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Communications Manager - KSA

Date: 11-Jan-2021

Location: 565, SA

Company: British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. We do this by making a positive contribution to the UK and the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.

We work with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Last year we reached over 80 million people directly and 791 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body.

Contract Duration: 1 year (renewable)
Location: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Pay Band F/7
Salary: 12,870 - 14,625 SAR + medical insurance
Closing Date: 24 January 2021


Role Purpose


The role will be responsible for leading the implementation of the long-term marketing strategy for MENA in relation to Saudi Arabia country operation. The jobholder will need to have the capability to interpret and deliver the strategy with the support of colleagues. They will be responsible for internal and change communications; external communications’ planning and delivery, including media, PR and events within Saudi Arabia.


The jobholder will work closely with internal and external key stakeholders, implement strategies that strengthen and integrate marketing initiatives to continue to engage current audiences, identify and attract new ones and create greater awareness of the British Council. This is an important role that will suit a skilled communications professional with exceptional interpersonal and communication skills, proven strategic thinking capability, the ability to make things happen. Previous project management experience would be advantageous. The jobholder will have a good understanding of the Saudi market, emerging technology and its role in modern communication techniques. 

Function Overview


The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Marketing Directorate in the British Council plays an essential role in helping us to make a positive contribution to the UK and the communities where we work - 17 dynamic and diverse countries in MENA. The Directorate is driving an approach to marketing excellence through an integrated team of marketing professionals that include specialists working in communications, insights and analysis, marketing performance and digital communications. The work is varied, challenging and rewarding, and supports a portfolio of work in English language teaching services, examinations and professional qualifications, education programmes, and arts and society initiatives.

To join this high functioning team, we are looking for candidates who are adaptive and innovative. Prepared to think differently, drive value and demonstrate high levels of expertise and professionalism. They will be dedicated to growing the impact and reputation of the British Council and work seamlessly across many countries, supporting the requirements of multiple business units.


Main Accountabilities


Communications strategy, planning and delivery

  • Develops the country communications plan and manages implementation, ensuring alignment to the regional communications strategy and plan, and effective impact.
  • Manages the development and delivery of internal and external country communications campaigns, advice and activities, ensuring that messages are consistent and support the regional and global communications strategies as part of overall Marketing strategy and plans.
  • Provides strategic oversight in communicating the British Council’s profile to internal and external stakeholders in country working closely with the Country Director.
  • Plans and co-ordinates country internal and change communications activities to improve effectiveness, audience impact and eliminate duplication to ensure employees at every level have the right information to perform their roles.
  • Ensures that country internal, change, media and stakeholder communications risks and issues are effectively managed and mitigated with support from the regional Head of Communications.


Analysis & problem-solving

  • Applies communications expertise to provide advice to the Country Director and senior colleagues, delivering agreed programmes of work.
  • Applies analytical approaches to identify and assess current state of country communications, define opportunities for improvement, develop and implement agreed projects and initiatives, ensuring consistency with regional communications strategies, plans and approaches and global strategy where appropriate.
  • Presents complex information clearly, producing tailored presentations, which convincingly influence decision-makers about the case for country communications initiatives.


Internal customer focus


  • Builds an in-depth understanding of the country operational context, opportunities and challenges for communications. 
  • Makes appropriate linkages to issues across the broader organisation and region, to ensure that the development of country communications projects and initiatives is based on informed business insight and joined-up thinking.
  • Proactively seeks internal customer and other stakeholder feedback to monitor satisfaction with the standard of communications/media relations and PR advice and business support provided, enabling improvements to be made where issued are identified.


Service improvement


  • Ensures joined up planning and delivery of communications projects and initiatives across the country.
  • Accountability and management of the country intranet and leads the creation of digital stories.
  • Reviews impact and effectiveness of country communications projects, country initiatives and identifies opportunities for improvement.


Commercial & financial management



  • Plans and manages the budget for country communications projects and initiatives.
  • Conducts monthly and year-end reporting on progress against plan and deliverables, budget, and management of issues and risks.


Relationship & stakeholder management


  • Ensures solid and beneficial relationships with marketing and communications professionals globally and within country.
  • Actively participates within the Marketing Community of Practice and communications networks.
  • Proactively builds and maintains excellent relationships with both internal and external stakeholders.


Main Accountabilities


Product/programme/service delivery


  • Implements a range of standardised, operational procedures and systems within a given work plan to achieve specified, clearly measurable targets (revenue, volume, time and/or cost) 
  • Provide support to the Libya TVET project on the overall delivery and management of the project through all stages of implementation to achieve agreed outcomes and outputs in logical framework
  • Support the selection and procurement of Non-Key Experts and closely monitors the implementation of planned activities in terms of efficiency and effectiveness, in addition to providing a sound data base for periodic reporting and auditing
  • Uses a range of standardised systems and processes to plan and coordinate effective, timely and cost-effective logistical support to enable the delivery of high-quality services to a range of customers (internal and/or external)
  • Participate in project team meetings and ensure minutes/key actions are recorded and followed up, in liaison with the Deputy Team Leader and the Tunis-based Senior Programme Manager
  • Lead on ensuring there are effective links between the Libya-based project team and British Council Tunisia office, including but not limited to: involvement of needed additional resources, IT, finance, HR, and all other needed administrative support as required.
  • Ensure information and records management is done in compliance with the British Council policies and procedures.
  • Identify, collect and share lesson learnt, areas of innovations and best practice for continuous improvement of the project and wider internal teams, in cooperation with the rest of the team.
  • Support the Senior Management team in the preparation of internal and external reports


