Carbon Co-op is seeking a Communications and Policy Officer to create compelling new stories and narratives concerning the power of collective solutions to tackle climate change, the urgent need to establish Energy Justice and the transformative power of open technologies. You don’t need to be an expert in the field but you will be passionate about working with team members to communicate sometimes complex social and technical issues in ways that are simple, direct and accessible to people from a range of backgrounds.
Deadline: 5pm, Friday 8th September 2023
- Time: 0.8 – 1 FTE (Flexible)
- Location: Central Manchester, UK/Remote
- Wages: £26,800 – £32,160 (dependant on experience/qualifications)
- Start date: ASAP
- Duration: permanent
- Status: Payroll/PAYE
For over a decade, Carbon Co-op has been creating new social and technical models and tools to tackle climate change. Our work employs experts across a range of fields and disciplines, developing new approaches that demonstrate large-scale reductions in energy use and reflect our commitment to collective, co-operative action.
Until now responsibility for communications has been distributed around the staff team but with growing impact there is need for us to communicate our work in a more strategic and planned manner. The audiences we target include the general public, our co-operative members, the industries and sectors we work within and policy makers and politicians.
We speak at conferences and events, with our research and case studies widely cited throughout the sectors we work within. We have significant influence on policy making, contributing on the ground experience to the development of new national policies and programmes. We meet regularly with politicians from across the political spectrum and sit on a broad variety of advisory boards, giving evidence to committees and responding to consultations. In the past we have used creative forms of communication including participatory workshops at festivals such as Bluedot, interactive games at Manchester Museum and collaborated with artists and academics to devise immersive walks through Manchester.
You may be new to or unfamiliar with aspects of the climate or energy sector, but we have a skilled and knowledgeable team and are able to offer formal and informal training, as well as effective mentoring and coaching from team members to ensure you are supported. So, if you want to use your skills to help people tackle climate change in their homes and communities, get in touch!
- Send your CV plus a single page covering letter and an example of a piece of written, verbal or visual communication you have created to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5pm, Friday 8th September 2023
- Put ‘Comms and Policy Officer’ in the email subject
- For questions or queries please contact email@example.com (and firstname.lastname@example.org in case of holiday) or call 0161 820 1273
- Interviews will be conducted in person at our Manchester office or by video call (on request)
About the role
We anticipate that around three quarters of the role will be dedicated to communications and around a quarter to policy. The role involves both project-based and Business As Usual work and you will be employed across the organisation’s three teams: retrofit, energy systems and energy commons, working closely with Team Leads and supported by our Head of Operations.
- Working collaboratively to devise and develop effective campaign-based communications strategies for projects and workstreams.
- Working with colleagues to create compelling narratives and stories based on Carbon Co-op’s knowledge, research and activity.
- Delivering and coordinating communications activity including:
- Hosting events and webinars.
- Generating written material such as case studies, blog posts and long reads.
- Commissioning content from third parties such as video makers, designers or artists.
- Contributing to project teams, developing and experimenting with new and collaborative communications approaches such as immersive technologies, gaming and art.
- Creating a strategic approach to communications in the context of policy development
- Working with Carbon Co-op experts to develop key messages.
- Delivering and coordinating communications activity for a policy maker audience, such as writing briefing notes and position papers.
- Coordinating responses to consultations.
- Developing relationships with policy makers, political parties, Think Tanks, industry federations and policy making circles.
- Attending and speaking at conferences and meetings.
- Contributing to the development of Carbon Co-op’s communications infrastructure i.e. developing contacts and networks, reviewing the communications platforms and software tools we use.
- Coordinating the organisation’s responses to announcements, opportunities and news events.
- Reviewing and adding content to the website, reviewing materials for stalls and conferences etc.
Flexible and remote working
We’re looking for someone who can work between 0.8 and 1 FTE (based on a 37.5 hour working week). Carbon Co-op supports flexible working around core office hours. The role is based at our office in central Manchester and will require some attendance to in person and physical events. A small amount of evenings and weekend working will be required (we operate flexible work mechanisms for these hours to be taken back at other times). Within the constraints of the role there is scope for hybrid or remote working.
