Staff vacancy: Communications, PR and Media Manager (Interim, Fixed Term)

The British Geriatrics Society is the professional association for NHS doctors, nurses and other healthcare specialists engaged in the treatment and care of older people across the UK, united by a mission to improve healthcare for older people. We have over 4,500 members who work in acute, community and primary care. We are a registered charity with a friendly staff team of 12.

Could you help us with our communications and marketing while our permanent Comms, PR and Media Manager is on extended leave?

Older people have borne the brunt of the COVID pandemic, and our members are flat out providing healthcare in settings such as hospital wards, care homes and community teams. It is a crucial time for the BGS to influence the design and implementation of new NHS services for older people and to bring our expertise into policy debates about older people’s care.

For this, we need to be dynamic and nimble with our communications, spotting opportunities to advocate for older people’s care, and making sure our members feel up-to-date with the latest developments. Please explore our website for more information. We look forward to receiving your application! 

Job specification

Job title: Communications, PR and Media Manager (Interim)
Reporting to: Chief Executive
Salary: Fixed term contract (4 months) £47,250 pro rata
Hours: Between 3 and 5 days per week (negotiable)
Benefits: 11% employer pension contribution; 29 days annual leave (plus bank holidays) pro rata
Base: The British Geriatrics Society’s office in Farringdon, London EC1. The BGS has a flexible working policy and most staff combine working from home and the office. 
Start date: Immediate start
Overall purpose
  • To promote the specialty of geriatric medicine, the BGS, its services, policy priorities and key concerns among the media, policy makers and other stakeholders including the general public.  
  • To ensure that BGS members are well-informed about the aims and work of the Society; to identify and meet their communications needs, and to engage them in contributing to the Society’s work.  
  • To market BGS membership, events, e-learning and other services in order to attract new members and event delegates.

This is a key role managing the BGS’s external voice and brand and ensuring that we maintain good communications with our membership.

The fixed term contract is to cover for our permanent Communications, PR and Media Manager, who is on extended leave. The postholder will work closely with the Publications and Website Editor and with the Policy Manager. They will report directly to the Chief Executive.

The post fulfils the function of a Communications, PR and Media department, delivering effective messaging across the full spectrum of communications disciplines including: media and public relations, marketing, social media and production of materials. The postholder will be part of the BGS’s staff team of twelve, and will work closely BGS members who hold voluntary officer posts, in particular the Digital Media Editor.


1. Develop and deliver BGS’s annual communication priorities, and plan activity, including campaigns, events marketing, and member recruitment, in collaboration with team members.

2. Develop the BGS’s key messages and ensure that these are effectively communicated by all BGS spokespeople and appear within all BGS literature and external communications.

3. Lead the BGS’s media relations activity, carrying out the following tasks:

  • Planning media campaigns to support strategic and policy objectives
  • Drafting and distributing press releases and press statements, for both BGS and our research journal, Age and Ageing
  • Promoting research published in Age and Ageing, including through the commissioning of blogs
  • Seeking media coverage opportunities to promote case studies of good practice
  • Establishing and maintaining links with key journalists
  • Responding to press and media queries
  • Media monitoring and responding as appropriate
  • Ensuring appropriate BGS officers and members receive media training and fostering a network of BGS spokespeople
  • Keeping a record of coverage achieved and reporting to regular Trustee Board and other committee meetings

4. Oversee the BGS’s ‘tone’ by leading its social media activity, acting as lead social content creator via our @gerisoc Twitter handle and our Facebook and LinkedIn channels. Monitor communications and coverage of the Society and issues relating to older people’s healthcare appearing in social media.

5. Work with the Director of Professional Learning & Development and the events team to market BGS conferences and events to target audiences, and to plan associated media activity well in advance.

6. Coordinate the commissioning and production of BGS blogs, liaising with the honorary BGS Digital Media Editor and blog editor; collate content and format the main BGS monthly e-bulletin and other e-bulletins as requested; add news items, media coverage, press releases and press statements to the BGS website.

7. Develop the BGS’s and Age and Ageing’s social media presence in liaison with the BGS Digital Media Editor and Age and Ageing Editorial Manager; tweet regularly and frequently; select topical content from the journal and invite the authors to submit a blog.

8. Attend relevant BGS Committee meetings in order to brief members on activity and to develop future activity in collaboration with BGS officers and members; provide regular written updates for Committee and Board meetings; provide support to the Policy and Communications Committee.

9. As part of the responsibility to oversee use of the BGS brand, produce copy about the BGS and its activities for dissemination to a range of external audiences including potential event sponsors, funders and policy influencers.

10. Co-ordinate media training for honorary officers and organise (COVID permitting) a photoshoot to enable the BGS to update its bespoke database of stock photographs.

11. Develop and implement plans to raise awareness of the charity among groups of potential members, working in conjunction with the Membership Officer; prepare for and attend (currently online) BGS regional and national conferences, covering the events live via Twitter and other channels.

12. Plan and coordinate media and PR activity to underpin BGS policy initiatives, including writing press releases and news stories.

13. Support the BGS’s bi-monthly Twitter bookclub, #GeriBookClub.

Person specification
  • Experienced communications professional, with at least three years’ experience in a busy media, PR or communications role.
  • Demonstrable ability to lead a communications, PR and media function effectively and with impact.
  • Passionate about improving the healthcare of older people.
  • Dynamic, proactive and well-organised, with proven efficiency and time management in working to deadlines.
  • Ability to quickly develop a clear grasp of policy issues affecting the NHS and healthcare for older people, and of the BGS’s role and ‘voice’.
  • Excellent skills in writing for publication, with the ability to understand complex material and produce effective and accurate copy for senior audiences to deadlines.
  • Demonstrable understanding of print and broadcast media, including social media.
  • Proven ability to manage complex and sensitive media issues.
  • Excellent communication skills in person and in writing.
  • Ability to work harmoniously, collaboratively and creatively within a small team.
  • Proficiency in email, Microsoft Office including Word, PowerPoint, Excel.
  • Knowledge of Office 365 suite including Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Project, Sharepoint as well as G-Suite and social media platforms.
  • Educated to degree level or equivalent.
  • Experience of planning projects and orchestrating their delivery.
  • Experience of using website content management systems (CRMs) such as Drupal, customer relationship management (CRM) systems such as CiviCRM, and mass mailing/campaign software.
How to apply
Send your CV plus a supporting statement of up to 250 words to Mark Stewart (m [dot] stewart [at] bgs [dot] org [dot] uk) by 9am on Monday 21 February. Interviews will be held during the week of 21 February.