The IRC has country programs in eight West Africa countries—Sierra Leone, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Cameroon, Nigeria, and Chad—and implements programs through the arc of crisis, emergency, humanitarian and development contexts. As an organization and within the West Africa region, the IRC wishes to use its influence and raise the voice of our clients so as to affect meaningful change alongside the direct program delivery. The Regional Communication Manager will work with the Regional Advocacy & Communication Coordinator, in-country Communication colleagues, the Senior Officer of Global Communication, and other key personnel to position and effect change in the communication sphere. When required, the Communication Manager will work closely with the Grants and Business Development team to ensure that proposed communication materials are in line with donors’ rules and regulations.
Job Overview / Summary:
The Regional Communication Manager will be the focal point for development and execution of the West Africa regional communication & visibility strategy, supporting communication efforts at a country, regional, and international level. The role will contribute into global, regional and sub-regional themes and will make key contributions to strengthen IRC’s positioning in international and regional forums and media, convening multiple stakeholders to deliver breakthrough communication results.
By scanning regional media coverage, internal blogs, regional thematic factsheets, identifying and nourishing networking within the media, talking points for spokespersons, and developing other communication materials as necessary, this position will enhance the effectiveness of the IRC’s policy and advocacy initiatives, programs, and operations undertaken to assist those affected by the conflict and catastrophe in the Region. Based on the IRC’s existing resources, the WA Regional Communication Manager will provide communication training sessions to in-country communication colleagues.
The Regional Communication Manager produces outstanding content that brings the IRC’s life-saving work in West Africa to life for external audiences. He/she covers breaking humanitarian emergencies and also develops information and content assets that showcase the IRC’s on the ground impact. He/she will also seek out information from country teams to develop feature pitches and land earned media coverage in top-tier international news outlets in collaboration with the regional Senior Global Communications officer.
The Regional Communication Manager will receive direct technical support from the Senior Global Communications Officer on storytelling, media engagement and press release writing, photography and video tips, informed consent and communication strategy. The Regional Communication Manager will receive career skills and guidance in the communications field for their personal growth and development.
The WA Regional Communication Manager reports to the WA Regional Advocacy & Communication Coordinator and Senior Officer Global Communications.
The Communication manager will support the Region and Country Offices as needed on defining and implementing the WA communication strategy and will be responsible for supporting global communication initiatives where relevant. The position also includes providing back-up support and capacity for the Country Offices.
1. Strategic outcomes
• Develop the WA regional communication strategy with support from the Regional Advocacy & Communication Coordinator and the IRC Senior Officer Global Communications, in line with the Strategy 100 ambitions and the regional advocacy strategy, and to drive awareness of the IRC’s impact and advocacy, enhancing the IRC’s reputation, supporting fundraising objectives, and influencing target policy makers. This will require the approval and buy-in from regional and in-country leadership.
• Work with communication colleagues across the IRC and advocacy & communication Coordinator to facilitate and support dynamic communications tactics, including innovative media outreach, top tier op-eds, creative digital content and dynamic, audience-driven social media output, and support advocacy campaigns.
2. Internal coordination & external networking
• Strengthen IRC internal communication efforts by attending meetings of the global communication teams to strengthen coordination and communication across the IRC, and increase internal visibility of IRC’s work in West Africa.
• Analyze current internal communication channels and content, lead a review and governance process to improve channel and content quality and impact.
• Deliver strategic proactive and reactive media relations, leveraging regional insights and expertise in both international and humanitarian media to increase the IRC’s media share of voice and digital engagement.
3. Communication materials
• In support of the Regional and Country leadership, work closely with the IRC Senior Officer Global Communications, collect of response information and authentic story-led content suitable for IRC HQ communications, including media, social media and stories and updates for the website, as well as support efforts to proactively engage with international and regional media to pitch stories about IRC’s response, advocacy priorities and partnerships, resulting in high-quality, top-tier coverage.
• Support the Regional and Country Program teams to present information about project activities and the needs of displaced people in the form of case studies and other content in an attractive and engaging format that can be shared with the public, media, regional level stakeholders, partners and donors.
• Work with country teams to develop country communications strategies that advance their communications and advocacy objectives reflected in their strategy100.
• Collaborate with IT and other colleagues to ensure the West Africa Team page is maintained up to date
• Partner with in house and external experts to produce Digital Content and Communications outputs that are integrated with strategic external relations objectives, aligned to clear distribution, and measurement.
• Gather content through multiple digital mediums — photo, video, audio etc. — using industry standard practices and equipment.
• Deploy excellent writing skills to deliver press release and pitches that land IRC-led features, high-level IRC messages for cross-organizational use, top tier op-eds placement, and talking points for spokespeople.
4. Country Office Support
• Conduct field visits to COs to support on the development of their Communication strategy aligned with their Strategy 100 ambition, global communication materials, and support COs in their needs or communication requirements.
• Provide communication training for field communication staff and media training to field spokespeople as needed.
Key working relationships
– Position Reports to: WA Regional Advocacy & Communication Coordinator, this management in Partnership (MIP) with the Senior Officer Global Communications in the Global Crisis and Response Communications (GCRC) team.
– Key internal relationships: Country Directors and Deputy Director -Programs IRC US/EU Policy & Advocacy and External Relation colleagues, Grants Managers and Coordinators, and relevant subject matter experts including Technical Advisors, key communications and content gathering staff on the Public Affairs, Digital Engagement and Content and Creative Studio teams.
– Key external relationships: With in-country freelancers; international reporters and foreign correspondents and some IRC corporate partners.
• Undergraduate degree, preferably in communications, marketing or public relations
• Fluency in French & English is essential both oral and written.
• Good knowledge of another language spoken in West Africa would be considered an asset.
• More than five years of communications experience in internal/corporate communications, marketing or social media
• Demonstrated experience supporting communications efforts in relevant organizations and contexts.
Demonstrated skills and competencies:
• Excellent research and writing skills with deep understanding of grammar, strong attention to detail and fine-tuned editorial skills and, the ability to translate complex material and data into coherent narratives.
• Strong communication skills with a demonstrated ability to communicate successfully in easily understandable language with diverse individuals and groups.
• Demonstrated ability to identify emerging trends in communications, develop related strategies and effectively translate them into actionable plans
• Excellent networking, interpersonal, communication, relationship-building skills and an ability to cultivate and maintain a personal network of sources and contacts working in similar or related fields.
• Easily navigates technology; proficient in Microsoft Office Suite and other desktop publishing tools. Experience managing an intranet is desirable.
• Comfortable with (or desire to learn) basic video and visual content creation / editing tools
• Understanding of international relief and development issue.
• Ability to think strategically and work independently quickly and effectively under pressure, including the ability to handle multiple tasks and projects simultaneously
• Proactive and able to work independently and as part of a team
• Culturally sensitive – able and interested in working with a multi-diverse team.
Standards of Professional Conduct: The IRC and the IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in the IRC Way – Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, Equality and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity Anti-Retaliation and Combating Trafficking in Persons.
Gender Equality: The IRC is committed to narrowing the gender gap in leadership positions. We offer benefits that provide an enabling environment for women to participate in our workforce including parental leave, gender-sensitive security protocols and other supportive benefits and allowances.
Standard office work environment and/or remote work. Up to 30% travel required.
The position is based in Dakar. Dakar is currently not assessed as a high-risk environment and it remains a generally safe city as long as the IRC security protocols are observed.