Assistant Press and Communications Officer








£27,963 - £29,806

Closing date:

31st January 2021

Job description

As an assistant press & communications officer (AIO) on one of our teams you will be involved in communicating Defra policies and operational activity on areas that are a vital part of Government business. Your role will include:

• supporting the organisation of Ministerial interviews, visits, announcements and publicity around speeches and events;

• developing the ability to provide timely proactive and reactive media handling advice to ministers and senior officials;

• being trained to effectively brief journalists accurately and with authority;

• working closely with ministers’ private offices, officials and communications colleagues to assist in the planning and implementation of media strategies across a broad range of media outlets including specialist, lifestyle, online and other new media; and

• developing an understanding of issues across the department enabling you to play an effective part in the wider press office team.


• an excellent news sense to anticipate and spot breaking news stories.

• the ability to persuade others of the benefits of your recommendations or negotiate with others.

• good writing skills – you can turn around clean, crisp copy in plain English to tight deadlines.

• good oral communications skills combined with the confidence to deal with people at all levels.

• the ability to identify and understand internal and external audiences and adapts language to suit.

• a broad understanding of comms channels, how they interact and work to reach target audiences.

• the confidence and skills to quickly get to grips with our agenda and build knowledge of our organisation.

• the skills to make a persuasive and objective case to support communications advice.

• a talent in developing and nurturing excellent contacts.

• the skills to actively engage with a broad range of internal partners to shape handling.

• an awareness of political context in making communications choices.

• the ability to remain focused under pressure and organise priorities– a can-do attitude.

• a commitment to taking responsibility for own contribution to working and delivering your team’s objectives.