Position Description

Communication Officer
Location India
Department Road Safety Non Mass Media
# of openings 1
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Vital Strategies is focused on strengthening and revitalizing public health systems through design and supporting scalable solutions to leading causes of death, disease and injury. Vital Strategies provides technical assistance, consultation, as well as project management, design and evaluation to a wide range of private and public sector clients, in order to further its mission to improve and save lives, including through non-communicable disease prevention, environmental health and urban health, with specific areas of focus in tobacco control, data for health, cardiovascular health, road safety, overdose prevention, air quality, obesity prevention and tuberculosis research.

The Communication Officer is sought to provide media relations assistance within a strategic communication approach to help create public support for strong road safety policies, programs and measures. The Communication Officer will work closely with local state government agencies to engage journalists, generate media stories, optimize social media, organize journalist workshops and implement a multi-platform strategy to support government and partners’ efforts. They will also support efforts to run social marketing/paid mass media campaigns that are complemented by enforcement strategies.
This is a full-time position for our road safety program in Mumbai, India. This position will be embedded with the Government of Maharashtra; reporting to the Initiative Coordinator with technical guidance from the Senior Communication Manager and Vital Strategies’ Policy Advocacy and Communication (PAC) team, with all activities aligning with government road safety plans and priorities.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Work closely with Vital Strategies, the state government of Maharashtra and initiative partners to align work priorities.
  • Create a strategic communication workplan annually, regularly adjust it to keep up-to-date and help execute to maximize the quality and quantity of media coverage on the state government of Maharashtra road safety initiatives.
  • Develop and maintain a calendar used to plan for local release of important international road safety reports or developments.
  • Write regular blogs and social media posts to communicate local progress, disseminate information and contribute to the program newsletter.
  • Build and maintain relationships with journalists to engage around road safety as a public health issue.
  • Pitch local and national journalists on relevant news and offer up information sources, thus building relationships with them that can help improve the quality and increase the quantity of media coverage on road safety to amplify the topic in public discourse. Serve as a resource for partner organizations to deliver knowledge and understanding with the local media environment and to help publicize milestones and relevant news on road safety issues.
  • Organize press events around major milestones, including social marketing campaign launches; write press releases, press notes, spokesperson talking points and assist with translations.
  • Prepare spokespersons for media engagement opportunities, including interviews, panels or other speaking events.
  • Monitor local news coverage and maintain a media tracking list.
  • Contribute to curriculum and methodology development for journalist workshops and fellowship programs; carry out journalist workshops, oversee follow-up efforts and maintain master list of trained journalists.
  • Act as a facilitator of social marketing/paid media campaigns, working closely with Vital Strategies’ Policy Advocacy and Communication (PAC) team.
  • Manage suppliers including creative, research and media planning agencies, as needed.

Qualification and Experience

 

  • Bachelor’s degree in journalism, communication, public relations or similar, with minimum 6 years of relevant work experience.

 

Desired Experience

  • Public health and government relations experience would be an advantage
  • PR or journalism background
  • Familiarity with public policy, media relations and advocacy

 

Skills & Abilities

  • Excellent communication skills;
  • Strong writing and editing skills in (local language), as well as ability to produce written media relations materials such as press releases, op-eds, talking points and fact sheets;
  • Proven capacity to work in multidisciplinary or multi-agency setting;
  • English language proficiency;
  • Solid knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook).

 

Language Proficiency

  • Marathi language proficiency is required.

 

Working Conditions and Physical Requirements:

  • Ability to work flexibly with colleagues across time zones;
  • Consistent and reliable internet access is required to be able perform this role;
  • Willing to travel 20% of the time within the state.

 

Additional Information:

Qualified women candidates are encouraged to apply

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