JOB TITLESenior Communications Officer
JOB TYPEProfessional & Technical
RECRUITMENT TYPEInternational Hire
LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTEnglish [Essential]
Background / General description:
CGAP is an independent policy and research center dedicated to advancing financial access for the world's poor. It is supported by over 30 development agencies and private foundations who share a common mission to alleviate poverty. Housed at the World Bank, CGAP provides market intelligence, promotes standards, develops innovative solutions, and offers advisory services to governments, microfinance providers, donors, and investors.
Access to financial services is a fundamental tool for improving a family’s well-being and productive capacity. Poor people need to borrow, save to accumulate assets, use insurance to mitigate risks such as weather that might threaten crops, and they need remittance services to transfer money to family and friends. CGAP is dedicated to helping achieve full financial inclusion so that poor households can manage their household cash flow more effectively, and at lower cost, empowering poor families by enabling them to seize opportunities, and reduce their exposure to risk.
About the Position/Background
CGAP has played a pivotal role in advancing the sector: developing a common language for the microfinance industry, encouraging institutions of all types to adopt good practices, informing the media and general public, and building consensus and standards among the industry’s many and varied stakeholders. Our commitment to the development of knowledge and information in the field of access to finance is considerable, and we see our investment in communications as central to our success as a thought leader and knowledge center to advance access to financial services for the poor.
Over the past few years, the communications function at CGAP has been integrated throughout the whole organization. As we continue to strengthen the processes and structures supporting the way we generate information and turn it into shareable knowledge for those engaged in financial services for the poor, we have expanded our outreach and engagement strategy. Building on a reputation for high-quality microfinance publications, today we use the full range of communications tools encompassing new media (blogs, RSS, multimedia, social networking), live presentations, and events to maximize the impact of our work with financial institutions, other market actors, policy makers, and funders.
CGAP offers key industry information, research and analysis through a variety of publications, Web sites, and blogs. Our publications are renowned for high quality technical expertise written in an accessible style. They have shaped the industry by presenting cutting-edge ideas and evidence-based research to support developments in financial access in a timely and readable way, with relevant topics driven by experts engaged in industry debates and with their ears to the ground. Our corporate site, cgap.org, offers the latest publications and research on microfinance from CGAP, and updates on the work we do to advance financial access in developing countries. With over 1.6 million page views a year, over 400,000 site visits, and nearly 300,000 unique visitors a year, traffic to the site has increased significantly over the past couple of years. The site was recently redesigned for improved information architecture, navigation, and usability, as well as new features including multimedia. At the same time, we developed a new blog strategy and started tapping into social networking and new media to provide multiple access points to high quality, credible information and research.
The Microfinance Gateway (www.microfinancegateway.org) is the most comprehensive online resource for the global microfinance community. The Microfinance Gateway, currently offered in English, French, Arabic, and Spanish, promotes learning and knowledge exchange through access to the latest research and publications, feature articles on industry trends and developments, organizations and consultants’ profiles, job postings, training and professional development opportunities and current news and events in the field. With over 5 million page views and 1 million visits a year, the Gateway consistently ranks at the top of search engines for microfinance.
As an organization that works globally, our strategy encompasses a major effort around translating our information into a minimum of English, French, and Spanish, with a large amount available in up to 7 languages. Going forward, we have a clear commitment to further developing our regional and country-level communications.
We are looking for the right person to lead CGAP’s knowledge products and communications efforts, managing a team of nine high-performing communications professionals, and working with CGAP teams and staff across the entire organization. The ideal candidate will be an experienced communications expert with a strong background in creating and shaping a knowledge and communications strategy and a strong track record in running an integrated multimedia communications operation. The Senior Communications Officer is part of CGAP’s senior management team, and advises CGAP’s CEO and senior management on positioning and messaging. A strong understanding of branding issues and experience leading a branding strategy are needed. Experience of handling media relations are also required as the candidate will act as a spokesperson, leading media relations, and publicly represent the organization.
We need an individual with experience in leading teams and with sharp judgment and the ability to move effectively from the detail to the big picture. The selected candidate will be a strategic thinker, who can define business strategy and goals, coach and manage staff, and encourage professional development. The selected candidate will have a proven track record in measuring results to inform strategy, and the ability to communicate clearly throughout the organization. The kind of person we have in mind will be highly motivated, with a strong work ethic and the ability to juggle competing priorities, while bringing to bear fresh thinking and sound judgment.
Experience in microfinance, economics, finance, or banking is necessary to work effectively in this position as the selected candidate will provide significant editorial input on technical publications. The ability to write, craft a storyline, and strong editorial judgment are all essential. Previous experience in an editorial capacity in media / journalism is preferred.
The Advisor needs to be up-to-date on the latest technologies, Web trends and developments, capable of leading an online strategy, and managing a Web team.
Note: If the selected candidate is a current Bank Group staff member with a Regular or Open-Ended appointment, s/he will retain his/her Regular or Open-Ended appointment. All others will be offered a 2 year term appointment.
Duties and Accountabilities:
The Senior Communications Officer will act as CGAP’s Head of Knowledge Products and Communications drives the strategy and implementation of a fully integrated multi-channel communications and knowledge platform for CGAP. He/she leads a team of nine communications professionals, responsible for a renowned publications department, two global Web sites—the corporate site, cgap.org, and the Microfinance Gateway—an active and widely-read blog, and a comprehensive and fully-integrated global outreach and engagement effort to support improved access to finance for the world’s poor. The Senior Communications Officer is responsible for setting the strategic direction and overseeing the execution of the team’s work, and works directly with staff across the entire organization. As a member of CGAP’s management team, the Senior Communications Officer advises the CEO and senior management on messaging and positioning, including branding and reputation, and helps shape the storyline for CGAP and for the global microfinance/access to finance community through CGAP’s communications and knowledge products.
