Job description


Head of Strategic Communications (0839)

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  • Salary:
    £55,000 per annum
  • Poscity
  • Poscountry
  • Area:
    Marketing Communications
  • Vacancy Type:
    Fixed Term Contract
  • Full or Part Time?:
    Full Time

The Donkey Sanctuary is an international animal welfare organisation, offering care and protection to donkeys and mules worldwide. We are working for a world where donkeys and mules live free from suffering, and their contribution to humanity is fully valued. We are achieving this by transforming the quality of life for donkeys, mules and people worldwide through greater understanding, collaboration and support, and by promoting lasting, mutually life-enhancing relationships.

These are exciting times for the charity, and we have an outstanding opportunity for a highly self-motivated professional to join our Marketing and Communications team as Head of Strategic Communications.

Working closely with the Director of Brand and Communications and other marketing department heads, you will play a major part in developing and delivering the Donkey Sanctuary’s new communications strategy – a plan that will resonate with target stakeholders and external influencers – bringing an innovative but intelligent approach to helping people see donkeys in a whole new and different light. Through effective and consistent communications you will help drive a programme of brand evolution and values based cultural change that gives The Donkey Sanctuary a clarity of purpose and relevance to everybody the world over – harnessing the passion, expertise and pride of our people to connect multiple stakeholders, through multiple channels, to our cause.

Within this varied and rewarding role, your principal duties will include –

  • Creating and delivering a compelling communications strategy that builds public support for The Donkey Sanctuary’s work – improving the organisation’s reputation, engaging key influencers, and mobilising target audiences to take action on behalf of donkeys.
  • Using the strength of storytelling and effective messaging to grab attention and drive awareness that extends our reach beyond or core supporters.
  • Working with teams across The Donkey Sanctuary to deliver effective communications support that helps deliver our strategic business goals.
  • Liaising closely with senior leadership to oversee the development of internal communications and framework activity that helps facilitate an organisational cultural shift driven by a values-based narrative of change.
  • Effectively managing the Communications Team – motivating and nurturing team spirit to enable development and implementation of communications and campaigns strategies and plans in support of key Donkey Sanctuary organisational goals.
  • Engaging key external influencers such as journalists, bloggers, commentators and celebrity ambassadors to promote the profile and credibility of The Donkey Sanctuary, its work, policies and values.
  • Building an effective global communications network that brings together UK and overseas teams with the Sidmouth Headquarters to deliver a ‘one Donkey Sanctuary’ approach to communications; ensuring consistency of strategy, delivery and campaigns whilst maximising knowledge share, positions and impact.


Education to degree level and/or demonstrable and relevant experience of working in media relations, strategic communications, PR and issues-based campaigns, together with a sound knowledge of industry-leading communications best practice in both internal and external communication, is essential, as are excellent leadership, communication, influencing and organisational skills, and proven experience of working with the media at local, national and international level, as part of a senior management team and in establishing and driving communication processes. Business partner experience and a working knowledge of advocacy and campaigning within the charity or government sectors are desirable.

If you feel you have the qualities, skills and experience to fulfil this vital role, and would like to help drive the evolving programme of change taking place within the charity, we would love to hear from you. Based in Sidmouth, Devon – an area of outstanding natural beauty – this is a full-time, 12-month fixed term contract starting in February 2022. Working principally from home, flexibility will be required for occasional onsite working.

Closing date for completed applications: Sunday 19 December 2021.

We reserve the right to close this vacancy before the advertised date, and would therefore encourage early applications.

The Donkey Sanctuary is a Disability Confident Employer.

The Donkey Sanctuary is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of vulnerable people (children and adults), and expects all staff and volunteers to undertake this commitment. Applicants will be subject to safer recruitment processes, including an application for a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check where required for the post.

Please note: The Guaranteed interview scheme is only applicable to candidates who consider themselves to have a disability applying for roles based within the United Kingdom.

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Slade House Farm
Slade House Farm, Sidmouth, Devon, UK, EX10 0NU
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