Group Director of Corporate Affairs
The BBC has engaged Russell Reynolds to lead the recruitment process to find our new Group Director of Corporate Affairs. The application deadline is 2nd October 2020. To find out more, please see the attached candidate brief for application instructions or email Helen.Lam@russellreynolds.com quoting ‘BBC Group Director of Corporate Affairs’ in the subject header.
The Group Director of Corporate Affairs is responsible for developing and overseeing the BBC’s corporate and public affairs strategy, including: all aspects of government relations (UK and devolved administrations); stakeholder relations (UK and internationally); the regulatory relationship with Ofcom and other regulatory bodies; and all media and external communication at the BBC. The role will report into Director-General, Tim Davie, and be a key member of his streamlined top team leading the BBC; it will be a member of the BBC Executive Committee. This is a new role, and the existing functions of Communications and Corporate Affairs and Policy will report into it.
This is a crucial time for the BBC as it faces an increasingly competitive landscape. Its mission to provide a universal service for audiences across the whole of the UK is challenged by new technologies and audience behaviour. At the same time, scrutiny of the Corporation – from government, parliaments, regulators and stakeholders – is increasing. The BBC needs to be able to respond confidently to that scrutiny and engage stakeholders with its vision for the future of public service broadcasting. The BBC will also have its funding reviewed by the UK Government in 2022 ahead of a wider review of its Royal Charter in 2027. The Corporation is looking for someone to lead its engagement with stakeholders, parliamentarians and public representatives, and to make the case for a BBC that serves everyone across the whole of the UK.
This role will oversee the BBC’s day-to-day relationships and dialogue with the UK Government, devolved administrations, regulators and other stakeholders across the cultural, media and political landscape. It will also oversee the Corporation’s external communications strategy. The role requires an individual who believes in the BBC’s mission and public purposes, and will best represent it across a very broad stakeholder base. The role will be substantially focused on engagement outside the BBC but will also play a key role, as a member of the Executive Committee, in communicating with staff and internal stakeholders.
Key responsibilities will include;
- Develop and oversee the BBC’s corporate and public affairs strategy.
- Provide leadership across the BBC on a broad range of matters including long-term policy and communications strategy.
- Be a trusted advisor to the Director-General, executive team and the BBC Board.
- Oversee the BBC’s corporate communications and press strategy across all media.
- Support the Communications Director to manage the external profile of the BBC, including regular dialogue with key influencers.
- Support the Policy Director in managing all legislative, regulatory and public policy positions for the BBC, and engagement with regulators.
- Communicate the BBC’s position on industry issues with governments, parliaments, regulators and the media.
- Oversee government relationships and public policy influencing, including in Whitehall and the devolved administrations and across Europe.
- Responsible for the BBC’s engagement with members of the UKs parliaments and assemblies, including how the Corporation responds to their requests for information.
- Build on existing relationships with key stakeholders and organisations in the media industry, within the UK and overseas.
- Lead on reputational support for the BBC, including in crisis management.
- Play a key advocacy role, speaking on behalf of the BBC across industry forums and events.
- Build on existing relationships with key stakeholders, news organizations, charities and trusts and work with colleagues across the BBC to identify new industry partners in the UK and overseas.
Are you the right candidate?
The BBC is seeking to hire an exceptional individual who will deliver against this immense challenge. As a member of the BBC’s Executive Committee they will play a critical role establishing the Corporation’s future direction and positioning in the eyes of the public and the policy-makers.
This role is about maximising impact and requires an outstanding understanding and experience of navigating the UK’s political and media landscapes. The successful candidate will be able to craft a clear strategy and narrative for stakeholders and audiences alike. With a background in public affairs and policy as well as media relations, the successful candidate will be an excellent communicator, capable of synthesising the complex into the simple.
It is imperative for this person to be committed to public service broadcasting. The successful candidate will believe in the BBC’s mission and public purposes and will be expected to contribute to the overall strategic direction of the Corporation.
The successful candidate will bring a robust and current network that spans government, the media as well as regulators. Notwithstanding these strong networks and connections, they will not be perceived as being partisan. Stylistically they will be high impact, generous of spirit and someone others want to spend time with and listen to. Bright and energetic they will intrinsically look outwards with a finger on the pulse of both the national as well as the global media landscape.
The successful candidate will bring the following experience:
- Understands the values underpinning the BBC – must fundamentally understand the mission and public purposes underpinning the BBC and its role within the UK and its constituent nations.
- Highly developed communication and interpersonal skills with the ability to influence and persuade through personal credibility, integrity and professionalism. Ability to build and maintain relationships with a wide range of people.
- A good understanding of the media sector and the BBC’s external competitive landscape, including an understanding of economic/commercial/political issues affecting the BBC and the wider industry, equipping this person to contribute to long term objectives and strategies with major impact on the function as well as the BBC as a whole.
- Adept at managing numerous, diverse senior and executive level stakeholders, able to undertake significant change and project management activities with wide-ranging BBC impact, often operating under tight timescales and managing numerous competing priorities.
- Highly developed advocacy and presentation skills
- Good understanding of the BBC’s Editorial ambitions and standards
As a leader, the successful candidate will demonstrate the following;
- Strategic thinking, with the credibility to oversee the evolution of the Corporation’s strategy.
- Excellent stakeholder engagement skills, with the credibility and gravitas to engage with and convene a wide range of external stakeholders, e.g. politicians, regulators and media.
- Exemplary communication skills: able to influence and negotiate with senior stakeholders across the BBC, and external stakeholders.
- A natural collaborator and convener this person will bring empathy and a positive energy that will enable them to influence and relate at all levels.
- Resilience: will thrive under legitimate and constant public and political scrutiny.
- Commercial and strategic acumen: will have a good understanding of the evolving economics of creative production, distribution and exploitation.
- The highest levels of integrity and discretion; will uphold and role model the BBC’s values.
Band: Exec Level
Contract type: Permanent
Location: Can be based in any of the UK's main bases, but will require substantial time in London, travel around the UK and occasional international travel
About the BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is the world’s leading public service broadcaster and occupies a special place in the cultural life of the UK. It’s mission is defined by Royal Charter: to act in the public interest, serving all audiences through the provision of impartial, high-quality and distinctive output and services which inform, educate and entertain.
The BBC is funded largely by the licence fee, which is supplemented by revenue from the BBC’s commercial operations. It seeks to deliver distinctive content that fulfils its public purposes and it does this through award-winning television, radio, news and online services that cater to all audiences, in the UK and globally
We don’t focus simply on what we do – we also care how we do it. Our values and the way we behave are important to us. Please make sure you’ve read about our values and behaviours in the document attached below.
Diversity matters at the BBC. We have a working environment where we value and respect every individual's unique contribution, enabling all of our employees to thrive and achieve their full potential.
We want to attract the broadest range of talented people to be part of the BBC – whether that’s to contribute to our programming or our wide range of non-production roles. The more diverse our workforce, the better able we are to respond to and reflect our audiences in all their diversity.
We are committed to equality of opportunity and welcome applications from individuals, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, socio-economic background, religion and/or belief. We will consider flexible working requests for all roles, unless operational requirements prevent otherwise.
To find out more about Diversity and Inclusion at the BBC, please click here