OxFam: Senior Media and Communications Manager

​Oxfam South Africa
Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
Opportunity closing date: 
Thursday, 3 March, 2016
Opportunity type: 


DIVISION / DEPARTMENT / LOCATION: Media and Communications Unit
JOB FAMILY: Communications

OXFAM PURPOSE: To work with others to find lasting solutions to poverty and injustice

TEAM PURPOSE: Simple, unified and inspiring communications. To work with the media to influence decision makers, opinion formers and inspire supporters in order to campaign against poverty and injustice. The Media and Communications Unit is a high performing team which is at the heart of achieving the organisation's programme work and campaigning ambitions. We work closely the whole Oxfam South Africa team and others in the region and continent to develop medium and long term media strategies, while seizing opportunities for coverage of our concerns whenever they arise. The Media and Communications team is expected to inspire confidence in their professional judgment, to be able to offer strategic advice to senior management and programme Leads, to advise on issues of reputational risk and to help shape a high profile, fast moving team.

JOB PURPOSE: To lead on high profile media projects at both a South African and global level and to win positive, high quality media coverage to support Oxfam's work. This role will lead significant pieces of media work across OZA’s programme and campaigning agenda.

REPORTING LINES: Postholder reports to OZA Executive Director

BUDGET RESPONSIBILITY: Post holder manages Media and Communications Unit Budget


  • Expert knowledge and experience of South African, and Southern Africa media environment.
  • Leadership of a task-based team, which may cross OZA organizational boundaries and may include external consultants, with responsibility for delivering media impact on campaigns and other projects.
  • Shoot and edit video footage and exploit use of social media
  • Line and performance management of at least one press officer and a media intern.
  • Required to operate to tight deadlines using independent judgment.
  • Develop and implement, with others in the Media and Communications Unit work plans and objectives.
  • High levels of creativity, and innovative problem solving.
  • Analyse, interpret and act on complex information.
  • Apply knowledge of internal and external environment to complex media and reputational issues.
  • Provide communications advice across the organisation at a senior level.
  • Decisions will have a significant impact on the organisation’s public image.
  • Represents unit in the organization, for example in meetings on emergency responses, and represents organization, both in developing relationships with key media contacts and in media interviews
  • Work with Head of Public Engagement and other departments to develop coordinated strategic plans for the Unit and ensure an integrated approach to communications.
  • Work with all Programme Managers to ensure Media engagement and Communications is embedded into programme work and campaigns


  • To generate regular, high quality media coverage of Oxfam's concerns through proactive and reactive media work
  • To build and maintain excellent relationships with key media players, journalists and broadcasters, both in OZA and globally.
  • To travel to regional and global events and produce high quality media material
  • To have leadership skills to be able to act as global media co-ordinator for Oxfam International where required.
  • To develop strong joined up working relationships between the Media and Communications Unit, Regional Media Officers and Oxfam International affiliate staff in order to maximise impact.
  • To ensure a direct link between Oxfam’s programme work and our media coverage through familiarisation with Oxfam’s work on the ground and the development of stories to be used in media work for campaigns, fundraising and feeding back to supporters the impact of our work.
  • To advise other Oxfam staff – including senior staff - on communicating through the media, whether proactively or reactively, and on the risks of external messaging, offering expert advice on defamation and other media risk.
  • To write for both print and web outlets.
  • Line and performance management responsibility for one or more press officers.
  • To arrange, facilitate and accompany visits by journalists or celebrities as required to support Oxfam’s media messages.
  • To be an excellent internal communicator, ensuring the Media and Communications Unit and other departments (e.g. Web team, Fundraising, Campaigns) are aware of forthcoming media work.
  • To monitor, evaluate and draw conclusions on impact from media coverage generated.
  • To continually investigate ways of influencing key targets through the media and feed these into corporate decision-making.
  • To train, coach and support colleagues involved in media interviews in South Africa and wherever necessary.
  • To develop strategic media plan for the Unit in co-ordination with other departments to ensure an integrated approach to communications.
  • To develop and manage budgets for specific projects and to sign off expenditure up to pre-agreed limits in the absence of the Executive Director.
  • To be able to influence internally to ensure that the media unit’s voice is listened to inside OZA.


  • At least five years of experience working with or in the media and an in-depth knowledge of SA/ Southern African media. Experience of working as a journalist (“newsroom experience”) critical.
  • Very strong writing skills
  • Ability to produce media content for TV/Radio and online.
  • Skills and ability to discover absorb and prioritise complex information from many different sources.
  • Strong news sense and drive to achieve highest possible impact.
  • Skill and ability to inspire high levels of confidence in own professional judgment and to negotiate effectively.
  • Experience of leading and motivating teams or individuals in order for the team to meet media unit objectives.
  • Ability to work in a collaborative manner in diverse, inter-disciplinary teams across Oxfam International and represent OZA in Confederation-wide forums.
  • Ability to help spokespeople to be excellent broadcast interviewees & to support colleagues in other countries develop their media plans & skills through advice, training and support
  • Ability to constantly think of as well and apply new ways to use the media to OZA’s advantage.
  • Skills and ability to contribute actively to strategic planning process
  • Able to reactively contributes to communications across OI, participate in OI groups where appropriate
  • Able to build credibility and relationships with diverse contacts in order to reach a wide range of audiences
  • Works collaboratively across teams and able to exert influence across areas when appropriate
  • Innovative and creative approach to problem solving.
  • Respond effectively to frequent changes in work plans and projects and to be able to prioritise competing demands
  • Exercises high degree of personal judgement in dealing with difficult decisions around competing priorities, risk and relationship management. Demonstrate knowledge of Oxfam's work


  • Demonstrate knowledge of the nature and causes of poverty and be aware how the Media and Communication’s Unit contributes to OZA and OI’s work
  • Knowledge of African and global media
  • Personal Traits
  • Sensitivity towards gender, sexual, ethnic/race, cultural identities.
  • A developmental approach to their work and wider organisational team.
  • Ability to involve other people, harness and build on their ideas.
  • Ability to evaluate and judge complex situations and identify critical issues to ensure an effective focus.
  • Effective communication; persuasive and able to explain specialized concepts in simple terms.
  • Excellent inter-personal skills and negotiation abilities.

Hours of work and Travel: The person will be expected to cover regular out of hours duty and to respond to urgent calls for media support. Up to 12 weeks travel per year, including local and international, sometimes at short notice and sometimes to areas of conflict and humanitarian emergencies.

Opportunity Closing Date: 3rd March 2016

HOW TO APPLY: Please send a detailed CV, outlining your experience in the relevant aspects of the job, accompanied with a letter of application to ozahr@oxfam.org.za.

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