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Sr. Advisor Strategic Communications
Job Reference tbigc/TP/5126/927 #LI-AG1
Focus of the Role
We don’t just talk, we do. Lead the change with us.
At the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, we work with political leaders around the world to drive change. We help governments turn bold ideas into reality so they can deliver for their people. We do it by advising on strategy, policy and delivery, unlocking the power of technology across all three. And by sharing what we learn on the ground, so everyone can benefit. We do it to build more open, inclusive and prosperous countries for people everywhere.
We are a global team of nearly 800 changemakers, operating in more than 30 countries, across five continents. We are political strategists, policy experts, delivery practitioners, technology specialists and more. We speak more than 45 languages. We are working on over 100 projects, tackling some of the world’s biggest challenges. We’re all here at TBI to make a difference.
In a world of ever more complex challenges, we believe diversity of background and perspective is a strength. We pride ourselves on a culture that values and nurtures difference. We are dedicated to unlocking potential, not only for the countries we work in but also for each of our team members. No matter where you’re from or who you are, if you’re passionate about the transformative power of progressive politics, we invite you to build a better future with us.
At the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change (TBI), we work at the highest levels of government to help leaders go further and faster to make their citizens’ lives better. Moving the dial on the great global challenges of our time requires engaged, incentivised, focused and motivated leaders. When political leadership is relentlessly deployed, at the highest levels, incredible things can be achieved.
Using our distinctive expertise and global outlook and guided by the unique insights and perspective of our Executive Chairman Sir Tony Blair, our dedicated experts and embedded teams advise governments all over the world in strategy, policy and delivery, underpinned by technology.
Our Global Client Solutions team, in our Global Advisory division, is at the heart of how we define “what we do” and then distribute the best of the Institute and our networks to global leaders through our country advisory teams. As a centre of excellence, Global Client Solutions is comprised of our centrally situated global and regional experts. Our experts provide valuable counsel, technical support, thought partnership, strategy, and surge capacity and lead the development and evolution of our solutions, methods, and offers in the service of our partner governments. Through our country teams and embedded advisors working hand-in-hand with government, we assemble, tailor and distribute our offer to address specific and ever-evolving needs in the various contexts we operate across the world.
Our functional offers include Strategy: supporting political leaders identify their priorities for progress, Policy advisory: finding the right solutions, Delivery: focusing the powers of government to make change happen, and then harnessing the transformative power of Technology to enable leaders to accelerate change. Sectorally, we work on the topics at the heart of senior political agendas from economic prosperity, climate and energy, health and education, to peace and security.
We are hiring a Sr. Advisor, Strategic Communications who will work with the Directors of Delivery and of Strategy and Policy Advice to evolve and lead the strategic communications offer for senior political leaders.
As a global expert, you will need to execute strategic communications deliverables end-to-end, and also work with and through government stakeholders and TBI country teams with varying degrees of familiarity with Strategic Communications to execute core deliverables. You will work globally and with significant travel likely to provide hands-on surge support at critical and key moments in our work. Initially, it is anticipated that our offer will focus on:
- Crisis communications – supporting government resilience and response to emergencies
- Cross-government coordination and alignment around delivery which links with our work on Delivery mechanisms and Units
- Stakeholder engagement which supports policy objectives through strategically designed campaigns.
- Over time, our offer may evolve to include capability building within government on strategic communications, and branding of national plans and priorities which help target audiences engage with government priorities alongside our strategy work with leaders.
This role requires a strategic communications leader who is politically savvy, with experience working directly with senior political leaders on end-to-end strategic communications objectives and campaigns from priorities through to communicating the impact and results from government delivery. Importantly, this is not a public relations role; we help leaders effectively communicate their vision and progress as a complement setting the priorities and agenda, defining key solutions or policies, and getting things done which citizens can touch, see and feel.
The ideal candidate will have a proven track record as a polished strategic communications professional counselling, advising, and supporting senior political leaders from the head of state through to Ministers. They will fundamentally understand how to manage stakeholders, how to devise strategies to communicate with targeted audiences, be able to deploy a broad array of communications tools to shape awareness, perceptions and opinions, and be impact-focused to ultimately improve the lives of citizens.
The role may have the opportunity to build a small team over time, but it is not anticipated in the first 6 months. Instead, additional expertise will come from a network of external experts that you will build for targeted short-term support and/or full-time staff that our country teams hire for longer. The Sr/Advisor Strategic Communications will temporarily report to the Executive Director, Global Client solutions and then the Director of Delivery once appointed.
- Offer Development: Evolve and build out the strategic communications offer strategy including a phased plan for offer evolution and learning
- Build out and evolve the initial sub-offers and corresponding collateral which help teams carry out effective strategic communications projects and deliverables
- Create a plan to test and evolve the offer and sub-offers over time as our capabilities and resources increase
- Develop effective partnerships and external network of experts and consultants which enhance our offer
- Over time, build potential small team of strategic communications professionals
- Expert support to client-facing country teams: Support TBI country teams to scope, develop, and deliver strategic communications projects which align to work in Strategy, Policy, and Delivery
- Review the portfolio and work with TBI regional (RDs) and country directors (CDs) to explore and consider additions of strategic communications workstreams within established projects; prioritise initial “marquee” efforts given initial resources available
- Work with MDs and RDs to scope, propose, incorporate strategic communications workstreams in new client and country proposals, with an emphasis on financial sustainability of work and new business generation.
- Support country teams remotely and in-country to develop and execute strategic communications projects, provide quality assurance and “dotted line” support to in-country based strategic communications staff which report into the country director/team
- Hands-on Senior Client support: provide direct expert support to senior clients in coordination with country directors at critical moments to help shape strategic communications deliverables.
- Identify priority and marquee projects for your direct support largely at the N-levels and where your global expertise is most required and the impact highest.
- Build rusted relationships TBI geographic leadership who typically hold the senior political relationships ensuring you can add value in critical moments, present your expertise in a polished manner to an executive level audience, and leave important relationships intact, but also stronger
This is a senior level expert role for an exceptional candidate. The successful candidate should demonstrate the following:
- Broad and comprehensive experience in strategic communications in public sector and political environments working with senior leadership (N & N-1 levels)
- Strong knowledge and communications ability across all mediums: media relations, digital communications, marketing communications, message and narrative development
- Politically astute navigator
- Experience in the highest levels of government as a communications professional, or in an advisory capacity, beyond standard governmental communications
- Experience with campaign and/or election communications ideal
- Strong stakeholder management and influencing skills
- Results and outcomes-focused
- Experience establishing new teams and products and driving both to success
- Impact focused, you will have a background of delivering operationally with a positive impact
- A team player with high EQ and ability to navigate ambiguous and matrixed environments, comfortable at managing up and beyond hierarchy
- Ability to work in a range of environments and country contexts with strong cultural awareness and communications skills
- Strong written and verbal communications skills; comfortable with PowerPoint and writing briefs/word documents
- An entrepreneurial leader willing to pull out all the stops to get things done, and not above being hands on at all levels if needed
- Language skills beyond English a bonus