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Head of Communications - Convention on Wetlands

Vacancy #:   829
Unit:   Ramsar Convention Secretariat
Organisation:   The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar)
Location:   Headquarters, Gland, Switzerland
Reporting to:   Secretary General
Work percentage:   100%
Grade:   P2
Expected start date:   01 July 2014
Type of contract:   Max-term (24 months with possibility of renewal)
Closing date:   04 June 2014 (extended)
The Convention on Wetlands is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands and of wetland biodiversity and services. It is the first of the modern global multilateral environmental agreements and remains the only one devoted to a specific critical ecosystem.

The Convention Secretariat has its headquarters in Gland, Switzerland, where the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) provides some administrative services for the Convention.

The Convention on Wetlands, also known as the “Ramsar Convention” from the name of the city in Iran where it was signed in 1971, is an intergovernmental treaty which provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and sustainable use of wetland biodiversity and services. It was the first of the modern global multilateral environmental agreements and remains the only one devoted to a specific and critical ecosystem.

The Ramsar Convention Secretariat has its headquarters in Gland, Switzerland, where the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) provides some administrative services to the Convention’s Contracting Parties for the operations and implementation of the Convention.

The Secretariat’s communications team provides the skills and capacity to ensure that the Secretariat, on behalf of its Parties, is able to communicate about wetlands both formally and informally to a broad range of stakeholders from governments to other international organizations and UN Agencies, NGOs, Community Based Organizations, scientists, the private sector, and the broad public, to encourage their engagement in wise use and enjoyment of wetlands.

The incumbent will lead the communications team in this broad-based task.

1. Communications Strategy

- Lead on the development of integrating communications objectives with the current Strategic Plan of the Convention on Wetlands
- Identify specific objectives in the immediate, interim and long term time frames and develop detailed communications plans and messaging to fulfil the goals
- Manage relations within the Secretariat itself, and the broader family of wetlands supporters, ensuring the sensitisation of all staff members to communications needs and objectives through training courses and workshops
- Develop and implement the internal processes required to ensure the free flow of information within the Secretariat, the Parties, the extended family of supporters and the Convention
- Ensure close working partnerships with the Regional Teams to ensure that specific needs and issues are addressed within the overall communications strategy; work together with the Communications Officer on correspondence with CEPA focal points, regional training needs and managing the Ramsar CEPA forum

2. Communications Channels

- Lead on the development of meaningful language, taglines, image library and visual identity and oversee their translation across the Ramsar Convention’s broader audience
Investigate requirements for specific materials such as brochures, handouts, display materials, annual reports, think-pieces and generate as necessary
- Oversee the management of the web site, both structurally and on content, with materials appropriate for the wetlands constituency as well as the private sector and general public; and ensure aligned messaging and consistent visual identity
- Monitor the requirement for specific social media campaigns; execute when needed and adequate funding exists
- Oversee the generation of newsletters and regional communications to ensure consistency in message and look
- Write, jointly with relevant persons, news releases and decide on distribution list for such materials.

3. Partnerships

- Lead on the development and implementation of a work programme to assist the Convention in the implementation of the Ramsar CEPA Programme and assist the Secretary General in providing Secretariat support for the CEPA Oversight Panel, its membership, and the development and implementation of its triennial work plan and support the implementation of the CEPA Programme by the Contracting Parties
- Lead the preparation and production of the World Wetlands Day campaign, and promote ownership by all Partners and increase promotion of the materials and dissemination of its results
- Work closely with the Head of Strategy and Partnerships to generate the tools and products required to build effective collaboration with identified targets. Liaise together with International Organization Partners (IOPs) and all other partners to ensure maximum leverage of existing communications channels; explore opportunities for joint communications with other partners, where appropriate
- Manage the relationship with Danone-Evian and Biosphere Connections, in close partnership with the Head of Strategy and Partnerships to ensure the maximum possible mutual benefits to collaboration; convert lessons learnt into case studies for use in attracting further partners

4. Media Relations

- Lead on raising the media profile of Ramsar: plan, manage and execute a global campaign focussing on pre-determined messages
- Establish and manage relationships with media organisations, senior environment correspondents and editors; develop and maintain a media distribution list; have content ready for supply when required
- Increase media interest in Ramsar and wetlands through all such relationships and establish Ramsar as the go-to experts for comment on relevant topics
- Work with the Secretariat, Regional and other teams to identify strong news angles, extract stories; collaborate on news releases; and determine globally relevant items
- Develop a media pack for briefings, featuring on message fact sheets; logos and best practice case studies
- Serve as media briefing spokesperson as back up to Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General, as needed
- Provide guidance to senior staff on reputation and crisis management, if and when necessary
- Monitor the results and effectiveness of media outreach and report regularly to Parties on successes

5. Events Management

- Lead in putting together an annual events listing identifying all the relevant conferences and events at which Ramsar should be present, based on communications objectives
- Develop a system/rejection email for those events not to be placed on the list
- Attend leading events, when necessary, but always managing media relations before, during and after; plan and execute interviews with opinion leaders and generate think pieces for inclusion in media briefs and news-letters; ensure event conclusions are communicated internally as well
- Develop a system for harnessing event reports, including contacts made and topics discussed; follow up with recommended individuals
- Present at events when and if necessary

6. Team Management

- Design a team structure to deliver the communications requirements under changing circumstances
- Develop the annual work plan for the individual communications team members, which currently include the Communication Webmaster, and the Communications Officer
- Discuss and manage progress on a day-to-day basis
Establish processes to ensure oversight of all projects and free flow of information
- Co-ordinate the work of the team to ensure focused and consistent messages in line with the agreed communications strategy and identified messaging
- Manage the communications budget and liaise with the Finance Director and SG
- Liaise closely with the Documentation Officer to ensure consistency, style and quality of documents produced under communications and all other documents

Interviews for this vacancy will be held on June 13th, 2014.
  • At least ten years experience in communications, marketing or public relations ideally with both private and public sector

• Advanced degree (masters or above) in the above or related fields

• An understanding of the International Organisation world and experience in working with UN and other Partners in the environment and development field

• Knowledge and experience in developing and implementing comprehensive communication strategies

• Experience in managing, developing and running a team including strong organisational and team-building skills

• Effective time management, resourcefulness, flexibility and an ability to think outside the box

• Strong writing and editing skills to match a diversity of target audiences; good presentation and spokesperson expertise; at ease in front of large audiences

• Relevant IT, design and production knowledge to include social media, website management, desktop publishing

• Fluent (native standard) English; good knowledge of French and/or Spanish an asset

• This position is available to candidates who qualify for employment in Switzerland: Swiss and EU nationals and candidates holding B or C work permits for Switzerland
The gross annual salary for this position is between CHF 100'355 and CHF 125'444, subject to deductions for social security contributions and second-pillar pension, and before tax. While this is an indicative amount effective as of the current date, changes may occur as per IUCN's compensation practices without prior notice. The same applies to other organisations hosted by IUCN.

Applicants are requested to apply online through the HR Management System, by opening the vacancy announcement and pressing the "Apply" button.

Applicants will be asked to create an account and submit their profile information. Applications will not be accepted after the closing date. The vacancy closes at midnight, Swiss time (GMT+1 / GMT+2 during Daylight Saving Time, DST). Please note that only selected applicants will be personally contacted for interviews.

Other job opportunities are published in the IUCN website: https://www.iucn.org/involved/jobs/

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