The Senior Communications Officer
- Design, develop and execute communication strategy for CGAP and ensure the strategy is aligned with corporate priorities focusing on the shift toward new media--social media and multimedia (video, audio, slideshows)--and the evolving communications environment, incorporating new developments and seizing new strategic opportunities, including partnerships for CGAP.
- Draft and edit articles for the internal and external website, newsletters, and other communications products including key publications.
- Takes the lead in the direction and handles all corporate communications, and media relations, including strategic partnerships in coordination and collaboration with the FPD Communications Manager and her team. Operates across the organization, working directly with staff at all levels, ensuring consistency and optimizing opportunities for effective communications.
- Is responsible for quality control and consistency of messaging in CGAP’s publications, online and media presence. Reviews all press releases, blog posts, publications, Web/newsletter features and announcements directly or as delegated to other team members.
- Is a member of CGAP’s management team and oversees the knowledge products budget, advises the CEO and senior management on communications and issues relating to knowledge creation and sharing, and actively contributes to corporate management.
- Acts as a spokesperson, briefing press, and giving presentations to outside groups as needed.
- Oversees publications development, co-coordinating peer review through the CGAP Publications Committee and reviewing all technical publications.
- Leads a team of communications professionals (ranging from GC to GG), providing support, coaching, helping to set priorities and goals, and actively promoting professional development.
- Creates and systematically maintains networks of communications contacts with media, and stakeholders, including CGAP members and partners.
The Senior Communications Officer reports to the CGAP CEO and operates under the broad umbrella of FPD’s Communications strategy in coordination with the FPD Communication Manager.
We are looking for a person who has all or most of the following:
• Masters degree (Communications, International Relations/Public Affairs, Economics, or other related field) plus a minimum of 8 years of relevant work experience or a BA plus at least 13 years of relevant work experience.
• Thorough knowledge of and practical experience in full range of communications approaches, tools and methodologies essential to planning, executing, and monitoring communications strategies including the latest technologies, Web trends and developments, and the shifting communications environment; prior editorial experience, preferably in journalism desired.
• Experience leading teams, setting the direction, defining business strategy and goals, establishing metrics and monitoring progress on achieving results, as well as responsibility for managing day-to-day operations, including budget.
• State of the art knowledge in the field of communications and public affairs and the ability to address a range of issues, including taking the lead on highly visible and sensitive assignments:
Substantial and diverse experience in creating and shaping a knowledge and communications strategy and in running an integrated multimedia communications operation.
Ability to develop and tailor complex content/information into clear messages in an accessible way to different audiences
Ability to effectively manage sensitive communications challenges that may involve reputation risk to the institution and/or affect the ability of the organization to achieve its objectives
• Exceptional communication skills, strong writing skills, and experience publicly representing organizations, whether in speaking engagements or meeting with senior representatives.
• Demonstrated ability to manage/lead others in planning and executing complex communications plans that often require multiple teams.
• Ability to operate effectively with all levels of staff, both as a team leader and team member.
• Prior substantive work experience in achieving results on the ground in more than one world region (including pre-Bank experience and Bank experience). Experience working in developing countries.
• Proven track record of building, managing and coaching teams, and working with staff at all levels to encourage and develop talent.
• Proven ability to think strategically and rapidly analyze diverse information from varied sources and an ability to learn, adapt, and to be innovative as new communications challenges arise.
• Experience leading a branding strategy and managing a valuable brand.
Competencies for Communications jobs:
Communication in International Development - High-level ability to communicate with internal and external partners, based on understanding their communication needs and possessing significant experience with international development topics and issues.
Social Media, Information Channels, and Communication Tools Awareness - Able to assist, consult, or lead others in assuring existing or new, upcoming communication tools and media channels are fully leveraged to assure proper communication.
Access to Information Policy - Recognized as an authority in information access, and in the distribution, design, and delivery of communications products and in other information dissemination activities.
Content Development - Has significant experience in and/or demonstrates broad, in-depth proficiency in this competency and is therefore able to clear for internal or external use material that is developed.
Content and Style Editing - Has significant experience in, leads others and demonstrates in-depth proficiency in rewriting or editing complex communications products for purposeful structure, clarity of ideas, and the logical persuasive presentation of content.
Communication Strategy, Planning, and Execution - Has significant experience in and/or demonstrates in-depth proficiency at a level sufficient to assist, consult, or lead others in the planning, development, and execution of communication strategies for complex projects.
Relationship Management and Political Awareness - Has significant experience in and/or demonstrates an in-depth proficiency sufficient to lead and manage overall relationships with critical internal and/or external high-risk, critical constituencies to foster strategic partnerships and to strengthen the
Client Orientation - Maintains client relationships in the face of conflicting demands or directions and provides evidence-based advice and solutions based on sound diagnosis and knowledge.
Drive for Results - Identifies the needed resources to accomplish results involving multiple stakeholders and finds solutions to obstacles affecting key deliverables.
Teamwork (Collaboration) and Inclusion - Shows leadership in ensuring the team stays organized and focused, and actively seeks and considers diverse ideas and approaches.
Knowledge, Learning and Communication - Leads in the sharing of best practice, trends, knowledge and lessons learned across units and with clients and partners, articulating ideas verbally and in writing in a clear and compelling way across audiences of varied levels.
Business Judgment and Analytical Decision Making - Gathers inputs, assesses risk, considers impact and articulates benefits of decisions for internal and external stakeholders over the long term.
Washington, DC, US
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