Job description

The Senior External Communications Manager (Manchester) has responsibility for managing the PHSO’s relationship with media. They lead a small team that responds to all reactive media enquiries and proactively promotes the work of PHSO through the media for maximum impact.

They work across teams in the PHSO and directly with the Ombudsman and chief executive to provide strategic communication advice on how to promote projects.

The Senior External Communications Manager also leads the delivery of the PHSO thought leadership programme, working on securing opportunities and delivering of events. They will also work closely with our in-house design and digital content creators to create publications and supporting communications material that are accessible to a range of audiences.

Reports to : Assistant Director of Communications

Direct Reports: 2x External Communications Manager

Main duties

  • Set the strategic direction for the PHSO media team and provide leadership in its delivery.
  • Provide expert strategic media handling and communications advice to the Chair and other senior members of staff, including how to manage and mitigate reputational risk.
  • Brief the Chair and other senior members of staff before media appearances, external events and visits.
  • Effectively lead and manage the PHSO press office, ensuring all work is of high standards
  • Maximise opportunities for proactive media engagement to increase the profile of the Ombudsman and PHSO services.
  • Lead the development and delivery of PHSO thought leadership programme, creating opportunities, preparing materials and leading delivery of events
  • Provide senior cover for the out-of-hours duty rota, including weekends and bank holidays, as required.
  • Lead large scale and high-profile projects and events, working autonomously with little day-to-day oversight, and deliver on time and in budget.
  • Own and manage relationships with key internal and external stakeholders, identifying opportunities to work collaboratively, including commissioning and managing suppliers and agencies.
  • Analyse complex data, extract key insights and messages to share with senior internal and external stakeholders.
  • Evaluate all projects to ensure effectiveness and improve processes and delivery.
  • Monitor events or activities and provide expert advice and insight to support strategic decision-making in a timely fashion.

Generic Duties .

  • To take decisions in accordance with the role’s delegated authority under the casework and/or non-casework delegation schemes.
  • To ensure all legislative, regulatory, policy, process, procedures and guidance requirements of PHSO are adhered to and appropriately evidenced to the role’s line manager.

The Successful Applicant

The successful Senior External Communications Manager (Manchester) will demonstrate:


  • Expert knowledge of how the media works and how to create appealing stories for them
  • Expert understanding of social media channels and how to maximise their impact
  • Understanding of the publications process
  • Understanding of how to effectively evaluate communications activity


  • Excellent writing skills using plain English to prepare communications material
  • Strong news judgement
  • Ability to work proactively to provide media opportunities for PHSO
  • Good networking and negotiation skills to build effective internal relationships
  • Ability to work with senior leadership


  • Experience of working in a press office or communications role
  • Demonstrable past in stakeholder/events management

What’s on Offer

The successful Senior External Communications Manager (Manchester) will receive:

  • Salary £50,
  • Civil Service Pension scheme (minimum 26.6% employer contribution)
  • 30-day holiday entitlement, plus 2.5 extra statutory holidays on top
  • Flextime: Core hours between 10.00-12.00 and 14.00-16.00
  • Extra 2 days of Flexi-leave each month for additional hours that have been accrued
  • Access to a wide variety of internal and external well-being support, 24/7 assistance programmes and health advice

PHSO is committed to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), and welcomes applications from individuals from diverse backgrounds. They are also a Disability Confident organisation. Should you wish to access the Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) or require any reasonable adjustments through the process please contact the lead recruiter to discuss your needs before the advert closes.

To apply, please submit an up-to-date CV detailing your experience that best fits the essential criteria outlined above.


  • We can only consider applications from candidates who have the right to work in the UK.
  • This position is also available in London.
  • Interviews for this role will be taking place virtually week commencing 22nd August
  • We do not accept applications from candidates who have applied for the same role within the previous 3 months and have been unsuccessful.