Public Relations Officer

Public Relations Officer
Directorate of Corporate Affairs
Public Relations
Fixed-term until 30 October 2015
Full time
Salary £25,513 to £31,342 per annum, dependent on experience
Vacancy reference CA 189/14
Closing date 3 November 2014 at 12 noon
The University
Sheffield Hallam is one of the UK's most progressive and innovative universities. With more than
34,500 students, 4,400 employees and a turnover of more than £247m we are the fourth largest
university in the UK.
We pride ourselves on making a difference - to our students, our employees and to the businesses
we work with. Our research and business ideas, alongside our sought after graduates, contribute to
the economic and social development of both our region and to the UK as a whole.
Our teaching is first-rate and is supported by our world-class applied research. Our students are a
diverse group and benefit from a tailored approach that helps them to get the most from their studies.
We offer top quality teaching and learning facilities and the ability to learn flexibly in a way that best
suits their needs. For example, we are one of the UK's leading universities in e-learning and offer a
range of distance learning and part time courses as well as the more traditional full time courses.
Our industry partners choose Sheffield Hallam because of our flexible, business led approach and our
high quality research, facilities and students. Our partners include Sony, BP, NHS, Network Rail,
Cisco, SAP and Microsoft.
Our facilities are state-of-the-art and we have invested heavily in new technology to ensure that our
technological capability matches the cutting-edge approach of our teaching. We are recognised as a
Centre of Excellence for Teaching and Learning, e-learning and employability.
The University's Strategy for 2014-2020 outlines our priorities. A summary is available at:
Directorate of Corporate Affairs
The Directorate of Corporate Affairs is a large directorate at the University, which brings together the
Department of Communications and Alumni Relations, Marketing and Pre-Enrolment Services, to
create a dedicated resource of more than 180 people to promote the University and help it to achieve
its key recruitment and business aims.
Page 1 of 8
Department of Communications and Alumni Relations
This role is based within the Department of Communications and Alumni Relations, which is
responsible for devising and directing all aspects of internal and external corporate communications,
and for developing and managing relationships with our alumni.
The department helps the University achieve a strong media profile to help attract the staff, students
and business it needs to be successful. It also conducts public affairs and stakeholder relations
activities. Through an internal communications function, the department ensures that a clear sense of
direction and priorities for action are communicated to and understood by all staff. The department
manages a varied annual programme of events, including celebrity lectures, VIP visits, graduation
ceremonies and honorary doctorate conferments.
Public Relations
The small team within the Department of Communications and Alumni Relations manages all external
media relations with magazines, newspapers, TV, radio, online and trade press, to maximise positive
coverage for the University and its activities. The team also manages the University's corporate social
media channels, creating content and engaging with its varied audiences.
Specifically, the team:
works with colleagues across the University to source good news stories and target them
to relevant media
serves as a first point of call for all media enquiries and provides an advisory role for
helps to generates publicity for corporate events, projects and campaigns
writes and publishes Review, the University's flagship magazine.
City Campus
This post is based at our City Campus which is situated next to Sheffield’s train and coach stations
and has easy access to the M1. It is in the heart of the city centre, next to shopping areas, art
galleries, theatres, cinemas bars and cafés and the Winter Gardens. There is plenty to do and see in
your lunch break or after work.
Discussion and selection event
For informal enquiries regarding this post please contact Ally Mogg (Public Relations Manager) on:
0114 225 2811
[email protected]
Proposed selection event
11 November 2014
The selection event for this post will comprise of an interview and in-tray test
Page 2 of 8
Job description
Job Title
Public Relations Officer
Department of Corporate Affairs
Grade 6
Reports to
Public Relations Manager
Direct reports
Role Purpose
To take a key role in promoting the University and its vision,
mission and aims, through building effective relationships with the
media and placing stories in the local, regional, national and
international media. To undertake public relations activity that
supports specific promotional events, research achievements,
excellent learning and teaching and other key initiatives, and to
organise administrative back-up for those activities.