Outline of the role
We believe this role could be suitable for people from a wide range of backgrounds, so we are not listing any minimum levels of qualifications or years of experience. The skills and competencies we are after can be developed in a range of settings, not just formal education.
i) Skills and experience
- Evidence of excellent communication skills – we need someone with an ability to translate relatively technical information for a variety of audiences. You’ll be able to communicate concepts concisely and clearly – both through verbal interactions and in writing.
- Experience of developing strategic communications approaches.
- Experience of developing communications in a collaborative, team based environment, commissioning work and input from others.
- A broad understanding of the policy making process and the political context in the UK.
- Experience of common ICT tools associated with communications such as social media platforms, webinar tools, newsletter platforms etc.
- Copywriting and editing experience, able to review documents and correct them for style and fact.
- Multimedia documentation skills.
- Public speaking and event management experience.
- Digital marketing experience.
- A good understanding of the need to tackle Energy Justice issues.
- An understanding of policy making in other parts of the world, specifically the EU and USA.
ii) Person specification
- You will be able to research, digest and distil knowledge and information into key messages, stories and narratives that illustrate deeper messages to others.
- You will demonstrate strategic thinking and planning – linking a series of interlocking activities, building over time, to deliver messages to a target audience.
- You will be empathetic and diplomatic, reading situations and audiences to understand when it’s appropriate to deliver certain messages and arguments, and when it is not.
- You will be able to evidence critical thinking – at times you’ll need to research and find information to support communications. You need to be able to detect greenwash and other common media dis-information approaches when you come across them and critically engage with the information you find, checking in with colleagues as necessary.
- You will show initiative in identifying tasks and be happy with a degree of independent working. You’ll be proactive and able to prioritise and manage your own time.
- You will have a good attention to detail, be organised and be able to work to deadlines and key dates.
- Must be comfortable talking to policy makers working in national and local government and politicians of all mainstream parties.
- Being confident at public speaking.
- Being creative and inventive in developing new communications approaches.
- Being confident speaking to press and PR professionals.
We will produce a shortlist of applicants who we will invite to an online or in person interview (likely to be held in mid-late September 2023) lasting approximately 60 minutes. If you are shortlisted we will ask you to prepare a short presentation/activity as part of the interview. We also ask you submit a piece of communication you have created at the application stage.
We can provide feedback to those invited to interview but who were not successful on request (we do not have resources to provide detailed feedback to applicants who are not shortlisted, sorry).
About Carbon Co-op
Carbon Co-op is an award-winning and fast-growing member-led social enterprise based in Greater Manchester, UK. Our mission is to support people to take collective action on climate change in their homes and communities and we have a strong commitment to tackling Energy Justice which runs through this.
We pilot a diverse range of innovative low carbon projects and develop new energy services for householders. We are an integrated, multi-disciplinary team, with a range of skills and competencies and the ability to support your personal and professional development. We organise within three thematic teams, each with a Team Lead: Retrofit, Energy Systems and Energy Commons, this role falls under the Retrofit Team. We have an organisational strategy, devised at an annual away session with input from staff and teams, as well as our householder members and co-operative board.
Our work culture is open and collaborative and we employ practices such as user-centred design, service design and agile development. We welcome new team members! We operate from an office in Ancoats, central Manchester in the Bridge 5 Mill centre for sustainability but we also offer a range of flexible and hybrid working options.
We require staff to demonstrate, understand and apply our core organisational values. These are embedded in all our roles and applicants are expected to demonstrate these values as part of the application process:
- Commitment to collective and community-based approaches to tackling climate change.
- Commitment to Co-operative Values.
- Commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.
- Commitment to environmental justice and tackling inequalities.
Legal right to work
By the time you commence your employment you must have a legal right to work in the UK. We are currently not in a position to act as a sponsor.
We’re an equal opportunity employer, value diversity and have flexible working practices. We acknowledge that people from certain backgrounds are under-represented within our sector and our organisation – and we want to ensure we address this. We encourage applications from anyone with suitable skills, no matter their background or ability. If you don’t feel confident enough to apply, get in touch with us, we’d love to chat!