Communication and Public Relations Specialist

Job Description

About the Project
Mastercard Foundation in partnership with Ministry of Education of the FDRE (MoE), Arizona State University (ASU) and Shayashone (SYS) PLC have launched a new project entitled as ‘Strengthening Higher Education System through Utilization of Digital Technology.’ The project aims at enhancing quality, accessibility and affordability of higher education by launching digital Learning Management System across public universities in Ethiopia. The  project has four key components (1) building appropriate infrastructure (resource centers) integrated with the bigger ICT system of the 50 public universities (2) adopting and rolling a digital learning and education platform developed by ASU  (Openedx) (3) building capacities of 100 system administrators, 35,000 instructors and 800,000 students in management, content development and utilization of the envisaged learning management system (4) supporting institutionalization and scale-up e-learning for higher education and beyond by designing appropriate national policies and strategies. The ultimate target of the project is to enhance/equip young graduates with the skills needed for employment and entrepreneurship in an equitable and cost-effective manner.

Job Summary
The communication and public relations  specialist will be a key resource person to design and execute communication strategy that is intended to enhance shared understanding about the e-learning management system and foster partnership among internal and external stakeholders. He/She will also be responsible for Branding, Media coverage and communication content preparation in line with the foundation and the ministry’s branding and communication protocols. The candidate is expected to document and release relevant information about the project, assist in developing the value proposition of e-learning for different types of users and contribute to knowledge management.    The person will closely work with experts from Mastercard Foundation, ASU and Public Universities in Ethiopia and other key potential partners in the area. S/he will be a key member of MoE EthERNet directorate team. The position requires key technical and management competencies in the areas of data and information syntheses and presentation, public relationship, use of digital and mainstream media channels and ability to develop coherent and easy to understand messages for different groups.   The ideal candidate is one who has solid understanding of contribution of e-learning programs to the quality, affordability and accessibility of education and its ultimate impact at enhancing employability and entrepreneurial skills of graduates. S/he should be an active team player among experts with different background and share knowledge to others.

Roles and Responsibilities

Communication Strategy Development

Together with experts from Mastercard Foundation and other project partners, responsible for developing communication strategies and guidelines that create shared understanding among users and create greater visibility among wider stakeholders about e-learning.  Ensure the communication strategies and guidelines comply with the internal standards and guidelines of the project partners-Mastercard Foundation, MoE and ASU.
Responsible for identifying and clustering different stakeholders, their interest and influence in relation to the envisaged e-learning management system and ensure appropriate communication strategies are in place to address them.
Contribute to the development of appropriate value proposition of e-learning to the different user groups-students, instructors, university administrators, registrars, employers and policy makers.
Participate in researching about labor market needs in relation to knowledges, skills and attitudes of young gradates and advise on strategies to incorporate those needs into the envisaged learning management system.
Design and develop clear and engaging communication material including but not limited to guidelines, handbooks, newsletters, blogs and posters that clearly indicate the project objective for the different target groups.
Research and identify appropriate communication media channels (social, online, and mainstream) to disseminate information to different target groups.    and mechanism, agree with project implementing for effective communication and marketing of the project activities
Coach and backstop public relationship and media personnel at the target universities and MoE on the communication strategy and guidelines.

Partnership and networking

Responsible for regularly checking timeliness, consistency and validity of information shared to different target groups, advise appropriate media channels and coach the project team and project partners to adhere to the communication guideline and compliance.
In partnership with project team and experts from the university, the MoE and Mastercard foundation,  document and disseminate information that creates clarity, build shared vision and foster strategic partnership among different departments within the ministry, target universities and other stakeholders within the Ethiopian higher education sector.
Responsible for actively networking and reaching out to relevant stakeholders working in the e-learning sector and beyond for possible harmonization and synergies
Responsible for cultivating positive relationships with media professionals’ bloggers, thought leaders, influencers and other media personnel to help shape the projects image
Proactively address possible misconceptions and misunderstanding about the envisaged e-learning management system and assist stakeholders to have well informed opinion.

Project progress update and knowledge management

Responsible for documenting and organizing information.
Prepare monthly, quarterly and annual reports and updates to ensure every project partner is updated about the project progress.
Prepares various documents intended for the media, press releases, articles, brochures and other written documents for information purposes, and obtains the required approvals from project partners.
Advise on internal communication tools and, when required, and coordinate the events.
Supports the development and circulation of knowledge products to draw out lessons learned and success stories.
In collaboration with MEL lead advisor, continuously identifies & implements process changes & improvements and planning methodologies to ensure the project success
Work closely across project partners to develop findings and insights from the project and curate information that is consumed by education sector decision-makers
Branding, communication content and Media house management.

Additional Roles

Actively participate in the development of a national e-learning policy.
Responsible for capacity building of the relevant MoE and university team and ensure full teamwork and integration of project work within the mainstream functions of the ministry and universities.
Undertake other related roles from MoE and other project partners as and when needed and ensure complementarity with the new e-learning program.

Duration: One Year with possible extension up to five years

Salary: Highly attractive with possible career development opportunities

Job Requirements

Technical Competencies

Excellent communication skills in English.
Hands on experience of message development for different target audience and utilization of appropriate channels to reach.
Mastery in understanding the strategic intent of communication in relation to e-learning
Outstanding diplomatic, influence and persuasion skills
Demonstrated experience in the development of media and event materials including media releases and speeches.
 Comprehensive understanding and experience of writing content and pitching to media.
Excellent proofreading skills, attention to detail and high-level writing skills for a variety of mediums and target.

Leadership and management competencies

Mastery in demonstrating personal effectiveness.
Outstanding skills in planning, organizing and reporting.
Strong analytical and critical reasoning and problem-solving skills.
Champions in fostering partnership and stakeholder relationships.
Ability to perform under stress with minimal supervision and able to handle multiple tasks at a time in calm and organized manner.
Hands-on and pro-active approach.

Education, Work experience and Language

BA in political science and international relations, journalism and related social Science fields
Proven track record in project communication, designing skill by using appropriate software
At least 3 years of experience in business/project communication, data gathering and data management, project planning and implementation, research, market development and projects implementation.
Proficiency in spoken and written English languages is a must.

Competent applicants can send their completed CV by e-mail or in hard copy to the following address before the close of business on 13 April 2023. Applicants are expected to indicate the position they are applying for clearly.  Shortlisted applicants will be communicated for further assessment and selection.
We strongly encourage qualified women to apply.

Shayashone Trading plc
Recruitment Coordination Office
Bole Road Friendship Building, 4th Floor, Office Number 401/3
Telephone   +251911595063

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