Whether a global consumer giant launching a new product, a start-up looking to attract new clients or a charity raising much needed funds, it is vital for any organisation to create an individual story to cut through the noise and engage their target audiences. This is where the communications team can help!
What do communications teams do?
Communications jobs in London design, create and deliver a cohesive communications strategy to maximise engagement.
To help achieve this a communications team will:
- Build relationships with senior management, commercial, marketing and advertising teams to understand the company goals
- Develop strong understanding of strategy, brand and organisation in order to craft key messages and other content in appropriate tone of voice
- Work collaboratively with selected external communications agencies and media training suppliers
The role is split into 2 main areas. First is external communications. This is the public face of the business and includes targeting audiences outside of the company. The end-goal can vary hugely but the biggest two are business to consumer (B2C) to encourage interaction and/or sales with the wider public, to business to business (B2B) which targets other companies that could use the product or service. Teams will:
- Develop and execute external communications strategy to achieve relevant media coverage
- Produce written materials as required: e.g. press releases, annual report, marketing materials, industry award submissions, etc.
- Advise on and manage company’s desired footprint and content in relevant social and digital media, e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter
The second is internal communications. This turns the focus inwards and focusses on engaging employees to promote values, encourage best practice and support business change. To achieve this teams will:
- Develop and execute internal communications plan, working with department heads and senior management
- Support departmental managers with communication of strategic developments and key announcements, as required
- Manage programme of meetings, creating relevant content as required
- Develop an internal intranet to spread company incentives
What companies need communications jobs?
In short, everyone! One of the great things about communications roles is that you can combine your interests and your work. All businesses need good communications including consumer facing brands in food & drink, FMCG, retail, travel, fashion, beauty, health and fitness, to more business focussed sectors such as technology, banking and professional services. The list is endless, and each sector has individual challenges to overcome.
Great Communications teams
So, who can offer the best in-house communications jobs on London? There are countless excellent communications teams, but the best teams use a variety of tactics and campaigns to drive change and produce real tangible results.
The industry loves to celebrate success with numerous award ceremonies including the PR Week Awards, The CIPR Awards and the PRCA Awards, all recognising outstanding campaigns.
Recent winners include TFL whose campaign ‘Vision Zero’ to eliminate serious injuries on the transport network supported a 16% fall in road deaths against the previous year.
Heathrow’s team supported what many thought was impossible by driving support for a 3rd runway including 21% of website visitors contacting their MPs to lobby for change.
In-house teams are often supported by creative agencies and Deliveroo and Missing People UK were helped by Talker Tailor Trouble Maker on the CIPR’s Corporate Social Responsibility Campaign winner #Ride2find, which raised the profile of this charity while also improving brand recognition for Deliveroo.
These awards demonstrate that great communications teams can do more than drive sales and increase brand recognition, but also change consumer or public behaviour, support policy change and even save lives.
The lines are also blurring between teams to achieve these goals and reach different audiences. Corporate communications jobs in London are no longer the realm of suited gents discussing economic trends with FT folded under arm in private members clubs, just as consumer publicists are no longer Ab-Fab-esque searching for the next free champagne lunch. They are progressive teams which embrace data and insights before then blending corporate communications with consumer, brand and internal communications teams to question how to use data and insights to achieve their goals. This is then activated using media relations, thought leadership, white papers, op-eds, digital and social media content including LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat, influencer or brand ambassadors, brand partnerships, political lobbying, community round-tables, launch events, eye-catching stunts and experiential activities.
The best campaigns use a combination of these tactics to ensure they deliver an integrated campaign which reinforces the message across platforms and resonates with target audiences across multiple touchpoints. This separates them from being a fleeting moment in the audience psyche to in consistent message that results in true audience engagement and activity in line with the campaign objectives.
Roles & Career Progression
Communications can provide a career and not just a job. Team sizes vary hugely but you will always be learning and developing professionally as you gain more seniority and take on more challenges.
Communications Executive roles are typically entry-point positions suitable for either recent graduates or candidates with past internship and work experience or candidates with experience in an external communications agency environment. These roles will focus on tactical delivery of projects including:
- Writing and content creation for internal and external audiences
- Media relations to secure coverage
- Events support to coordinate event logistics
- Admin and project support
Communications Managers take a more senior role. Candidates often transfer from journalism and communications consultancies at this level as they want to start to focus on a single brand or company. These roles are and extension of the Executive level but have more strategic input as well as more tactical responsibility for project delivery and team management. Roles include:
- Advising internal stakeholders to create communications plans and strategies for projects and campaigns
- Financial management of budgets
- Increased project management; briefing and coordinating internal teams and external suppliers
- Team management
Communications Directors are often part of the senior leadership team and act as key advisors for the business; focussing on top level strategy, financial management, team development. Roles include:
- Annual strategy development
- C-suite stakeholder management
- Financial budget management
- Team leadership
This is a guide and different environments and team structures will differ, however it illustrates the progression that comms jobs in London can offer. They really are rewarding careers, not stop-gap jobs. The best teams also heavily invest in training for their staff with individua and team budgets to ensure you are consistently challenged and never stagnate. There are a range of courses on offer from industry bodies such as PRCA and CIPR, so if you want to beef up your media training skills, learn the best tactics when reacting to a crisis, hone your thought leadership copywriting or reach a new audience with the most recent social media innovation, there will be courses to complete. Teams also regularly invite experts in for group learning sessions. These often include top journalists to teach teams what the media really want to hear from a comms team and how to rise above the competition when pitching a story. Industry figures are also brought in, who are subject matter experts and can really bring an issue to life for the team and provide first-hand insight and lessons from what works, or doesn’t work when reaching new audiences. All this is often combined with a high-flying company mentor to provide more inspiration and insight from their experiences.
What are Rewards?
Communications jobs in London have a broad range of salaries and a strong potential earning potential. Industries such as banking, b2b technology, financial and professional services, as well as large blue-chip firms and global/multi-region roles provide the higher end. Charity and third sector roles are typically lower, while start-up and high-growth businesses can also provide options and equity to balance lower salaries while in a growth phase.
An initial guide is below.
|Global Head of Communications||£120-£200k|
|Head of Communications||£100-£160k|
|Senior Communications manager||£65-£90k|
|Senior Communications Executive||£35-£45k|
Bonus cannot be guaranteed but many firms have annual bonuses with ranges from 10-30% of base salaries.
Further benefits include company pension schemes, private healthcare, interest free season ticket loans, care allowances, flexible working, mobile phone and laptops, as well as a variety of lifestyle benefits such as corporate discounts and gym memberships,
How to find out more?
If you are interested in new communications jobs in London, please contact the team to find out more. Our leading consultants have connections with key firms across a range of industries from global FMCG brands, to banking and finance, technology and charity and public sectors. We would love to help you find your next challenge.