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Communications Manager, The Booker Prize Foundation

Contract & Location: Employee, preferably full-time employment and London-based Salary: £45,000+ pa, depending on experience

Application details: Email CV and covering letter (two pages maximum) to contactus@bookerprizefoundation.org

Deadline for applications
10 May 2024

Reporting to Director of Prize Management and Special Projects

Organisation Description

The Booker Prizes have a unique place in the literary sphere, enjoying an enviable reputation as a cultural institution that is highly respected, much loved and hotly debated throughout the world. Over the past 50 years, more than 600 extraordinary books have been brought to the attention of the public, influencing reading tastes and transforming culture in Britain and beyond, along with the careers of hundreds of authors from around the globe.

The Booker Prize Foundation is a registered charity, established in 2002, which is responsible for awarding the Booker Prize and the International Booker Prize. It exists to inspire more people to read – and write – the world’s best fiction. In adding a year-round, far-reaching digital portfolio, the Booker Prizes are now the globally recognised home of great writing.

Other aspects of the Foundation’s work include the funding of Braille and audio editions of Booker Prizes books through the RNIB, Books Unlocked, a long-standing reading initiative in prisons, and the UEA Booker Prize Foundation Scholarship, awarded annually to a candidate for the Creative Writing MA at the University of East Anglia. Many past scholars have since met with acclaim as published authors.

We welcome and encourage applications from candidates who are under-represented in the creative industries.

The role

We are looking for a Communications Manager to join the small in-house Booker Prize Foundation team. This is a new role and presents a rare opportunity for a talented professional to effectively communicate the organisation’s ambitions and achievements to build its reputation, profile and reach, and inspire more people to read great fiction.

Key responsibilities

  • Developing and delivering – in collaboration with and support from the wider team – the overarching external PR strategy, messaging and timeline for the Booker Prize Foundation to encompass:

  • The Booker Prize
  • The International Booker Prize
  • Year-round editorial output including video interviews and online features
  • Initiatives run in partnership with external organisations such as the Books Unlocked prisons programme with the National Literacy Trust and our work with the RNIB
  • Announcing new partnerships and projects
  • Corporate developments e.g. new hires and funding arrangements
  • Crisis communications
  • Day-to-day management of our PR agency, who sell in prize announcements, secure coverage for our judging panels and nominees, and oversee media activity around the ceremonies
  • Drafting press releases for all announcements including judges, longlist, shortlist, winner, as well as additional news outlined above
  • Pitching coverage for any news or features beyond the prizes
  • Supporting the Director of Prize Management on programming the Booker Prizes’ series of public events, including building relationships with literary festivals and arts venues, planning logistics and overseeing media/marketing promotions
  • Working closely with existing partners such as the BBC and the Southbank Centre, and contributing to the wider partnership strategy with both ideas and delivery support
  • Creating bespoke schedules for authors and judges around the prize activity
  • Maintaining and building a network of media and cultural contacts to elevate campaigns, bring new opportunities and feed into invitation lists
  • Keeping abreast of key media, publishing, literary prize and cultural news and trends to feed into PR strategy
  • Some evening working to cover events may be required

Skills and experience

  • The successful candidate will have at least five years of experience working in communications, PR or marketing roles. They should be able to evidence their experience in devising and leading effective PR and/or marketing campaigns.

  • It is not essential for applicants to have a publishing background, but they will take a keen interest in reading and promoting books, and their place in the wider cultural scene.

  • They will have the ability and confidence to strategise about the larger brand image and will understand the organisation’s values.
  • They will enjoy working as part of a small, friendly, dynamic team and will be organised, industrious, creative and detail-focused in their thinking and working. They should be flexible in their approach to tackling a diverse range of tasks.
  • They will be articulate and tactful in dealings with others within the team, the board of trustees and the advisory committee, and externally with key stakeholders including authors, translators, publishers, agents, librarians, retailers, suppliers and partners
  • Excellent writing skills are a must: press releases must conform to the standards of the world’s most prestigious literary prizes.
  • They will understand how to cultivate relationships with journalists and influencers and will ideally have a wide range of contacts across news and arts media
  • They will be a highly-motivated person, who is able to work independently, and who inspires confidence and trust from those around them

How to apply

  • Please send a covering letter of no more than two pages outlining your suitability for the role and a CV by end of 10 May 2024 to contactus@bookerprizefoundation.org
  • In your covering letter, please explain why you are interested in the Communications Manager job and how your experience and skills match what we are looking for.

Successful candidates will be invited to interview in the week commencing 3 June.

Communications Manager, The Booker Prize Foundation

Booker Prize Foundation, London
Full-time, Permanent
Publisher, Trade
Administration, Events, PR, Publicity, Publishing, Communications
Reference: 
Communications Manager, The Booker Prize Foundation
Salary description: 
£45,000+ pa, depending on experience

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The successful candidate will have at least five years of experience working in communications, PR or marketing roles. They should be able to evidence their experience in devising and leading effective PR and/or marketing campaigns.