The Investment Association, Head of Media Relations

City of London
06 Nov 2017
24 Nov 2017
Job Type
Full Time

About the IA

The Investment Association is the trade body that represents UK investment managers. Our 250 members collectively manage over £6.9 trillion of assets on behalf of clients in the UK and around the world.

Our purpose is to ensure investment managers are in the best possible position to:

  • Build people’s resilience to financial adversity
  • Help people achieve their financial aspirations
  • Enable people to maintain a decent standard of living as they grow older
  • Contribute to economic growth through the efficient allocation of capital

The money our members manage is in a wide variety of investment vehicles including authorised investment funds, pension funds and stocks & shares ISAs. The UK is the second largest investment management centre in the world and manages 37% of European assets.

More information can be viewed on our website

About the Corporate Affairs team

The IA’s Corporate Affairs team is led by the Corporate Affairs Director and is a hard-working, sociable and dynamic team.

The team is currently made up of 5 people. We have a strong mix of domestic and international backgrounds and speak 6 languages between us. The team encompasses a media relations team, a UK government affairs team and an EU affairs team.

We have regular exposure with the CEO and interact regularly with the IA’s policy teams, as a big part of our role is shining a light on the expertise within the organisation which we turn into materials to use for advocacy or communications.

The team ethos is one of service - service to one another (we all help each other out); service to our IA colleagues (we help provide briefing materials for anything from media interviews, to meetings with senior stakeholders, to advising on messaging in policy documents) and most importantly, service to our members (everything we do ultimately must be of value to those we represent every day and a big emphasis culturally in the team is given to ‘member satisfaction’).

Overview of the role

Assist the Corporate Affairs Director in promoting the buy-side members of the financial services industry, many of which are world leading companies. Leading the day to day press team as well as long term strategic communications to position the IA as a champion of the industry in touch with its clients, the UK’s millions of savers and pensioners.

This involves day to day duties working alongside the Media Relations Manager to field calls from journalists, develop press lines with policy colleagues and monitor and flag developing news coverage throughout the day as part of a monitoring rota.

The role will also take a lead building and maintaining excellent relationships with the press relevant to the industry including national print and broadcast media (business, political and consumer) and comment as well as online and trade press.

They will act as a spokesperson for the IA across all media outlets and help showcase the knowledge and expertise of the IA’s policy experts. The Head of Media Relations manages a Media Relations Manager and the media element of a retainer with an integrated PA/PR agency. 

They will also work with the Media Relations Manager in developing and delivering proactive stories and campaigns that aims to showcase the best practice of the asset management industry in areas such as stewardship and corporate governance, diversity, development of non-bank finance and fair and effective markets.

The role also involves overseeing the organisations’ strategic forward look grid which shapes press activity. Assist in drafting articles for mainstream papers, blogs and trade press and occasional speechwriting.

They will also play a key role in overseeing the Association’s digital and social media presence, which is managed day to day by the Media Relations Manager.

Main duties

  • Develop the IA UK’s communications strategy, to promote the IA and the asset management industry in the media and with consumers
  • Develop a pipeline of proactive stories based on content (data, policy and position papers) produced by policy colleagues at the IA, ensuring the IA is regularly featured in the business and personal finance outlets, as well as general news, consumer and comment pages
  • Assist with all day-to-day media relations including responding to press calls and drafting reactive lines, preparing press releases, Q&As, conducting oral press briefings for the CEO and senior policy colleagues
  • Act as an official spokesperson for the IA on all media outlets, both on and off the record; act as an ambassador for the IA in external meetings with senior members and journalists
  • Coordinate broadcast media bids for the Chief Executive and IA Policy Directors
  • Work with government affairs colleagues in the corporate affairs team to ensure the team’s work is integrated across media and government relations and ensure consistency of messaging
  • Take a leading role in helping to shape the asset management industry’s narrative and messaging for use with media, that creatively and compellingly tells the story of the value of the asset management industry for journalists and the wider public
  • Identify key reputational issues that represent threats and opportunities for the IA and its members (legislative proposals, third party campaigns etc) and put in place strategies to ensure that the industry’s  reputation  and license to operate is protected and enhanced;
  • Work with policy colleagues to draft speeches for the CEO and Chairman and opinion pieces for newspapers, blogs and trade press
  • Monitor and flag breaking online and twitter news and flagging to relevant IA teams and members
  • Oversee the preparation of the monthly CEO newsletter to update members on areas of past and upcoming activity
  • Develop and oversee a programme of media meets for IA senior management and members;
  • Oversee the development of briefing materials in advance of meetings held by the IA CEO, senior EXCO colleagues and members with journalists
  • Undertake Occasional travel, including to Scotland and Brussels for meetings and other key events
  • Oversee the IA’s long term strategic ‘forward look’ grid and coordinate proactive and reactive media activity accordingly
  • Provide an out of hours media service as part of a rota system amongst the media team
  • Work with the Director of Corporate Affairs to develop compelling collateral demonstrating the value for the asset management industry for use in media and social media
  • Develop and maintain a strong network of relationships with IA member press teams across the IA membership, as well as press officers in key government departments, other financial services and business trade bodies, and consumer groups
  • Build and manage strong relationships with business and personal finance, consumer and political journalists as well as key trade publications
  • Create a network of peers amongst the press teams of other trade associations in financial services such as the The CityUK, the ABI, PLSA, the FRC and the UK Finance but also wider business groups such as the CBI, Corporation of London and the IOD
  • Oversee the development and  execution of the IA’s social media strategy
  • Establish and lead a senior member committee made up of industry communications  professionals to oversee, plan and react to major domestic and international developments that will impact the industry

Management/supervisory responsibilities

  • Line management of the Media Relations Manager.
  • Management of the public relations aspect of an agency retainer. 

Education and experience

Qualifications/education required

  • Graduate level or equivalent 

Required experience

  • Proven substantial experience of working in a high pressure, fast moving, media relations team in as a PR agency, a political party, a government department or a financial services firm press office with 8-10 years minimum experience of:
  • drafting communications plans, press releases and ‘hostile’ Q&As
  • media handling and crisis comms
  • business and consumer media across broadcast, print, regional and trade press
  • devising and executing creative, pro-active media plans with a strong social media element
  • Proven substantial experience of generating proactive media stories of strong interest with the media
  • Minimum 3-5 years’ experience in the financial services industry 
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills
  • Strong organisational and project management skills
  • Good team management experience

Desirable experience (but not essential)

Personal attributes

  • Experience in investment management sector
  • Knowledge of the financial services regulatory environment in both the UK and EU
  • Knowledge of European and wider international media
  • Experience of having worked in a political environment
  • One or more foreign languages
  • Good communicator: articulate and succinct, excellent command of written and spoken English
  • Good media, political and business judgement 
  • Determined, enthusiastic and proactive ‘can do’ attitude, that works well under pressure
  • Excellent time management skills, ability to juggle multiple tasks simultaneously and prioritise
  • Self-starting and willing to bring new ideas to the table
  • Rigorous attention to detail (proofing etc.) and high standards in all work
  • Outgoing and team spirited, ability to get on with people at all levels
  • ‘Service’ mentality – going above and beyond for team members, colleagues and members
  • Strong people skills and ability to build relationships with media and other stakeholders
  • Resilient and willing to work longer hours and flexibly when required
  • Ability to hit deadlines and deliver to the highest standards, first time around

Apply by completing the application form below. 

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