Chief Communications Officer - Culture, Sport, Tourism and Civil Society

Job Title: Chief Communications Officer - Culture, Sport, Tourism and Civil Society
Contract Type: Permanent
Location: London
Salary: £48,892 - £56,805 + £4000 specialist allowance
Job Published: October 31, 2017 10:23

Job Description

About the job

Job description

please note this role is full time. However, applicants who do, or wish to, work an alternative pattern are welcome to apply. The preferred working pattern may or may not be available. You should discuss this with the vacancy holder before applying. 

We have an exciting opportunity for a skilled communicator to join our team in one of the most interesting, varied and fast paced Whitehall departments.

As the Chief Communications Officer in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) no two days are the same. You will be leading on all aspects of media handling for our culture, sport, tourism and civil society policies. From growing tourism and a stronger civil society to promoting our cultural, sporting and arts heritage. You will lead a small team to devise and deliver creative and compelling media campaigns across all DCMS channels. 

For a small department we deliver with impact with our work regularly leading the news. 

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) helps to drive growth, enrich lives and promote Britain abroad. We protect and promote our cultural and artistic heritage and help businesses and communities to grow by investing in innovation and highlighting Britain as a fantastic place to visit. We help to give the UK a unique advantage on the global stage, striving for economic success. 

About You 

You will be a talented, passionate and enthusiastic communicator with a solid background in devising and delivering press and media campaigns in a news team or press office role. 

You’ll have sound judgement and the ability to lead. In addition to first-rate media handling skills you will have experience devising and delivering campaigns. 

The right person will benefit from having worked in a high profile and diverse role, in a team that’s multi- talented, hardworking, and fun. If that sounds like a challenge you relish then we want to hear from you. 

Person and Job Specification: 

As Chief Communications Officer you will be responsible for devising and implementing the media strategy for policy areas including gambling, sports, tourism, forging links with the VCSE sector and businesses and cultural and arts heritage protection. You will help ensure that media plans are aligned to policy aims and that social media is fully integrated into press work. 

As part of the communications senior management team, you will help to set the future direction of DCMS communications and help lead our small, fully integrated team strive for excellence in all they do. 

You will help drive innovation and creative communications and have experience of integrating digital engagement and PR approaches into traditional media strategies. It goes without saying that you’ll have highly developed communication skills with experience of working in a press office. You will have first rate news handling skills and a good network of journalists and media contacts to draw upon. Your track record of leading press officers on high profile issues will go hand in hand with sound management experience. 

You will have devised and implemented successful communications campaigns and have a track record of delivering targeted media and PR across all channels. In addition you will be able to demonstrate how you have used evaluation to inform your media work. 

You will be comfortable advising ministers, special advisers and senior officials on all aspects of communications and media handling so must have experience advising senior people in your organisation. 

You will have management responsibility for a small team of press and communications officers. 

Reporting to the Head of News, the Chief Communications Officer will: 

• Have overall responsibility for delivering the media strategy for culture, sport, tourism and civil society, ensuring the strategy fits with campaign aims and is evaluated. 
• Lead a small team of press officers to ensure delivery of a high-quality proactive and reactive communications service to all Ministers and the Department. 
• Make sure that all members of the team are managed and directed appropriately, and that the overall strategic direction is embedded in their work. 
• Help provide overall editorial control across the team to ensure appropriate and consistent content, tone, messaging and style. 
• Be part of the senior management team in Communications with some responsibility for managing budgets, finance, procurement, HR and training.
• Help create and foster a creative team, constantly creating media opportunities and ensuring they land in the right place for the audience. 
• Drive strategic and creative media, PR and communications ensuring the team fully exploits the range of media channels available. 
• Participate in the out of hours duty rota. 

You will be: 

• Positive and resourceful in the face of challenges; 
• A self-starter, who is not afraid to roll their sleeves up to deliver; and 
• A resilient good humoured team player, with a positive, ‘can do’ attitude. 

Essential requirements: 

The successful candidate will have: 

• A strong background in media and news handling with experience of leading teams in a busy press office. 
• A proven track record of delivering creative and targeted media and PR campaigns that use a range of different channels. 
• Proven experience of delivering against organisational priorities and managing change. 
• Experience in managing budgets and delivering financial targets, including the ability to ensure resources are matched to communication priorities. 
• Evidence of driving creativity and innovation and supporting new communications approaches. 
• Experience of building teams across communications disciplines and policy teams to ensure the seamless and effective delivery of departmental objectives. 
• Evidence of creating partnerships with external organisations to deliver communications goals.


We'll assess you against these competencies during the selection process:

  • Communications - Ideas: Press and Media
  • Communications - Impact: Press and Media
  • Communications - Implementation: Press and Media
  • Communications - Insight: Press and Media
  • Delivering at pace
  • Collaborating and partnering
  • Managing a quality service

Civil Service Competency Framework



Civil Service pension schemes may be available for successful candidates.


DCMS has an on-site gym, restaurant and cafe facilities.


£4000 specialist allowance

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.
Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is counter-terrorist check.

Nationality statement

Candidates will be subject to UK immigration requirements as well as Civil Service nationality rules.

If you're applying for a role requiring security clearance please be aware that foreign or dual nationality is not an automatic bar. However certain posts may have restrictions which could affect those who do not have sole British nationality or who have personal connections with certain countries outside the UK.

Selection process details

As part of the application process you will be asked to complete a CV and personal statement. Further details around what this will entail are listed on the application form. 

Please note we will be assessing applicants against the Government communications competencies at Level 4 (Insight, Ideas, Implementation and Impact). 

Please note that your personal statement should be aligned to the competencies listed above. Please see the attached competency frameworks to support your application. 

For both the sift and interview process, we will be assessing applicants against the Government communications competencies at Level 4.
Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Nationality requirements

Open to UK, Commonwealth and European Economic Area (EEA) and certain non EEA nationals. Further information on whether you are able to apply is available here.


Candidates in their probationary period are eligible to apply for vacancies within this department.

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles.
The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equality of opportunity. There is a guaranteed interview scheme (GIS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Apply and further information

Contact point for applicants

Sift/interview dates and location

To be confirmed

Further information

To reflect the lead the department takes on digital policy, the Prime Minister has recently agreed a departmental name change and DCMS is now the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. We are working to update CS Jobs to reflect this change, but candidates should note that correspondence from the department, including employment contracts for instance, will be issued in our new name. 

Reasonable adjustment 

If a person with disabilities is put at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person, we have a duty to make reasonable changes to our processes. 
If you need a change to be made so that you can make your application, you should: 
• Contact Government Recruitment Service via as soon as possible before the closing date to discuss your needs 
• Complete the “Assistance required” section in the “Additional requirements” page of your application form to tell us what changes or help you might need further on in the recruitment process. For instance, you may need wheelchair access at interview, or if you’re deaf, a Language Service Professional