Senior Press Officer

Last updated 1 hours ago
Location:Greater London
Job Type:Full Time

The Corporate Communication team are a fundamental part of the success of Philip Morris Limited (PML) and delivering our vision of a smoke-free future. Our small, but highly experienced team focus on engaging with external media, supported by our agencies whilst working collaboratively with our internal business functions and global teams.

Our growth at PML brings with it the opportunity for creativity and innovative thinking but also brings complexities from a highly regulated market and an ever-changing media landscape. We have a vacancy for a Senior Press Officer to join our hands-on team and are looking for a driven individual who can thrive in a challenging and fast-paced industry. Operating in this intricate environment would be ideal for someone who can contribute strategically, while conducting frontline media relations.

The ideal candidate would be excited about the prospect of navigating through one of the largest business transformations in modern corporate history.

Purpose of the role

The role of the Senior Press Officer is to effectively manage the UK’s Press Office - supporting the delivery of PML’s smoke-free vision by overseeing our busy calendar of announcements, creating high-quality content and maintaining relations with the media and other stakeholders in this complex, challenging and ever-changing media. Crisis communications and issues management will be an almost constant exercise and one the candidate would relish.

In this senior, multi-skilled and agile role, you will utilise your experience and extensive knowledge of the UK media to build credibility in our brand; acting as the front line between the Company and a variety of media, while working in conjunction with our agencies, our global colleagues and in-market teams to deliver results, both on a proactive and reactive basis. Weighted more towards corporate communications, you will play a supporting role in assisting with our consumer communications and raising awareness of our smoke-free portfolio of products. You will also be a strategic lead of our trade media communications – a fundamental channel that gives us a voice with retailers, nationwide.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:
- Overseeing PML’s news grid, so we can manage our own news flow and participate effectively in the global campaigns and activities of Philip Morris International (PMI). This includes working closely with UK and global colleagues, agencies and other third-parties, while managing Press Office workflow i.e. content development, copywriting, asset management, briefings, and amplification - all using relevant tools such as PRGloo, Kantar and FENS-Information.
- Monitoring and keeping abreast with developing news stories that might have relevance to both PML and Smoke Free products - identifying potential opportunities and risks for the brand. This includes ‘always on’ and effective crisis communications and issues management.
- Assisting in the operational delivery of PML’s corporate communications strategy and being a strategic lead on trade media communications.
- Optimising the press office function to operate professionally and efficiently and deliver value for the business
- Raising awareness and enhancing our brand perception among key audiences and stakeholder groups.
- Leading the annual reporting commitments including, Modern Slavery, Equal Pay, Companies House filing, ASM, and more. Some CSR commitments are also included.

This role is fundamental to Philip Morris’ activities in the UK and as a core market for PMI which spans 180+ countries. Your rich knowledge and experience of the media, rigorous attention to detail, ability to perform under high pressure, appreciation of the power of storytelling and high motivation for our company’s smoke-free commitment, will add considerable value and improve brand perceptions as we continue our transformation to become a smoke-free business.

Key Accountabilities

1. End-to-end management of PML’s Press Office
- Acting as the primary interface between PML, our agencies and the press to successfully oversee PML’s busy news grid.
- Develop press materials, proactive/reactive media statements and media releases to an impeccable standard, in addition to performing regular copywriting and proof-reading duties.
- Manage, escalate and respond professionally to crisis situations affecting PML – providing counsel and advice to senior members of staff working in collaboration with legal representatives, management and global communications colleagues.
- Produce briefing materials for senior PML spokespeople and oversee the relevant media training
- Utilise agencies and in-house PR tools to monitor and listen to developing news stories that might have relevance to both PML and IQOS - identifying potential opportunities and risks for the brand to respond to.
- Monitor and regularly produce reports on media coverage, emerging trends and other insights that can help shape our media activities. This would include using systems, like Kantar. .
- Be a credible and reliable source of information on the UK media landscape for PML colleagues.
- When necessary, work with other in-market and global teams to implement integrated campaigns to raise awareness of our smoke-free portfolio.
- Media engagement – building productive and meaningful relationships and value-exchanges with journalists

2. Coordinate with PMI Global Comms to regionalise international campaigns and initiatives, driving relevancy in the UK
- Work closely with global colleagues to regionalise and activate PMI campaigns, initiatives and reports including, PMI’s Integrated (sustainability) Report, quarterly earnings, etc.
- Work with our international colleagues to identify strategic media partnerships and paid media opportunities that support our activities and objectives
- Help broaden our executive profiling and media placement of senior leadership in UK media
- Attend regular Market Support and Activation meetings to align and feedback on comms activities, worldwide. This includes utilising toolkits, guidance and other allocated resources in-market.
- Keep a record of latest issues and key messaging documents – ensuring UK readiness and alignment

3. Content creation and management across PR and digital channels
- Utilise PR tools such as FENS-Information to proactively devise pitches and identify journalists who may be interested in our company, our customers and our products.
- Author thought leadership content where necessary.
- Regularly update and manage PML’s digital channels and online press centre using tools, such as PR Gloo
- Coordinate closely with PMI’s Community Management team to coordinate social media activities/messaging including, the use of the Sprinklr social media management system
- Brief in and liaise with PMI’s Global Content Studio to create multimedia assets that assist with our storytelling
4. Leading on PML annual reporting commitments
- Liaise with People & Culture, Finance, External Affairs and other relevant teams on annual reporting commitments, providing timely assistance and support against publishing deadline. These include reporting on Modern Slavery Act, Gender Pay Gap report, our Companies House filing and more.
- Where appropriate, identify communications opportunities on progress achieved.

5. Strategic lead on trade media communications
- Create stand-out trade communication strategy that enables PML to promote our brand and smoke-free product portfolio across the market
- Manage our trade media agency, identifying earned and paid media opportunities that strengthen our relationship with publications , maintaining our share of voice
- Help create blogs, features, articles and other content types to communicate effectively with retailers, nationwide
- Align and integrate trade media activities with wider PML activities, such as the launch of new smoke-free products

6. Participate in the development and implementation of the corporate communication strategies
- Assisting in the operational delivery of PML’s corporate communications strategy
- Contribute to the corporate communication strategy (positioning, messaging, audiences, and channels)
- Collaborative with and support the External Affairs team on activities that maybe relevant from a communication standpoint

Key Requirements

- Highly motivated with an objectives-focused mindset, equally comfortable working on team projects as well as autonomously.
- At least 5-7 years of communications experience, including in-house experience of reputation management and corporate communications
- Proven track record in delivering at tactical/operational level and be able to demonstrate that you’ve created media strategy - working directly with agencies to implement
- Solid experience of working with senior leaders to advise on crisis situations
- Exceptional media relations experience – demonstrating that you’ve built and maintained strong relationships with the media previously
- Excellent public relations skills; written, verbal and face-to-face
- Experience with a wide range of communication channels including digital, broadcast, and print
- Some experience working across various markets and/or regions
- Well organised and can move long-term projects forwards while dealing with immediate priorities
- Experience of working in a fast-paced company undergoing significant transformation - are comfortable working with ambiguity and see opportunity in change
- Can demonstrate good judgment and would be an ambassador for our values, vision and mission at PMI
- Numerate and analytical, with the ability to adapt approaches based on insights and findings
- Agile with a hands-on approach – demonstrating your ability to work in challenging and ever changing environments
- Patient, resilient and driven to achieve goals