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External Relations Director

Opportunity to work for a great brand and establish Purina as the most trusted name in Petcare
Purpose of role

To establish Purina as the most trusted name in Petcare, positively influencing its reputation through proactive stakeholder engagement and communication plans to build European partnerships and drive advocacy among internal and external stakeholders across Europe; to promote and report on Purina Commitments. This role also acts a as trusted advisor to the business and markets in reputation, media and crisis communication matters.

Key tasks

  • Develop the corporate integrated corporate communication plan, including external relations and media plans: to increase stakeholder awareness, familiarity and trust for the Purina Corporate Brand.

  • Develop and enable the achievement of the Purina Commitments across Europe maximising all communication and advocacy channels to engage and build relationships with external stakeholders and partners and European Industry Associations. This includes the development and management of key events.

  • Act as Crisis and issue Management Communicator ensuring early warning systems are in place and manage issues while maximising opportunities to reinforce company and brand reputation; developing and approving corporate position statements/FAQs, co-ordinating media spokespeople. Participate to the Global Corporate Communications crisis and External Relations meetings.

  • Co-lead the Corporate Communications Leadership Team agenda, to gather feedback and input into the development of strategies, campaigns, initiatives, and materials; confirming decisions, actions and implementation required by the markets to achieve objectives.

  • Lead the development and implementation of a consistent reputation and materiality management approach including measurement.

Skills and Competencies

  • Relevant experience working in communications or public relations/affairs (in-house and/or agency) with a clear track record of success

  • Proven track record in developing and implementing strategic corporate communications plans

  • Confidence and experience in issues & crisis management

  • Experience of working with and influencing internal & external stakeholders/bodies and developing partnerships

  • Experience of working within an FMCG industry

  • Ability to handle multiple projects under time and resource pressure

  • Native English, or excellent written and verbal English skills with eye for detail.

  • Second language skills appreciated (German, French), however not mandatory

  • Experience of managing others inc. external agencies/service providers

  • Budget management experience

  • Experience in senior level negotiations and conflict management

Key Benefits

  • Pension Plan

  • Private Medical Insurance

  • Lunch Subsidy (Canteen in Nestlé Facilities)

  • Transport allowance & parking subsidized

  • Excellent internal training offer

  • Flexible working schedule

  • 22 working days of holiday – 14 bank holidays – 3 additional holiday days for any extra hours worked

  • Life and accidents insurance

  • Discounts on Nestlé products: Nestlé Market at Nestlé Facilities.


VMAGROUP is a leading international interim, contract, temporary and permanent recruitment and executive search specialist. We are specifically focused on providing support to the communications, digital and marketing communities.

Our specialist practice areas cover: communications, corporate communications, internal communications, change communications, PR, media relations, financial communications, CSR, public affairs, investor relations, marketing, digital marketing and agency services.

We have a reputation for providing expert consultancy services and advice, supported by in-depth knowledge of the professions we recruit for. Our thought leadership and benchmarking studies have become go-to resources for the communications and marketing industry, supporting planning and decision-making for organisations of all shapes and sizes.

In the UK, VMAGROUP has offices in London and Manchester and in Europe, VMAGROUP has offices in Amsterdam and Brussels, but we work with organisations and individuals on a global basis.

VMAGROUP is committed to equal opportunities and is a Diversity Pledged Recruiter.