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Role Profile

Location & Salary: London (£121,928) / New York (USD 206,403) /Johannesburg (TBC) / Rio de Janeiro (USD 146,236)

Role Description

C40’s Communications Department is responsible for strategically positioning C40 as one of the most impactful global climate organisations and raising the profile and influence of our member mayors and cities to deliver climate action. We position ourselves at the radical end of the mainstream.

Our Managing Director for Communications sits on C40’s global Executive Management Team and will play a key role in the strategic direction of the organisation, reporting into the Managing Director for Governance and Executive Engagement / Chief of Staff to the Executive Director. The Communications Department consists of three main functions: Media; Brand, Creative and Digital; and Strategic Communications and Partnerships.

We are looking for a dynamic, strategic communications leader who thrives in a campaign-driven environment to take our profile and influence to the next level, to help us bridge the gap between policy content and narrative change. C40’s member mayors hold a significant platform for change and a key part of this role is to strengthen the role C40 plays in publicising our mayors’ action on the climate emergency, influencing across public constituencies and the highest levels of political change.

Disinformation in the political and climate spaces is rife. Debates on climate action implementation are increasingly polarised and polarising. Our communications function is central to shifting the dial on how cities perceive and react to the climate emergency and as Managing Director for Communications you will be responsible for defining how C40 engages across the multitude of issues relating to combatting it.

External Responsibilities

  • Drive the development of C40’s global communications strategy to ensure that mayors and cities are best equipped to tackle the climate emergency.
  • Manage and develop C40’s brand and influence.
  • Support the Chair and Board President in representing C40 in the media.
  • Maintain and strengthen relationships with key international climate media, journalists, and partners.
  • Develop and maintain strong relationships with communications leads in C40 mayors’ offices.
  • Anticipate, evaluate and manage reputational risks to C40, our leadership, and our mayors.

Internal Responsibilities

  • Develop and lead a global communications department, ensuring that C40’s communications function is fit for purpose, dynamic, and influential, and that the team’s development is supported.
  • Act as a key member of C40’s global Executive Management Team, contributing to corporate strategy as appropriate.
  • Ensure that communications is integrated across C40, working effectively with different departments and functions, from technical teams to advocacy and campaigns.
  • Ensure that our communications function is highly reactive, ready to respond to spontaneous news items; equally ensuring C40’s communications are proactive, not just contributing to but shaping agendas.
  • Oversee our digital communications efforts with an emphasis on growing audiences and increasing engagement, and media activities focusing on diversifying earned media coverage and cultivating reporter relationships.
  • Drive announcement strategies, content development, approval coordination and management of distribution processes / amplification.

Person Specification

The Managing Director for Communications will play a central role in shaping C40’s influence in the world. This is a wide-ranging position spanning strategic communications, media, political influencing, digital communications and executive leadership and we are looking for someone to own and shape our communications output as a whole, someone who knows the value of individual components as much as how they fit together.

As more disinformation flows into the climate space and politics becomes more polarised and fragmented, our Managing Director for Communications will need to know not just how to survive but to thrive in such an environment, displaying real dexterity, adaptability and resilience. Political experience would be a clear advantage, particularly that gained in a mayoral setting. A key attribute that we would value is knowledge of how to add value to mayors, an understanding of the issues, opportunities and challenges that mayors deal with on a daily basis – and, crucially, an appreciation for how C40 can play an important role in supporting mayors.

Climate experience is not essential, though a passion for the areas we work on and a broad understanding of the key issues in the space will help you hit the ground running. As we are looking for someone with experience to shift the dial on how cities tackle the climate emergency, we are open to experience gained in other causes. Fundamentally, our priority is to identify impact through communications.

Perhaps most importantly, we are looking for an empathetic, inclusive, coaching leader who knows how to build an effective communications function that is both proactive and reactive. We are looking for someone with real spark, with ideas as to how C40 can maximise its influence through communications, with an appetite to work at the radical end of the mainstream.

We would value the following experience, attributes and characteristics. Not all points are individually essential, though you’ll need at least the majority to succeed:

  • Someone who can land a news story and win hearts and minds – of mayors and political actors as much as their constituencies.
  • Experience working in a political environment, including significant exposure to public policy and/or social responsibility issues. Political experience and demonstrable political acumen are highly desirable, and having worked for or with a mayor’s communications office / having a clear understanding of mayoral priorities will be an asset.
  • Someone who can deal effectively with disinformation and/or political polarisation, acting proactively or reactively as necessary.
  • A clearly inclusive, empathetic, supportive approach to team and corporate leadership.
  • An ability to work in a complex, multi-faceted organisation, especially one with strong policy content.
  • An ability to design and implement an ambitious communications strategy in line with our overall strategic objectives.
  • A proficient partnerships builder and stakeholder manager, someone who is particularly adept at influencing senior level stakeholders.
  • Experience of working with international, national, and local media would be beneficial, with a clear track record of influencing through strong media relationships.
  • Experience working in a campaign-driven environment would be valuable.
  • An ability to work at an international level, appreciating the differences between mayoralties and cities.