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As the membership organisation for owners of land, property and businesses in rural England and Wales, the CLA speaks for everyone who believes in a living and working countryside, promoting members’ interests and influencing decision-makers to ensure the positive development of the rural economy.

Reporting to the Director General, this is a senior management position, leading a high performing team that promotes the Association’s key messages to public, political, industry and member audiences in order to further the objectives of the Association.

With responsibility for developing external affairs strategy in consultation with Officers, wider membership, senior managers and other colleagues, primary responsibilities will include:

  • developing, defining and delivering the public affairs and media strategy; 
  • providing political and media counsel across the organisation;
  • working with policy and member colleagues to prioritise and define policy messaging; 
  • identifying and delivering effective campaigns; 
  • building and maintaining relations with diverse stakeholders in England, Wales and Europe, including Parliamentarians, Ministers and Special Advisers across all political parties, national and trade journalists, and other interested organisations;
  • supporting the Welsh team in engagement with the Welsh Assembly;
  • overseeing attendance at party conferences and events;
  • providing briefings to senior spokespeople and preparing speeches for the President, Officer team and Director General;
  • overseeing the effective use of social and digital media, the production and publication of all CLA publications and managing website content;
  • leading and mentoring the external affairs team in London and overseeing the effective delivery of national initiatives at regional level;
  • protecting the Association's reputation and providing effective crisis/risk management communications as required.

Educated to degree level, the successful candidate will bring:

  • substantial experience in developing and delivering high level public affairs and media strategies and campaigns;
  • experience of working in an in-house external affairs role, preferably in a membership organisation;  
  • strong media relations experience and a keen understanding of the political system in Westminster, Cardiff and the EU; 
  • established networks across media and all political parties;
  • experience of working on legislation, particularly securing amendments through parliamentarians;
  • a history of influencing and engaging with diverse stakeholders including members;
  • proven leadership skills and a track record in managing and motivating teams.

While sector experience is not essential, you will demonstrate a keen understanding of the key issues affecting rural businesses and communities, and an appreciation of CLA member needs.

Closing date

Applications for this post closed 9:00am on Thursday 10th May 2018