Public Relations
To act as a first point of contact for the media and to respond to their enquiries by agreed
deadlines, liaising with colleagues where appropriate to ensure that all enquiries are dealt with
efficiently and in line with University positioning
To take the lead role in dealing with regional and national news stories, as directed by the
Public Relations Manager.
To identify and manage as many promotional opportunities for each story as possible, to
maximise coverage, influence key stakeholders and manage reputation
To act as a media spokesperson for the University where appropriate
To coordinate official University responses to controversial questions from the media, liaising
with and advising colleagues in order to draft and agree these responses
To take the lead and manage communications and public relations campaigns
To manage public relations activity for longer term corporate positioning projects where
required, including creating and managing plans and strategies
To identify and research news stories, write news releases and identify other public relations
techniques to promote these stories through the appropriate channels, including the website
and social media.
To target and distribute news releases using media targeting software
To identify and research ways to positively promote the University, and to feed back ideas to
the senior management team
To use the University's social media channels to manage and develop relationships, engage
with different audiences and manage reputational issues as they arise
To build mutually beneficial relationships with journalists, PR professionals, other
stakeholders and internal colleagues
To develop and maintain schedules of forthcoming publicity opportunities for the University
and to follow up these leads, in conjunction with the other Public Relations Officer(s)
To play a key role in developing an understanding of and commitment to the added value and
benefits of good PR practice, and communicate this to colleagues where appropriate
To regularly scan and keep up to date with current trends in the media, and identify
opportunities to promote the University as a result
To provide public relations advice and support to corporate events
To provide public relations support and advice to colleagues across the University as required
on specific issues, and share good practice
Page 3 of 8
To manage a diverse workload and decide and change priorities on an hour by hour basis,
depending on the situation
To maintain effective records of media monitoring and to compile media monitoring and
evaluation reports as directed by the Public Relations Manager.
To identify, research and write news articles and features for the University magazine, and
play an active role on the editorial board.
To provide other administrative and practical support within the department as required from
time to time.
Professionally represent the University at external and corporate events
Any other duties, as agreed.
Page 4 of 8
Person Specification
Job Title
Public Relations Officer
Faculty / Directorate
Directorate of Corporate Affairs
(* Essential or Desirable)
Education qualifications to degree level or equivalent.
Evidenced achievements
e.g. relevant qualifications
(or equivalents), training,
membership of
professional bodies
A degree or other qualification in a related subject.
Professional Qualification (CIM or CIPR)
Significant experience in a public relations role.
Type of experience and
specific knowledge
required for this job
Experience of writing for publications.
AF + I
Experience of public relations work in a large and
complex organisations
AF + I
Skills and abilities required
for effective performance
e.g. numeracy, attention to
detail, oral and written
communication, planning
and organising, leadership
skills, ability to cope with
AF + I
Experience of working in a busy press office
AF + I
Experience of using social media channels on behalf of
an organisation
AF + I
Experience of organising and communicating
information clearly, succinctly and confidently to the
media and the organisation
AF + I + In-tray
Experience of working with stakeholders and
colleagues at all levels of an organisation.
AF + I
Experience of managing conflicting priorities and
working to tight timescales.
AF + I
Experience of using of media management procedures
and software.
AF + I
Experience of dealing with issues that arise in a
sensitive manner
Strong written English, particularly in respect of news
release and report writing.
AF + I
I + In-tray
Demonstrates high levels of accuracy and attention to
I + In-tray
Proficient in the use of IT systems
AF + I
Capacity to understand a range of higher academic
Highly organised with good planning skills.
AF + I
Able to work on own initiative.
Page 5 of 8
Other relevant
Occasional working outside of office hours (once per
AF + I
e.g. shift work or weekend
working, travel in UK or
abroad(state approximate
frequency i.e. travel abroad
twice a year)
**Evidence/Method of Assessment:
AF = Application form
G = Group Exercise
I = Interview
In-tray = In-tray Exercise
IT = IT Test
OT = Occupational Test
P = Presentation
PT = Psychometric Testing
Q/C = Qualifications/Certificates
Page 6 of 8
How to apply
Complete the Sheffield Hallam University application form and email it to [email protected] Call
us on 0114 225 3950 if you have any questions about completing the form or the recruitment process.
