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Public Affairs & Media Officer, Pesticide Collaboration

PAN UK
Brighton (2+ days per week), London (for meetings) plus some remote working if wanted

Posted: 14 Sep 2022

Deadline: 2 Oct 2022

Compensation: £35,000 to £37,000 (depending on experience)

Paid Full-time Fixed term / contract

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Job description

Job Title: Public Affairs and Media Officer, Pesticide Collaboration  

Salary: £35,000 to £37,000 (depending on experience)

Reporting To: PAN UK’s Head of Policy & Campaigns

Location: PAN UK’s office in Brighton (or able to work from Brighton a minimum of two days per week)

Contract: Three years (the length of the funding)

Hours: Full Time (35 hours per week)

Travel Requirements: The post may involve regular trips to London and occasional national travel

Closing date & Interviews: The closing date for applications is 11pm on Sunday 2nd October. In-person interviews will be held in Brighton on Thursday 20th October. If necessary, second interviews will be held online on Friday 28th October.  

PAN UK is the only charity in the UK dedicated solely to raising awareness of the problems with pesticides and working for better solutions. It is an independent, non-profit organisation, which works nationally and internationally to eliminate the use of hazardous pesticides, to reduce dependence on pesticides and to increase the adoption of sustainable alternatives to chemical pest control in agriculture, urban areas, homes and gardens.

RSPB is the largest nature conservation organisation in Europe; with 1.2 million members. RSPB has experience and expertise in all relevant aspects of this work: science, campaigning and policy advocacy, as well as on-the-ground farming experience at Hope Farm and farm advisory teams across the UK.

PAN UK and RSPB launched The Pesticide Collaboration in January 2021 to work towards achieving a significant and urgent reduction of pesticide-related harms in the UK.

While PAN UK and RSPB are jointly managing the project, the Collaboration represents a broad range of interests and sectors including health, environment and consumer and workers’ rights. It is made up of a range of stakeholders including civil society organisations, farmers, trade unions and academics. Beyond the Collaboration’s key role of bringing these voices together to be more than the sum of their parts, its main activities are lobbying government, parliamentarians and other decision-makers, working with journalists to secure media coverage, conducting policy work and deploying strategic communications.

Role purpose

We are looking for a passionate, organised, self-motivated individual to lead the Pesticide Collaboration’s efforts with decision-makers and journalists. You must be dedicated to pushing for environmental and social justice and enjoy working at a fast pace in a constantly changing advocacy environment.

As Public Affairs and Media Officer, you will be involved in a wide variety of tasks including; lobbying decision-makers and liaising with journalists, writing online and offline communications materials, feeding into campaign strategy, public speaking, organising events and contributing to fundraising proposals and reporting. You do not need to have existing knowledge of pesticide issues but must be able to pick up new topics quickly and communicate them confidently.

You will work closely with the Collaboration’s other full-time member of staff who will be based at RSPB and will be responsible for a range of project management and coordination tasks including communicating with membership organisations. You will also be part of PAN UK’s Policy and Campaigns Team and report directly to their Head of Policy and Campaigns.

PAN UK particularly encourages applications from diverse backgrounds. We view diversity in its broadest form which includes, but is not limited to, the consideration of race, nationality, gender, age, class, disability, sexuality, language and educational background.

Key responsibilities

Public affairs

Overall aim: To develop and deliver strategies to build support for the Pesticide Collaboration’s positions among political decision-makers in order to influence public policy and legislation and ensure it drives a reduction in UK pesticide harms to human health and the environment.

Specifically;

  • Build and maintain excellent working relationships with key decision-makers, primarily government ministers and their special advisors, civil servants, MPs and Lords.
  • Organise and run events aimed at decision-makers and do some public speaking.
  • Use parliamentary processes strategically in order to advance the Pesticide Collaboration’s aims.
  • Feed into the development of policy positions and design key messages that will appeal to decision-makers.
  • Draft briefings and other written materials aimed at decision-makers.
  • Track parliamentary and other political processes on topics relevant to pesticides in order to identify emerging issues and opportunities on behalf of the Pesticide Collaboration. 

Media

Overall aim: To secure media coverage on pesticide harms and alternatives to pesticides in order to raise public awareness of these issues and put pressure on political decision-makers.

Specifically;

  • Use the media to communicate the key messages and positions of the Pesticide Collaboration and its member organisations.
  • Build and maintain excellent working relationships with key journalists and media organisations so that they approach the Pesticide Collaboration for comment on relevant stories. 
  • Conduct interviews on TV and radio and provide written comments for print media.
  • Track relevant news stories and respond rapidly to them via traditional and social media.
  • Draft press releases and opinion pieces to a high standard and pitch them to journalists.
  • Advise Pesticide Collaboration members on working with the media and securing coverage. 

Other

  • Develop and maintain sufficient expertise in pesticide issues to be able to speak confidently to journalists and political decision-makers
  • Contribute to the production of a range of online and offline public communication materials such as blogs, social media posts and infographics.
  • Operate in an ethical and transparent way which promotes participation and good governance.
  • Contribute to funding proposals and donor reports as and when required.
  • Track expenditure and sign off significant costs with line manager.
  • Work within PAN UK’s policies, processes and procedures at all times.
  • Other duties as may reasonably be requested and commensurate with the post.

Person Specification

Qualifications

Essential

  • None

Desirable

  • A qualification in a field related to pesticides, environment, health, politics, advocating for change or any other relevant topic.

Experience skills and knowledge

Essential

  • Experience of advocating for changes in policy and legislation
  • Clear understanding of parliamentary processes and policy-making
  • Experience of working with journalists to secure media coverage
  • Experience of drafting press releases and media comments
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills and some experience in public speaking
  • Basic understanding of pesticides and their impacts on health and environment
  • Experience of organising and running events
  • Strategic planning skills
  • Organisational and administrative skills that demonstrate the ability to work efficiently and autonomously as well as part of a team

Desirable

  • Feeding into funding applications and reporting to donors
  • Using social media for advocacy
  • Knowledge of relevant subject areas including the environment, conservation, human health, sustainable farming, toxicology
  • Experience of coalition work
  • Developing policy positions and recommendations
  • Experience of doing interviews for TV and/or radio and drafting opinion pieces   
  • Experience of working for a political decision-maker (parliament or government)
  • Basic budget management experience

Personal disposition

Essential

  • Committed to the achievement of environmental and social justice
  • Enjoys a fast-paced work environment and has strong ability to adapt to unforeseen changes
  • Strong attention to detail and accuracy, particularly in written work
  • Ability to be flexible, respond positively to change, work effectively under pressure and deal with conflicting priorities
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills and an ability to get on with people of varied backgrounds
  • A positive, ‘can-do’ attitude and the confidence to undertake new tasks.
  • Independent and self-motivated.
  • Committed to working in collaboration
  • A ‘hands on’ individual also able to operate at a strategic level

Desirable

  • Aptitude for coalition-building and diplomacy

Circumstances

Essential

  • Ability and willingness to travel within the UK 
  • Ability and willingness to work outside of normal office hours when required
  • Ability to work from Brighton office at least two days per week

Application information

Please send your CV and a covering letter of no more than two pages explaining how you meet the person specification and what you can bring to the role to josie@pan-uk.org by 11pm on 2nd October 2022

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About PAN UK

PAN UK is the only UK charity focused on tackling the problems caused by pesticides and promoting safe and sustainable alternatives in agriculture, urban areas, homes and gardens. We work tirelessly to apply pressure to governments, regulators, policy makers, industry and retailers to reduce the impacts of harmful pesticides to both human health and the environment.