London (Central), London (Greater)
Circa £85,000
28 Mar 2017
28 Apr 2017
Contract Type
Full Time

MoJ is looking to recruit a Head of News who will work closely with the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State, Elizabeth Truss, Ministers, their advisers, and the senior leadership team across the group.

Reporting to the Director of Communications and Information, you’ll be working directly to the Secretary of State, Ministers, the Permanent Secretary and other ExCo members, providing expert communications advice on the potential benefits and presentational risks of decisions and policies, on handling announcements and on breaking news. There are c.30 people in the team and the Newsdesk handles around 500 calls a week.

You will be an effective senior representative for the Communications Directorate on media issues both internally with senior officials, across Government, and externally with journalists, editors, opinion formers and other stakeholders.


Your key responsibilities will include:

  • Providing expert communications advice to Ministers on the opportunities and presentational risks of decisions and policies, on handling announcements and on responding to breaking news.
  • Developing proactive and creative PR and media strategies, which use a strong mix of channels, and build public support for policy decisions or major projects.
  • Leading a team of media officers and running a high quality, proactive and reactive media management and news planning service, monitoring news across all platforms on behalf of the department.  Responding rapidly to fast-moving events and providing senior cover in an out-of-hours duty rota.
  • Running an effective horizon-scanning function and ensuring media work is evaluated and any actionable insight is shared across the team and used to drive improvements and increase impact.
  • Improving the Department’s ability to communicate effectively during a crisis and Managing incident communications for MoJ and its wider network as required.
  • Building excellent relationships with Number 10 and other government departments to make sure the Department’s communications and policy objectives contribute to the wider government narrative.
  • Developing excellent working relationships with journalists and a good understanding of their priorities in order to promote accurate and fair media coverage.  Seeking opportunities to proactively champion the work of the MoJ in the media.
  • Building an effective network across the Justice sector to deliver third party support and advocacy.
  • Acting as a key member of the Senior Management Team in the Communications & Information Directorate, working collaboratively with senior colleagues to deliver the Department’s Communications Strategy.
  • Budgetary responsibility for the Media Team and the management of a range of media and media-related services resources.
  • Playing a leading role in communications transformation programmes, including working to deliver functional leadership reforms, and representing MoJ at Government Communications Service meetings.
  • Acting as a team player at all times with colleagues across the whole communications directorate, taking a full and active role in the Senior Management Team (SMT) of the communications directorate and putting in place plans to improve engagement.