You will be informed as soon as possible after the closing date if you have been short listed.
If you have not received notification from us within four weeks of the closing date, please assume you
have not been successful on this occasion.
Non-EU nationals
We have a legal responsibility to ensure that all employees are entitled to live and work in the UK. If a
job requires highly specialist skills and qualifications we may be able to provide a Certificate of
Sponsorship to help you gain entry clearance or leave to remain in the UK from UK Visas and
Further guidance on the UK Visas and immigration Points Based System can be found at You can also email the Human
Resources Directorate at [email protected]
Equality and diversity drive our success
Equality and diversity are essential to our academic and business strengths. We believe that
excellence comes through recognising the value of each individual.
We aim to create an environment that respects the value of each individual and the diversity of
employees and students in the University's community. This will enable them to contribute fully, and
to derive the maximum benefit and enjoyment from their involvement in University life.
Positive about disability
We use the symbol on the right, along with other like-minded employers, to show
our commitment to good practice in employing people with a disability. It also
enables people with a disability to know which employers will be positive about
their abilities.
All applicants who meet the minimum criteria (based on the person specification)
for a job vacancy and have declared their disability are guaranteed an interview
and considered on their abilities.
Stonewall Diversity Champions programme
We are members of the Stonewall Diversity Champions programme,
reinforcing both our commitment to improving the workplace culture for
lesbian, gay and bisexual employees and our recognition that people
perform better when they can be themselves. Stonewall recognises
Sheffield Hallam as a forward thinking 21st century employer which
aims to recruit, recognise, and support the very best people regardless
of background.
Page 7 of 8
Trade unions
We are committed to working in partnership with employee representatives. You are welcome to join
a trade union, professional association or employee organisation and participate in its activities. We
recognise the following unions for the purposes of collective bargaining UNISON, GMB, T&GWU,
Benefits of working for us
We offer generous holiday entitlements - annual leave entitlement is a minimum of 25 days (pro rata
if you work part-time) and rises depending on staff group and grade. In addition to the eight standard
UK bank holidays, up to six extra statutory days (a minimum of four) are provided each year for
extended University closure around some UK public/holidays.
We understand the need for a good work-life balance. That's why we support and operate a number
of flexible working schemes including job-share and flexible working hours where applicable.
We operate an incremental grade structure. This means that you will be eligible to receive an annual
pay increase (subject to satisfactory performance) until your salary reaches the maximum salary for
your grade.
Our defined benefit pension schemes are a real asset to your peace of mind. Depending on the job
you're appointed to, you will be entered into either the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS),
Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS), or remain in the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) if you
are a current member.
We also offer many other benefits including Travel discounts, Family Friendly Schemes, Health and
Wellbeing and Training and Development opportunities for employees. For more information about
the benefits available to you, visit
Starting salaries
New employees normally start at the bottom of the appropriate grade
Living and working in Sheffield
Sheffield is the greenest city in England. We have over 200 parks and woodlands and a third of the
city is in the Peak District National Park. We have excellent rail links to all major cities and the city
centre is in walking distance of both our campuses.
For more information, visit
Other important information
All appointments are made subject to confirmation of eligibility to work in the UK and satisfactory
declaration of health from the occupational health consultant to make sure you are medically able to
carry out the type of work involved in the post. Appointments are also subject to receipt of satisfactory
references and any other checks that may be required for the role.
We comply fully with requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998. This requires us to tell you we will:
hold details of your name, address and the post applied for to assist the recruitment process
hold the information on your equal opportunities monitoring form, to monitor the effectiveness
of our policies
retain records for unsuccessful applicants for one year, after which time the records are
For overseas applicants we normally reimburse travel expenses from the port of entry into the UK
Page 8 of 8