Position Status: One Year Contract; Annual Renewal.
Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. To do this, we know our teams do their best work when they are diverse, and every team member feels they belong. We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be more robust and have a long-term impact.
The Program / Department / Team
The global communications 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 a crisis, build better lives, and transform their communities for good. The team strives to raise Mercy Corps’ public profile and supports the agency’s fundraising and advocacy efforts. The team primarily engages with international media and U.S./European national and regional media but also works with community groups and influencers in key markets.
As an integral member of the global communications team, the Regional Communications Officer will focus on raising the profile and influence of Mercy Corps in Africa through earned media, messaging, and storytelling for defined issues and topics to our global target markets and within the regions, we work.
The Communications Officer will stay abreast of the media landscape in Mercy Corps regions and support the team to anticipate and respond to news cycle moments and land media coverage in Mercy Corps’ global and regional target markets. The officer is expected to demonstrate initiative and be a self-starter who will generate ideas and drive content forward, providing compelling case studies, images and videos, spotting strong news lines, and writing engaging headlines and news content.
- Write, edit and distribute press releases, talking points, fact sheets and other media relations and communications materials.
- Build relationships with regional, national and international journalists, including non-traditional media influencers, who can help tell the Mercy Corps story.
- Generate story ideas; liaise with program staff, fundraisers and others to keep up-to-date on potential stories.
- Develop and implement media outreach plans; coordinate with social media and web content experts to maximise the value of outreach and engage non-traditional media influencers.
- Deploy to program locations when needed to research stories, conduct media outreach, and gather stories and visual assets.
- General support for Mercy Corps communications team, including overseeing internal team reporting, systems and analytics.
- Conduct media coverage analyses and report on trends in mainstream and social media.
- Monitor the news cycle daily and update the team on relevant topics, drafting responses to emergency news cycle moments as appropriate.
- Research and create targeted media lists.
- Stay abreast of the media landscape in Mercy Corp’s programmatic regions across Africa.
- Provide media training to country-level and regional spokespeople.
- Other duties as necessary.
Reports Directly To: Regional Media and Communications Manager
Works Directly With: Regional leadership team, Country Leadership team, global communications team, global digital marketing, brand marketing and fundraising teams; other departments across the agency, including programs, research and technical support unit.
Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders
Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants, community partners, and other stakeholders, and to international standards guiding international relief and development work. We are committed to actively engaging communities as equal partners in designing, monitoring, and evaluating our field projects.
Minimum Qualification & Transferable Skills
- BA/S or equivalent in journalism, marketing, public relations or international relations required; MA/S in related fields preferred.
- University degree in a relevant subject or equivalent field experience.
- At least five years of professional experience in media relations in an international development agency and experience in dealing in the international media environment OR as a journalist in a credible news organization.
- Established track record of generating positive media coverage; relationships with media in or reporting for regional or international news markets.
- Superior written and verbal communications skills a must; ability to “translate” technical language into compelling stories needed.
- Experience in implementing training in communications and media skills.
- Politically and culturally sensitive with qualities of patience, tact and diplomacy
- Experience in international development or knowledge of development issues preferred.
- Knowledge of photography and video editing software is an added advantage
- Fluency in French is preferred.
This role calls for an extremely organized, savvy communications expert who is an excellent storyteller and writer with a nose for news. She/he needs to have experience operating in fluid and complex humanitarian emergencies, a solid understanding of the humanitarian sector, experience working with frontline programs, and a sense of spotting compelling media stories and creative ways of telling stories under challenging circumstances.
S/he needs to prioritize, multi-task and organize many urgent tasks. S/he should be a self-starter who strategises and implements fully baked media outreach plans and a good team player.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position be ideally based in Nairobi, Kenya, but could be flexible to other locations where Mercy Corps is present, preferably Nigeria and Senegal.
Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/TDY to a field posting. Staff are expected to conduct themselves professionally and respect local laws, customs and MC’s policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.
In support of our belief that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities we serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.
We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.
Equal Employment Opportunity
Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer that does not tolerate discrimination. We actively seek out diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be collectively stronger and have a sustained global impact.
We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination based on race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.
Applicants are advised that Mercy Corps does not require any payment or expense during the recruitment process.
Safeguarding & Ethics
Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding preventing sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the U.N. Secretary-General and IASC. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves professionally, respect local laws and customs, and adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct e-learning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.
How to apply
Apply here: https://jobs.jobvite.com/mercycorps/job/otqykfwv