The Reader, Head of Communications

The Reader
Mansion House, Calderstones Park, Liverpool L18 3JB (National travel may be required).
£27,000 to £35,000 per annum DoE
07 Feb 2018
22 Feb 2018
Job Type
Full Time

About this role

The Head of Communications role is a new post which has strategic and operational responsibility for all aspects of communications (internal and external), marketing and brand management for The Reader.

You will be a senior leader in the organisation, taking responsibility for developing and refining our messages to the world. 

Your work will increase awareness of, and engagement with The Reader as an evolving, innovative charity and social enterprise with a strong Liverpool base and growing national, and international, reach.

The Reader is at an exciting point in its development. We have just finalised a new five-year business plan that will see the organisation evolve and grow a new volunteer-led model for Shared Reading to radically increase our reach across the UK.

2018 will also see the launch of the International Centre for Shared Reading at Calderstones Park, our Liverpool home. It is in this context that we are now investing in our communications function, new digital infrastructure and brand development.

You’ll lead a small, committed team, work closely with The Reader’s Director Jane Davis and be a vital part of The Reader’s Senior Management team.

This role supports The Reader to:

  • Continue to evolve a language for our mission which is both true to the complexity of the Shared Reading experience, and yet able to address the concerns of the external world
  • Build and manage The Reader’s brand and reputation 
  • Raise national awareness of our mission
  • Increase volunteer and group member recruitment
  • Enhance awareness and increase influence with key stakeholders, particularly in our main commissioning markets, to build income
  • Communicate our impact and case for support to assist income-generation objectives, including delivery of fundraising campaigns
  • Position The Reader and our work at Calderstones as an ambitious social enterprise with potential to influence the national conversation on sustainable community, arts, health and wellbeing 
  • Market our Social Enterprises to the public

Key responsibilities

  • Understand Shared Reading and develop your own practice in a weekly group
  • Work closely with The Reader’s Directors and Head of Calderstones Development to develop our communications and marketing strategy
  • Continue to develop The Reader’s language, in order to help make Shared Reading part of the fabric of life
  • Plan and deliver all elements of The Reader’s communications and marketing activity, including social media, PR, advertising and events
  • Work with Development, Learning and Operational teams to develop a strong case for support and key messages and convey them externally across a range of channels (appropriate conferences, news pieces and comment, campaigns, social targeting, marketing collateral etc.) 
  • Act as the organisation’s brand guardian and ensure that all teams, volunteers and partners have clear guidance on brand parameters and processes
  • Work with the Development team to shape and deliver public fundraising campaigns
  • Lead a project to significantly increase the profile and visibility of our social impact
  • Work with the Associate Director of Development and Head of Calderstones Development on The Reader’s stakeholder engagement strategy and proactively seek opportunities for influencing and positioning our work
  • Develop and maintain relationships with key people in the media and communications sector
  • Set communication KPI’s and provide leadership and line management to the communications and marketing team
  • Monitor, evaluate and report on the effectiveness of our communications and marketing activity
  • Oversee internal communications to ensure that all staff are informed, have mechanisms for providing feedback as well as tools to be effective advocates for the organisation
  • Act as a member of the senior leadership team
  • Manage a communications and marketing budget and manage external suppliers where appropriate

Person specification

We are looking for a highly experienced, creative person who demonstrates an excellent understanding of the purpose and social mission of The Reader and its values.

You will be, or will quickly become, a powerful advocate for and practitioner of Shared Reading, able to explain why a Clinical Psychologist might gain from having Coleridge in her medicine bag, or a Drug and Alcohol worker be able to use Shakespeare to help people in recovery.

You will have held a similar role or will be able to demonstrate that you have the skills and experience to take on what is a wide-ranging leadership role.

Essential criteria

  • At least four years of experience at manager level in a communications or marketing role
  • Experience of developing an integrated communications and marketing strategy and overseeing its delivery
  • Outstanding copy writing capabilities – able to write engaging copy for a diverse B2B as well as B2C audience. You might be writing for an audience of NHS CEOs or a world-wide community of Literature Professors, or for the Mirror’s World Book Day feature, overseeing the tone of our Café’s menu board or our Christmas Card message.
  • Experience working closely with fundraising, business development or membership teams to grow income
  • Experience of media management    
  • A track record of delivering measurable, impactful communications and marketing collateral
  • Excellent project management skills, attention to detail and deadlines
  • High degree of creativity in approach and delivery
  • Engaging and credible – you’ll bring staff with you and be able to interact with a range of people, from Shared Reading group members to Parliamentarians in a professional, confident manner
  • Resilient and able to work in a fast-paced environment
  • Flexible and adaptable – you can embrace change, thrive on working on a diverse range of tasks and are happy mucking in
  • Motivated; you are driven and ambitious about what you can achieve and set high standards for yourself and your team
  • Collaborative – you enjoy working in and across teams


  • Literature degree or demonstrable interest in and practice of literary or Shared Reading
  • Marketing degree, CIM Diploma or qualified by experience in marketing delivery (minimum three years).
  • Communications qualification (e.g. CIM, IPPR)
  • Experience of working within an integrated Communications and fundraising department
  • Event Management experience
  • Photo, video and audio editing skills
  • Events planning and management

How to Apply

Note. Please do not just send in a CV. We will only consider applications that adhere to the following process -

View the full job description, recruitment pack and download an application form from the 'Supporting documents' section below.

Please complete the application form and submit by completing the form below. 

Deadline for applications:
9am, Thursday 22 February 2018.

NB: applications arriving after 9am will not be considered.

For an informal chat about the role please contact Jemma Guerrier, Associate Director of Development on 0151 729 2200.

Selection Process:
If successful at shortlisting you will be invited to complete a selection task followed by a first stage panel interview.

If successful at the stage one panel interview you will be invited to a stage two panel interview.

It is expected that the stage one interview will be held on Monday 5 March and the stage two interview on Friday 9 March 2018.

A high volume of applications may make replies to everyone impossible. If you have not heard from us by Wednesday 28 February 2018, then unfortunately your application has been unsuccessful.

Role to start as soon as possible.

​Reporting to:  Associate Director of Development and Communications.

Responsible for: Marketing and Communications Manager, Communications Assistant, Interns.

Working Hours/Pattern: 35 hours per week. Monday to Friday, 0900-1700 hours. Flexible working arrangements will be considered.

Annual Leave: 30 days per year plus bank holidays.

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