.
- Superior written and verbal communications skills a must; ability to “translate” technical language into compelling stories needed.
- Proven experience in international relief and development communications;
- Knowledge of print, web, graphics and email dissemination;
- Ability to work independently and take initiative;
- Willingness to learn and collaborate with others, strong team player;
- Commitment to capacity building required;
- Knowledge of Kenyan and East African press and communication channels and netwoks;
- Fluency in spoken and written English required as well as French fluency beneficial.
The successful Communications and Media Manager will be a proactive PR professional and excellent storyteller and writer with a nose for news. S/he will be a self-starter who can work independently or in a team setting, can take on a leadership and mentoring role for staff, and is able to forge productive relationships with colleagues throughout the agency. S/he must have a deep interest in Mercy Corps’ programs and a commitment to the goals of the organization. S/he needs to be able to prioritize, multi-task and organize many urgent tasks, often under intense deadline pressure. This person will demonstrate creativity and flexibility, as well as a proven ability to learn quickly and be accountable for results. Even temperament and a good sense of humor appreciated.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position is based in Nairobi, Kenya.
Housing is in individual housing and staff will have access to good medical services; the living situation is of a high standard. Water and electricity are present with occasional cuts. This position requires travel within Africa up to 40%.
Background info on Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps is currently operational in 17 countries in Africa including Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Tunisia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Zambia. Mercy Corps’ country programs in Africa face momentous humanitarian crises and significant development challenges, and operate in fragile and conflict-affected areas, displacement settings, emergency responses, as well as more stable developed settings. Against this backdrop Mercy Corps’ focus in Africa has been in promoting good governance and conflict resolution, enhancing resilience, facilitating market systems, access to finance and economic opportunities, as well as youth employment and empowerment. It is imperative that Mercy Corps presents itself as a key and credible partner with the many donors, government authorities and civil society actors in order to contribute to the process of positive change across the continent. Mercy Corps looks to actively engage and partner with an ever-growing and innovative African private sector to achieve greater and sustained impact.