Senior Press Officer

This vacancy is now closed
Job Title Senior Press Officer
Job Reference 0091/16/CH
Post Type Full time / Permanent
Division CEO
Salary information £32,480 to £38,211 (Discretionary range to £43,943)
Application deadline 20/11/2016

Job Description

Diamond Light Source is the UK’s national synchrotron science facility. Located on the Harwell Science & Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire a 20 minute drive south of Oxford in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Diamond Light Source conducts world-class research in virtually all fields of science and offers rewarding career opportunities covering both technical and scientific disciplines.

Are you passionate about science and technology? Diamond Light Source the UK’s national synchrotron is looking for a senior press officer with experience of working with researchers and technical experts to prepare them for a wide range of interactions with the media.

You will need to have had first-hand experience of media campaigns and a solid track record of building and maintaining contacts with journalists across local, national and trade media.

You will need to have a keen news sense and the ability to translate complex scientific and technical information into story packages and campaigns that will attract the attention of the media and, in turn, inspire a range of target audiences.

If you’d like to be part of an extremely busy communications team, that supports all parts of the organisation with a wide range of communications activities including media relations, public affairs, scientific conferences and workshops, web content support, public engagement, educational outreach, internal communications and crisis management; then we would love for you to apply.

Duties / Responsibilities:

To raise the profile of Diamond in the media; manage and deliver the press programmes for the institute and play an active role in issues and crisis management:

  • Develop and deliver 12 months activity plan for publicity and media that meet communications and public engagement objectives laid out in Diamond’s 5 year strategic plan.
  • Project management of press and PR campaigns.  Manage the delivery of different elements of the campaign and work undertaken by colleagues in relation to our campaigns and activities.
  • Ensure that we can always respond swiftly to media requests for info/interviews/visits/images etc.
  • Build relationships with in-house and visiting researchers and technical experts to promote their Diamond related work and prepare them for a wide range of interactions with the media.
  • Work with colleagues to facilitate media events and journalist visits.  
  • Monitor and edit third party press releases/case studies about Diamond.
  • Coordinate and manage on-site filming projects, covering all copyright and legal issues involved.
  • Respond to press inquiries and manage visit and interview plans.
  • Build strong relationships with journalists at all levels so that Diamond is well positioned.
  • Manage and deliver media events, including press conferences and media open days.
  • Contribute to the development of processes, systems and new strategies/plans e.g. Crisis management plan, PR/content evaluation, Content strategy, Social media policy and guidelines.
  • Monitor progress against PR evaluation metrics and Key Performance Indicators to assess success.
  • Oversee regular reporting on media coverage achieved and help enhance the development of the monitoring/evaluation matrix.
  • Liaise with Diamond’s copywriter to prioritise the development of editorial to support media relations;
  • Write press releases and media brief as required;
  • Schedule media training for staff and users and provide pre-interview briefings when required.
  • Contribute to team meetings so that everyone is aware of part, present and future activities on the PR side.
  • Support the Head of Comms with comms activities in situations of crisis/issues management as required.

Qualification & Experience - Essential

  • Degree in relevant discipline science, PR, communications or equivalent experience;
  • Strong communications, media relations skills;
  • Ability to build and manage relationship;
  • Strong organisational skills;
  • Strong sense of initiative;
  • Ability to work independently and prioritise workload;
  • Strong attention to details;
  • Strong copywriting skills;
  • Strong interest in science communication;
  • Understanding of funding issues;
  • Strong management skills;
  • Strong IT  skills – standard MS office;
  • Ability to work under pressure;
  • Experience of organising and co-ordinating media campaigns at least 5 years;
  • Experience of dealing with crisis situation from a press point of view;
  • Experience of managing people in matrix;
  • Experience of working in a busy communications/press office;
  • Person flexible and able to quickly adapt to new environments;
  • Person able to work as a team and build good relationships with scientists and senior management;
  • Flexible to work outside standard office hours.

Qualification & Experience - Desirable

  • Membership of professional Institution;
  • Experience of surveys and evaluation tools;
  • Experience of website systems and online news requirements;
  • Experience of social media;
  • Knowledge of a second European language.

Further Information

Applying for employment

For further details on applying for employment at Diamond, please visit our 'Application Form' page.

Appointments will be made depending on the skills and experience of the candidate. Electronic Diamond application forms in MS-Word are preferred. These should be emailed to

Other information