Media Officer Ref. 2767
At GCHQ, we unlock the complex world of data and communications to keep the UK and its citizens safe, both in the real world and online. Working closely with our British Intelligence partners in MI5 and MI6, we protect the UK from threats including serious organised crime, terrorism, and cyber-attacks. A role in GCHQ means you’ll have varied and fascinating work in a supportive and encouraging environment that puts the emphasis on teamwork.
We’re looking for a talented and dynamic Media Officer with a passion for and experience of original storytelling to join our exciting and unique Communications and Engagement Team (CET). We’re one of the few organisations which can genuinely say: “No two days are ever the same”.
You will have experience of working in public relations and or journalism with excellent knowledge and interest of the UK and global news agenda and landscape, combined with strong news judgement, political awareness and the ability to confidently present work to seniors.
You will be able to spot, judge risk and reward and deliver stories with impact. Working with a Senior Media Officer and closely with the rest of the Media and Digital team, you’ll drive and deliver proactive media activity and manage reactive queries to promote and protect GCHQ’s reputation.
Through storytelling and expert media handling you will help build to trust and understanding of our mission, help to attract the best people from all walks of life and highlight key threats to the UK to key audiences.
To do that you will need a curiosity about the organisation and our staff as well as a keen eye for a good story while balancing risk. You will relish the chance to break new ground and enjoy working in a varied and busy team. You will be an original storyteller with the ability to lead the news on a range of subjects, from Director GCHQ highlighting the biggest threats facing the UK today to creating a buzz with our world-famous Christmas card challenge.
As well as good written skills, you will need good judgement, powers of persuasion, perseverance and good relationships with journalists and other media contacts to help us reach, inspire and engage audiences.
What will the successful candidate be doing:
• Deliver impactful news or feature stories through creative storytelling
• Manage reputational risk for the organisation through reactive and strategic communications
• Manage media relations across print, broadcast, online and consumer titles
• Work closely with digital and external affairs team to deliver holistic communications campaigns
• Strategic thinking to deliver on GCHQ’s Communications Strategy
• Work constructively with mission teams and policy colleagues to identify opportunities and risk
• Support senior figures in the organisation, including Director GCHQ, with their media engagements
• Use insight to plan their work to effectively meet target audiences as well as evaluation measure impact
• Participate in the out-of-hours duty rota (for which an overtime allowance is paid)
You will work with colleagues from CET, across the organisation and partner organisations within government.
You will have considerable experience working within a communications team or in a media organisation. Some experience of Whitehall would be desirable but not essential.
• Proactive and reactive communications
• Pitching to and dealing with journalists
• Identifying media opportunities and risks
• Ability to present ideas and advice to seniors
• Good written skills
You’ll need to be constantly curious, be a good team player working with a diversity of views, be able to persevere in sometimes challenging circumstances and creative in your storytelling given the nature of a lot of what GCHQ does is secret.
You’ll also need to be a self-starter with the ability to get ideas off the ground without too much supervision
Training and development
As part of our brilliant learning culture, you'll have the opportunity to learn and develop your understanding of national security communications with a combination of on-the-job training, formal training courses as well as access to subject matter experts in their field. Successful candidates will be able to access a suite of training and opportunities through the Government Communications Service, with some opportunities for formal qualifications as part of talent programmes. Members of CET are also encouraged to pursue professional qualifications through communications trade associations like the PRCA or CIPR.
You will have a formal induction to the organisation as well as a bespoke programme of on-boarding sessions with members of the comms team as well as different mission areas.
CET operates a buddy program to give you a support network outside of your line management chain.
Rewards and Benefits
You’ll receive a starting salary of £36,836 with a concessionary payment of £2,330. If your role is based in London this also attracts a London pay addition of £6,242 plus other benefits including:
• 25 Days Annual Leave automatically rising to 30 days after 5 years' service, and an additional 10.5 days public and privilege holidays
• Opportunities to be recognised through our employee performance scheme
• Interest-free season ticket loan
• Excellent pension scheme
• Cycle to work scheme
• Facilities such as a gym, restaurant and on-site coffee bars (at some locations)
• Paid parental and adoption leave.
At GCHQ diversity and inclusion are critical to our mission. To protect the UK, we need a truly diverse workforce that reflects the society we serve. This includes diversity in every sense of the word: those with different backgrounds, ages, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, ways of thinking and those with disabilities or neurodivergent conditions. We therefore welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including those from groups that are under-represented in our workforce such as women, those from an ethnic minority background, people with disabilities and those from low socio-economic backgrounds.
Find out more about our culture, working environment and diversity on our website:
We’re Disability Confident
GCHQ are proud to have achieved Leader status within the DWP’s Disability Confident scheme. This is aimed at encouraging employers to think differently about disability and take action to improve how they recruit, retain and develop disabled people. Being Disability Confident, we aim to offer a person-to-person interview to any candidate who self-identifies as disabled and meets the essential criteria for the role. This is our ‘Offer of Interview’ (OOI). To secure an interview for this vacancy, you will need to meet a minimum pass mark on the application sift to be taken forward to a virtual interview.
What to Expect
Our recruitment process is fair, transparent, and based on merit. Here is a brief overview of each stage, in order:
• Application sift, looking at your motivation for the role and the organisation and essential skills
• Virtual interview with Presentation
• If successful, you will receive a conditional offer of employment, subject to vetting
Please note, you must successfully pass each stage of the process to progress to the next. Your application may take around 6 - 9 months to process including vetting, so we advise you continue any current employment until you have received your final job offer.
Before You Apply
To work at GCHQ, you need to be a British citizen or hold dual British nationality. You can read our full eligibility criteria here.
This role requires the highest security clearance, known as Developed Vetting (DV). It’s something everyone in the UK Intelligence Community undertakes. You can find out more about the vetting process here.
Please note we have a strict drugs policy, so once you start your application, you can’t take any recreational drugs and you’ll need to declare your previous drug usage at the relevant stage.
The role can either be based in Cheltenham, Manchester, London, so you’ll need to live within a commutable distance. Please consider any financial implications and practicalities before submitting an application, as we do not offer relocation costs.
Please note, you should only launch your application from within the UK. If you are based overseas, you should wait until you visit the UK to launch an application. Applying from outside the UK will impact on our ability to progress your application. You should not discuss your application, other than with your partner or a close family member.
Right to Withdraw Statement:
Please be aware that we withhold the right to bring forward the closing date for this role from the original closing date once a certain number of applications have been received. Please be mindful of this and submit your application at your earliest convenience to avoid disappointment.
This Program / Vacancy is closed to applications.