Finance, procurement and contract management:

  • Support consistent and effective management of all aspects of project procurement and finances to ensure they effectively aid operational project delivery and are compliant with EU contract and British Council requirements, in close liaison with project Finance Manager, Tunis-based management team, and UK quality manager/finance colleagues.
  • Ensure that British Council procurement Policy and procedures are respected, closely collaborating with the British Council Procurement Department (Market place).
  • Support the preparation and maintenance of financial plans and forecasts, highlighting problem areas and potential risks to the Senior Project Manager/Finance Manager; provide troubleshooting support and risk management.
  • Contribute to the analysis of financial information and preparation of internal and external reports ensuring they are accurate, complete and timely. 
  • Support the project team in the preparation, coordination and management of contracts with service providers, consultants and partners ensuring that pre-agreed programme contracting principles meet the procurement provisions of the EU contract and follow BC rules and best practice.
  • Actively seeks to maximise value for money when acquiring resources, goods or services for the team, unit or project.
  • Lead on staff and project coordinators’ payment and duty of care.


Relationship & stakeholder management


  • Develops good working relationships with appropriate colleagues throughout the BC to facilitate effective and efficient service delivery.
  • As required, supports senior colleagues in hosting/attending external events or meetings, ensuring these run efficiently and effectively and that a positive, professional image of the BC is projected.


Risk & compliance    


Follows agreed corporate risk management processes and procedures when delivering services (e.g. child protection, security policies, financial protocols, anti-fraud measures) to protect the interests of the BC and its customers at all times.


Analysis & reporting

Using standard procedures and templates, regularly records, analyses and reports on operational activity levels and performance data, to support senior managers in making timely and effective business decisions that respond to operational needs.


Leadership & management
Plans and prioritises own work activities, which span across a range of different work streams, responding to changing and at times competing requirements to ensure effective delivery of responsibilities over a weekly/monthly time horizon.
Likely to manage the day to day performance of a more junior team, dealing with sickness, discipline, motivation etc, to ensure high quality service delivery is maintained at all times
Tasks and coordinates others (e.g. third-party suppliers, external partners and internal colleagues) to complete activities in accordance with agreed service delivery/ contractual/ project milestones or requirements (e.g. cost schedules, time deadlines etc).


Qualification & Experience


  • Bachelor Degree in relevant field
  • Masters Degree in relevant field (Communication, Journalism, Marketing)
  • Fluency in English and Arabic 
  • Demonstrable experience in providing expert advice and guidance on internal and external communications 
  • Creative approach to developing, implementing and evaluating communication activities 
  • Practical experience of using social media to extend reach of an organisation including through campaigns; 
  • Three years’ experience in delivering communications within a large and complex organisation or agency
  • Demonstrable experience in managing and mitigating internal and external communications risks and issues

About Us


The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. We do this by making a positive contribution to the UK and the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.

We work with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Each year we reach over 20 million people face-to-face and more than 500 million people online, via broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body.


The British Council is an equal opportunities and diversity employer, and the post-holder will play a role in ensuring that Equality, Diversity and Inclusion polices are consistently applied. 

The British Council has a fundamental duty of care of all children engaged in activities with us under our mandatory Child Protection Policy. All our employees must be familiar with and follow the Child Protection Code of Conduct. The British Council believes that all children have potential and that every child matters everywhere in the world. The British Council affirms the position that all children have the right to be protected from all forms of abuse as set out in article 19, UNCRC 1989.


A connected and trusted UK in a more connected and trusted world.

Equality Statement

The British Council is committed to a policy of equality and to valuing diversity and is keen to reflect the diversity of the societies in which we work at every level within the organisation. We welcome applications from all sections of the community. We aim to abide by and promote equality legislation by following both the letter and the spirit of it to avoid unjustified discrimination, recognising discrimination as a barrier to equality of opportunity, inclusion and human rights. All staff worldwide are required to ensure their behaviour is consistent with our policies. 
The British Council has Disability Confident Employer Status. We offer a guaranteed interview scheme for disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for the role. Applicants are encouraged to highlight any specific requirements or adjustments needed to enable participation in the recruitment process.

The British Council is committed to safeguarding children, young people and adults who we work with.


We believe that all children and adults everywhere in the world deserve to live in safe environments and have the right to be protected from all forms of abuse, maltreatment and exploitation as set out in article 19, UNCRC (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) 1989.


Appointment to positions where there is direct involvement with vulnerable groups will be dependent on thorough checks being completed; these will include qualification checks, reference checks, identity & criminal record checks in line with legal requirements and with the British Council’s Safeguarding policies for Adults and Children.


  If you have any technical problems please email askhr@britishcouncil.org