Media Specialist – African Wildlife Foundation ( AWF)
The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) is the primary advocate for the protection of wildlife and wildlands as an essential part of a modern and prosperous Africa. Founded in 1961 to focus on Africa’s unique conservation needs, we articulate a uniquely African vision, bridge science and public policy and demonstrate the benefits of conservation to ensure the survival of the continent’s wildlife and wildlands.
AWF has just completed a 10-year strategic vision and three-year operational plan. The plan includes a detailed and ambition strategic communications plan to achieve the following goals:
Brand positioning: AWF brand is positioned as a homegrown voice of African conservation on the global stage, the engine to grow African conservation leadership, and as influential in sustainable development plans and projects.
Narrative shift: Conservation viewed as integral to sustainable development in modern Africa.
Behavior change: Behaviors change to better support wildlife and wildlands conservation.
Capacity building: Build conservation practitioners’ (AWF’s and partners’) capacity for strategic communication.
Marketing and fundraising: AWF donors and supporters (current and prospective) in authentic relationship with the organization.
The Media Specialist is a key member of the Public Relations & Corporate Communication Unit, reporting to the Director, Public Relations & Corporate Communication. This team, together with Program teams and the Marketing & Creative team, will execute this ambitious plan. Specifically, s/he will play a critical role in leading AWF’s media relations activities. The Specialist also works closely with the CEO to build his brand, by securing key media placements and supporting him in research, messaging and the development of positions, papers, speeches and opinions to advance African leadership in conservation and the mission of AWF
In coordination with line manager, develop organizational media plan in coordination with various country office teams (Uganda, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Kenya, US, UK, Belgium, and China) and in accordance with AWF’s overall organizational strategy.
Lead media relations activities across Africa, including fielding incoming press calls, providing media with requested information in a timely fashion.
Proactively develop relationships with media (including reporters, producers and editorial writers), building their understanding and knowledge of AWF and our unique value proposition. Build and update media lists.
Pitch and place stories. Schedule interviews and prepare spokespeople for interviews.
Draft, edit and distribute high-quality media relations and other communications materials, including news releases and statements, op-eds, letters to the editor, editorial memos, talking points, and other relevant content.
Plan and execute events such as press conferences, media briefings and editorial board meetings.
In collaboration with the line manager, develop a media culture within AWF, ensuring that all relevant senior staff are trained, practiced, and ready for interviews and other media opportunities.
In collaboration with the line manager, develop and execute media plans for major AWF events across Africa, in Europe and in China as needed. Support US team as requested/needed for the same.
Listen, monitor and track news globally as it relates to conservation and development across Africa, ensuring the PR & Corporate Communications and team is aware of developing stories
Posts news releases to the AWF News Center
Consistently coordinates with stakeholders across the organization to ensure the media tracking and analyses are informing and enhancing our communications needs
Work collaboratively with Country Office teams and Field Communications team to provide media training and support with communications planning and in the execution of those plans.
Serve as key member of the youth team, advising on media strategy to grow youth engagement with AWF and conservation across the continent.
Support Corporate & Foundation team in identifying, cultivating and landing strategic media partnerships to amplify and build AWF brand.
Work with Director to develop CEO’s personal brand, and refine his executive presence and voice.
Research key relevant issues – independently and as directed by Director, Public Relations and Corporate Communications (and CEO) – to inform AWF and CEO positions, talking points, speeches, social media, etc.
Write opinion pieces, speeches, and talking points for the key, strategic events for the Chief Executive Officer
Work on other special projects as assigned by Director, PR and Corporate Communications
Bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, public policy, international development, international relations, or another relevant field.
Minimum of 6 years’ experience in strategic communications/public relations, preferably functioning as either a key spokesperson for an international organization or a senior staff for a local, national and international media.
Strong networking and interpersonal skills with proven people, leadership, communication and negotiation skills.
Proven ability to effectively train executive communication skills, and to enhance both name and brand recognition of an international organization.
Exemplary writing, editing, and proofreading skills necessary for a variety of related activities including speeches and presentations, press releases and media advisories, and other official communications and inter-agency/organization correspondence.
Ability and willingness to work collaboratively with organizational peers and other teams.
A global perspective with a focus on Africa, conservation, and economic development.
A passion for AWF’s mission: ensuring wildlife and wildlands thrive in modern Africa.
Knowledge of French and/or other relevant languages a distinct and preferred advantage.
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