Purpose of the Job:
Advance and promote MSF’s medical and scientific work as well as advocacy around access to medicines issues that affect the work of MSF.
Provide focused communications support to the following core areas:
global health issues (HIV, malaria, antimicrobial resistance, drug-resistant TB, neglected diseases) and Access Campaign
MSF-USA Medical Unit, Epicentre and other medical units in the MSF network, as appropriate
Medical dossiers and research publications
Collaborate with the Media Relations Manager, MSF-USA’s Medical Unit, members of the Communications team, and Program & Advocacy colleagues to implement media plans to increase awareness of MSF’s unique medical voice, operational activities, advocacy concerns and initiatives, expertise, and values, in US-based media, by performing the following duties:
Essential Functions and Responsibilities:
MEDIA RELATIONS (70%)
Responsible for pro-actively pitching MSF medical and global health issues such as: HIV treatment, drug-resistant tuberculosis, malaria, antimicrobial resistance, global vaccination and the effect of trade agreements on access to affordable medicines.
In close collaboration with the media relations manager, implements MSF-USA’s media strategies and policies on medical and access campaign related dossiers, in order to keep the public informed of MSF’s programs, accomplishments or point of view.
Work with MSF-USA medical unit in conceiving and creating coverage opportunities of medical unit priorities and tapping the unit as unique and reliable sources for general, medical, and global/public health media.
Leverage in-house expertise in vaccines, IP, tropical and infectious diseases, to increase visibility of MSF in these areas in media.
Coordinate closely with Medical Editor to complement and strategize on publishing output and to leverage exposure beyond medical journals.
Liaise with Access Campaign staff and provide guidance and support on press releases, blog posts, op-eds, and letters to the editor.
Develop broader relationships with relevant science and medical media/press, in order to expand coverage of MSF medical priorities beyond Access Campaign-related issues.
Liaise with other MSF medical communications officers, and other MSF medical communications staff, and assist in defining messages and pitching strategies for key audiences.
Work with Media Relations Manager to carry out media analyses in order to evaluate impact and outreach.
Other Dossiers / General Subjects (10%)
When necessary, backs up Press Officer by fielding and triaging general media inquiries and connects media with MSF staff with direct knowledge and/or experience of topic at hand, in a timely and comprehensive manner, for example during humanitarian emergencies or major events.
In support of the themes above:
In coordination with the Medical Editor, seek publishing opportunities in major medical journals, especially perspectives pieces (i.e. non-peer reviewed or multiple-author articles).
Carry out field visits and attend relevant Access and medical-related meetings, gatherings and conferences.
On a daily basis, monitor and consume major US and international news media in order to stay abreast of global events directly relevant and tangential to MSF’s work (including global health issues) and to maintain knowledge of reporter and photographer beats and movements.
Pro-actively pitch MSF issues, personnel, and advocacy concerns to US-based media and foreign correspondents for US-based media outlets.
Develop and maintain contacts and relationships with domestic and international media representatives in the US to create opportunities for keeping MSF in front of the public and key constituencies.
Develop ideas, opportunities, and write feature articles, interviews, presentations, op-eds, and other communications activities that promote awareness of the field and advocacy work of MSF.
Write and/or distribute press releases and photographs in conjunction with international communications network to media representatives and other persons who may be interested in learning about or covering MSF's activities or message.
Provide editorial content for quarterly newsletter, monthly email newsletter, and MSF-USA website; write articles, and advises on content and design in collaboration with the Publications Manager, Media Relations Manager, and the Communications Director.
Brief and debrief outgoing and returning field volunteers to prepare them for contact with the press, to stay abreast of MSF field activities, and to determine interest and ability for ongoing communications work.
Assist and coach MSF staff and Field Volunteers, BOD and BOA members for media presentation and preparation of articles for publication, especially on medical- and global health-related issues and themes
Conduct media trainings for MSF office and field staff, BOD and BOA members and for MSF international colleagues.
MANAGEMENT and DEPARTMENTAL ADMINISTRATION (10%)
Contribute to maintenance of database of communications contacts.
Attend regularly scheduled unit and departmental meetings to share information, brainstorm solutions, and coordinate priorities.
Participates in planning and implementation of MSF-USA’s communications strategies, policies and procedures.
Attend staff meetings, program department updates and several annual office-wide debates to participate in information sharing across all departments, and stay informed on important MSF topics so as to be able to contribute to the organization’s ongoing development.
MSF International Coordination and Representation (10%)
May visit MSF-field projects in support of communications objectives (eg., accompanying media crews)
May be called upon to coordinate network-wide communications efforts during international crises.
Extent of Public Contact
Regularly represents MSF to external contacts, including senior representatives of the media regarding complex and/or sensitive subjects. Within the MSF movement, interact with all levels of staff and field volunteers to develop, plan, and coordinate messages and strategize media approach, as well as to stay abreast of MSF issues and to research topics.
While performing the duties of this job, the employee is required to sit for long periods and to concentrate on work, including typing, and turn out heavy volumes of work accurately, within the context of a moderately noisy office with many interruptions. Must be able to proofread own work accurately so that only minor corrections are needed on an infrequent basis.
To travel to the field (usually in the developing world), the employee must attest to physical fitness to endure physically difficult, high stress situations which may include the necessity to walk long distances, carry a backpack or other equipment of up to 50 pounds, to ride long distances over very poor road conditions, to eat a limited diet and/or to reside in potentially uncomfortable housing or tents.
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
Working Conditions, Travel and Environment
The duties of the job require regular attendance 5 days/week for a minimum of 35 hours. Must be available to work before 9:00 am, after 5:00 pm or on weekends, as required.
Must be able to travel as required for standard domestic and international business travel as well as to MSF field projects. While performing the duties of this job in the field, the employee may be exposed to precarious settings under high security and/or very basic living conditions and outside weather conditions, as well as to infectious diseases.
Minimum 3-5 years media relations experience, plus Bachelor's degree, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
Demonstrated knowledge of international affairs and humanitarian activities.
Demonstrated knowledge of leading global health issues and policies.
Track record of generating media coverage of global health-related issues.
Strong understanding of media trends and knowledge-base of relevant journalists and their coverage beats.
Demonstrated knowledge and embrace of social media, especially as a strategic media relations tool.
Demonstrated knowledge and experience with media database and media monitoring programs.
Excellent written and oral communications skills.
Strong interpersonal and written and oral communications skills.
Ability to synthesize complex and sensitive material accurately to produce press releases and articles for publication for a wide variety of traditional and new media.
Ability to handle a large volume of work.
Outstanding proven time management and organizational skills, including ability to prioritize ongoing vs. immediate needs appropriately.
Keen attention to detail with ability to track multiple projects at one time.
Excellent judgment and diplomacy.
Genuine interest in and commitment to the humanitarian principles of MSF.
Fluent French and/or Spanish
Prior experience in a non profit – particularly in an international NGO.
To apply, send cover letter and resume to: Employment.email@example.com,
Attn: Press Officer, Medical and Global Health
Low to Mid 70’s, salary commensurate with experience. Great benefits. Generous paid time off. A friendly, supportive environment with growth potential.
Application Deadline: December 11, 2015