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Head of Communications

  • Location


  • Discipline:

  • Job Type:

    Fixed Term Contract

  • Salary:

    £39,071 per annum

  • Contact:

    Lucy Cairncross

  • Contact Email:

  • Contact phone:

    020 7436 4243

  • Job Ref:

    LC 915920

  • Duration:

    6 months

  • Start Date:

    June 2022

  • Consultant:

    Lucy Cairncross

About the role:

The British Museum is seeking a Head of Communications to join the Communications department. The main purpose of the role is to manage, develop and implement the Museum’s media and external communications strategy in collaboration with the Director of Communications.

Key areas of responsibility:

  • Lead, Develop and deliver a proactive and creative programme of positive press and media stories for temporary exhibitions, new galleries, Museum projects.

  • Set targets, measure results and oversee all reporting for the press team,

  • Develop strategic plans to communicate and promote the BM’s international activity for a national and international audience.

  • Work with the Director of Communications on issues of advocacy and media and public affairs.

  • Work with Marketing colleagues to plan and programme announcements across social media and press to ensure effective and unified external messaging

  • Development of strategic and proactive Relationship Management System to ensure strong and successful relationships across all media

  • Development of campaign and plan for new media relationships, how the BM can respond to a changing media landscape.

  • Line Management, motivation and development of the Communications Officer

  • Responsibility for the management of agency relationships and freelancers to ensure they are delivering best practice and value for money for the BM

  • Lead and set agenda for weekly press meetings and monthly communications meetings and ensure clear lines of responsibility

  • Work closely with Marketing on integrated campaigns ensuring strong coverage.

  • Act as an advisor to senior management on the communications implications of programme proposals, schedules and other activities

  • Act as a media spokesperson where necessary

  • Provide entrepreneurial input to creative campaigns, working with Museum departments, agencies and partners.

·        Supporting and where necessary, leading communications planning for international loans

·        Roll-out of new communications frameworks for high-value issues

·        Develop communications work around strategic projects

·        Overseeing the Social Media team on a day-to-day basis including advising on responses to social media issues and appropriate plans of action.

·        Oversight and responsibility for managing second line responses to negative press queries

·        Second line responses to queries from senior members of the media

·        First-line management of opinion formers, particularly key senior influencers

·        Task and finish responsibilities on key projects e.g. new ways of working, process mapping, planning and reporting

·        Leading on more production of assets and other strategic communications work such as the roll-out of new comms approaches around issues management and supporting the delivery of operating plan objectives

·        To participate in an after-hours/on-call media system


About you:

The Museum’s Head of Communications will be an experience press officer with experience that is transferable to a significant UK cultural institution. You will be used to crafting effective press releases and applying a good judgement to editorial standards.

Being able to build, and manage, good relationships with a range of internal and external key stakeholders you will be one of the first line communicators with the press and associated journalists.

As a people manager you will be able to motivate and guide direct reports through periods of change with a personable and approachable manner.

About the British Museum:

Founded in 1753, the British Museum’s remarkable collection spans over two million years of human history and culture. The Museum is one of the leading visitor attractions and its world-famous collection includes the Rosetta Stone, the Parthenon sculptures, Egyptian mummies, the Admonitions Scroll, and the Amaravati sculptures.


The Museum offers a competitive benefits package including:

  • Membership of the civil service pension scheme

  • Free entry to a wide range of museums and exhibitions

  • Participation in private and public Museum activities, including talks by leading curators from around the world and behind-the-scenes opportunities to learn how museums care for and manage their extraordinary collections

  • Generous annual leave allowance

  • Interest-free travel, bicycle and rental deposit loans

  • Professional and personal development opportunities

  • Employee Assistance Programme

  • Discounts on food and gift shop purchases


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