Head: Communications & Science Engagement

Posted 1 month ago

Permanent position Market Related salary

About the Position

SARAO has an exciting opportunity to appoint a seasoned communications professional who operates both at a strategic and operational level and will work in concert with peers in SKA member countries as well as the SKA Observatory headquarters in the United Kingdom. This challenging position is intended to develop and promote, through impactful media relations, strategies and modalities that direct successful execution of SARAO’s external and internal communication activities.

  Minimum education requirement:

  • Honours Degree in Communications/Journalism/Marketing/Public Relations

Minimum work experience required:

  • 8 years’ corporate communications and science engagement experience of which 3 years in a senior management role

Duties include (but not limited to):

  • Develop and direct the implementation of SARAO’s communications strategy, in line with organisational objectives and national requirements
  • Engage with relevant internal and external stakeholders, and manage stakeholder engagements and relationships.
  • Oversee the organisation’s media relations and leverage those to build and maintain a positive reputation for the organisation
  • Prepare responses and handle media releases, editorial articles and speeches to help position SARAO in line with its strategy
  • Establish and lead an internal communications strategy to improve staff engagements and contribute towards a positive communications culture.
  • Digital Communication and social media:
    • Manage website content
    • Introduce new media technology applications
    • Develop and manage a social media communication and digital strategy
    • Produce high-quality online content for key social media platforms

The ideal candidate will have the following competencies:

  • Strong conceptual, strategic and analytical abilities.
  • Understanding of effective media relations strategies, both reactive and proactive;
  • Strong project management skills and experience in digital content management.
  • An understanding of the National System of Innovation.
  • Professional and high-quality writing skills
  • Experience in reputation media management will be advantageous.
  • Comprehensive understanding of the SET structures in South Africa, and to a lesser extent elsewhere in the continent will be advantageous.

The ideal candidate will have the following competencies: Ability to:

  • assist in translating vision into corporate goals
  • direct the allocation of resources, set priorities and identify issues to be escalated
  • drive the employment equity profile

Experience in:

  • budget planning and management
  • conducting performance appraisals
  • directing and managing the day-to-day activities of the staff
  • manage the drafting, editing and revising of all communication that is intended for Strategic Communication and Science Engagement

Knowledge of:

  • high-level understanding of business
  • accounting and financial management
  • business systems

About The Employer

The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) spearheads South Africa’s activities in the Square Kilometre Array Radio Telescope, commonly known as the SKA, in engineering, science and construction. SARAO is a National Facility managed by the National Research Foundation and incorporates radio astronomy instruments and programmes such as the MeerKAT and KAT-7 telescopes in the Karoo, the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory (HartRAO) in Gauteng, the African Very Long Baseline Interferometry (AVN) programme in nine African countries as well as the associated human capital development and commercialisation endeavours.

As a business unit of the NRF, SARAO is committed to employment equity and redress.

Type of employment: Permanent

SARAO reserves the right to amend and/or withdraw adverts at any time without notification

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