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Communications Manager

at SmartStart
Published September 20, 2023
Location Pretoria, South Africa
Category Management  
Job Type Full-Time  


The Communications Manager is responsible for developing and realising communication that contributes to SmartStart's success through information, engagement, and influence which enrich SmartStart's brand and mobilise people and resources. This should be informed by the Comms Manager’s monitoring the early learning and wider ECD environment for opportunities.
The Communications Manager is responsible for crafting compelling messages, managing internal and external communications, building productive media relations, and enabling judgments about the effects of SmartStart's communication. The ideal candidate should have exceptional writing and interpersonal skills, a strategic mindset, and a deep understanding of effective communication practices.

Key Responsibilities
Monitor early learning and wider ECD news, policy developments, and research to identify opportunities and/or issues for consideration and potential communication or other responses.

Develop, realise, and innovate effective, contextual communication approaches

Develop communication plans for Information, engagement and influence across contexts and modes in service of SmartStart's success — mindful of all key stakeholders, constituencies and audiences incl. children, franchisees, practitioners, parents, staff, partners, and the public

Amplify the voices of the SmartStart network incl. by guiding and supporting the SmartStart network to communicate more effectively

Craft compelling communications

Write clear, concise, informative, engaging, and influential communications and other content for distinct stakeholders, constituencies, and audiences across channels and platforms while maintaining consistent brand voice and tone. This includes inter alia press releases, articles, speeches, newsletters, organisational reports, and website copy

Manage internal and external communications

Guide and oversee all internal communication channels incl. FundaApp, newsletters, and email updates, to keep staff, partners and practitioners informed and engaged.

Manage external communications to maintain a valuable brand image — incl. media relations, crisis communication, and public relations activities.

Build productive media relations

Cultivate relationships with journalists, media entities, and influencers to promote positive, valuable (informative, engaging, influential) coverage of the early learning sector in general and the SmartStart network in particular (incl. franchisors and other partners)

Qualifications & Experience:

Degree in communications, public Relations, journalism, or other relevant degree Advantageous: relevant master’s degree

Min. 5 years’ experience as a communications manager or similar realising effective communications in a development / social / non-profit context developing

Abilities, Skills and Attributes:

Excellent, evidenced written and verbal communication skills across constituencies and platforms

Experience in media relations incl. cultivating relationships with journalists, managing press releases, and organising media events

Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to build effective relationships with stakeholders at all levels

Proficiency across multiple communication tools and platforms incl. social media management, content management systems, and relevant analytics tools

Ability to see the big picture and attend to details rigorously

Strong management skills including prioritising between and managing across multiple demands

Ability to work independently and collaboratively in a fast-paced environment

Strong problem-solving capability