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Strategic communications and media adviser

Fern has an exciting full-time opportunity for an experienced communications professional to help our Brussels-based campaigners devise and deliver strong communications strategies and products. Working in both French and English you will help develop Ferns 5-year communications strategy, and build Ferns presence in the Francophone press. You will be at the heart of campaigns which benefit forest dependent peoples and help reduce climate change.

Fern was created in 1995 to achieve greater environmental and social justice, focusing on forests and forest peoples rights in the policies and practices of the European Union.

We believe that to be effective it is essential to understand and address the social dimension of environmental conflicts; that strong coalitions are more likely to achieve lasting change; and that presenting ways forward is often more effective than highlighting problems.

We have no director, and strive to make decisions by consensus.

Details of our current campaign areas can be found at www.fern.org/campaignareas.html

A. Key areas of responsibility:

Ferns profile: Ensuring Ferns profile reflects its values and creates an enabling environment for campaign success

  • Leading on development of Ferns five year strategic communications strategy;
  • Developing and implementing, alongside the communications manager, Ferns annual communications strategy;
  • Developing Ferns social media presence;
  • Developing Ferns Francophone materials and presence (website and social media);
  • Monitoring and analysing Ferns website statistics and proposing follow up actions to campaigners;
  • Working with Ferns media adviser to help campaigns achieve coverage in Francophone media;
  • Jointly managing the communications team including revolving chairing and minuting of meetings;
  • Providing cover for other members of the Ferns communications teams during absences;
  • Keeping abreast of emerging communications tools and channels, and introducing these to Fern when appropriate.

Campaign communication strategies: Ensuring Fern campaigns have clear and effective communication strategies, which are well implemented

  • Supporting campaigners to develop a strong annual communications strategy for their work areas (particularly around sustainable consumption and trade);
  • Managing the sustainable consumption and trade areas of Ferns website;
  • Providing backup support for the climate and development work areas;
  • Signing off all Francophone, sustainable consumption and trade material;
  • Supporting campaigners in delivery and dissemination of key communications products and events;
  • Identifying communications opportunities and working with campaigners to capitalise on these.


  • Working with the communications team to develop a system for identifying and improving campaigners communications skills;
  • Helping campaigners to develop their own communications skills and understanding;
  • Supporting the campaign assistant in developing strategic communications skills.

Fundraising: Ensuring Fern is well known with relevant donors and agencies

  • Supporting campaigners in reporting to relevant donors
  • Supporting in drafting concept notes and proposals for potential donors

General tasks

  • Contributing to the development of Fern as an organisation;
  • Staying informed at a general level on the various campaigns Fern is involved in;
  • Fulfilling Ferns policies on reporting on meetings, producing work plans etc;
  • Playing a full role in Ferns internal knowledge management, succession and strategic communication organisational development teams;
  • Playing a full role in Ferns mentoring system.

B. Other requirements:

  • Travel. As Fern is an international organisation with offices in two countries and activities in numerous countries, travel will be necessary to attend meetings.
  • Flexibility. Fern is a small campaigning organisation, and some flexibility will be required in working hours, for example in the case of preparing urgent funding proposals, budgets etc.

C. Person specification:

We are looking for a strong and independent professional; a good team worker who is able to communicate well, across different cultural backgrounds; who can show initiative and work quickly and accurately without close supervision.


  • At least five years experience in developing , implementing and evaluating communications strategies;
  • Fluent in French and able to work in English;
  • Able to edit and write publishable communications at speed;
  • Proven experience of delivering a strong social media strategy including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn;
  • Good organisational skills;
  • Excellent computer skills (office package, design and websites);
  • Ability to work individually and within a team;
  • Ability to prioritise and manage a high workload;
  • Experience in fundraising including meeting with donors and writing/presenting funding applications;
  • Willingness to travel frequently within the EU and abroad;
  • Experience with media.


  • Experience in working with NGOs and NGO networks in Europe;
  • Experience of developing joint (NGO) positions and facilitating meetings involving a broad range of views, interest groups and cultural approaches;
  • Ability to establish and maintain good working relationship with both partner organisations at grassroots level as well as with Commission officials and MEPs;
  • A good understanding of the functioning of EU institutions.

    E. How to apply

  • Applications should be sent to Viviane Vandemeulebroucke by 12.00 CET on 20 September 2017 viviane@fern.org.
  • Applications should consist of your CV; a cover letter explaining your interest in the job; and a short note describing how you think the current political climate will impact the communications arena and how Fern should respond.
  • Interviews will be held on 12 October 2017.
  • Unfortunately due the volume of applications received we are not able to respond to all applications. If you are invited to the interview we will let you know by 7 October at the latest.
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Daria Andreeva
T. 02 894 46 92