The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world's worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. Founded in 1933, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster. At work today in over 40 countries, the IRC aims to restore safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted and struggling to endure.
The IRC has been working in Iraq since 2003 (with a temporary withdrawal in 2006-7). Working in coordination with the humanitarian community, the IRC currently addresses the needs of war-affected populations from several operational bases across Iraq. Our activities focus primarily on the supply of cash assistance and non-food items, legal assistance and counselling and women and children's protection, and form part of an over-arching humanitarian response in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and the region that seeks to assist refugees, IDPs and war-affected people survive conflict and displacement.
This position will be responsible for managing the communication needs for IRC Iraq, both for emergency and for ongoing programming. This will be through gathering facts on the ground, success stories, and photographs, and assisting with the production of press releases, supporting media coverage and liaising with stakeholders to identify beneficiary impact stories. The Senior Communications Manager will also gather and channel information about the IRCs response activities at the field-level in the form of sitreps, factsheets, case studies and other regular reports for dissemination to staff, stakeholders and donors.
- In support of the IRC Iraq Country Director and working closely with the IRC Iraq Advocacy Advisor and IRC Regional Senior Media Officer and Regional Content and Information Officer, help oversee the collection of emergency response information and authentic story-led content suitable for IRC HQ communications, including media, social media and stories and updates for the website, as well as support efforts to proactively engage with international and regional media to pitch stories about IRC's response, advocacy priorities and partnerships, resulting in high-quality, top-tier coverage.
- Work closely with the technical and program teams to visit field sites to collect, capture and document project activities and the needs of displaced people in the form of case studies and other content, including the collection of photos. Represent the information in an attractive and engaging format that can be shared with the public, media, project stakeholders, partners and donors. Keep a record of content produced.
- Liaise closely with the grants team and the Regional Content and Information Officer to support meeting HQ information requests and donor visibility requirements.
- Through regular contact with field teams, and drawing on external information sources, produce regular sitreps for all classified emergencies. Produce daily updates during the height of any emergency to ensure we have up to date information to pitch to journalists and updated talking points for interviews.
- Gather information to support advocacy initiatives such as related case studies and evidence from the field.
- In support of the Country Director and working closely with the IRC Regional Media Officer and IRC Iraq Advocacy Advisor, draft background information, messaging and Q&As about IRC programs and issues of concern.
- Working closely with the IRC Regional Media Officer, draft press releases, support efforts to respond to information requests from news media; help assess and evaluate media requests, including research as necessary; help arrange interviews; and assist journalists and photographers in coordinating coverage of IRC programs. Oversee Iraq media lists on Cision and keep records of media coverage.
- Act as a spokesperson for media as needed.
- Identify photography opportunities as well as support the hiring of freelance photographers and videographers. Manage content collection shoots as needed.
- Ensure that all materials adhere to the branding and marking requirements.
- Provide country office staff with relevant trainings and support on principles of communications, including informed consent.
- Compile and finalize regular reports for regional teams, collecting information from all departments and identifying trends or highlights to include.
- Produce staff spotlights and other internal communications outputs as required.
- Provide visibility and briefing material packages for all high-level/external visits, including IRC HQ, donors, other delegations, as needed.
- The Senior Communications Manager will report directly to the Country Director with technical supervision coming from the Regional Media Officer
- Frequent communication with Advocacy Advisor and program staff
- Other INGOs and local partners on the ground as well as municipal authorities as needed to cover events
- Liaise regularly with donors, visitors, media including hosting arrangements and lining up interviews, etc
- A master's/bachelor's degree in communications, journalism, English, public relations or other related field from an accredited university
- Experience in, or familiarity with humanitarian assistance programming and operating in an emergency context
- Willingness and ability to travel extensively to visit field-sites and document findings
- Knowledge of/experience with photography, videography and social media
- Fluent written and spoken English required, knowledge of Arabic desirable
- Must be eligible to work in Iraq
- 3-4 years of experience in a similar capacity. Experience of working with USAID, ECHO or other donor-funded projects will be preferred.
- Candidate must have excellent writing and communication skills
- Experience with press will be a distinct advantage
- Ability to work in a high-pressure environment and dynamic environment
- Team player with experience in a multi-cultural environment
- Should be able to independently prioritize tasks and meet short deadlines, including approvals process
Work Environment: This is an unaccompanied post based in Erbil with frequent travel to field offices. Shared housing will be provided.