We encourage applications from people from all backgrounds and aim to have a workforce that represents the wider society that we serve. We pride ourselves on being an employer of choice. We champion diversity, inclusion and wellbeing and aim to create a workplace where everyone feels valued and a sense of belonging. To find out more about how we do this visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice/about/equality-and-diversity.
From keeping drugs out of prisons and cutting crime, to overhauling sentencing laws and making pet theft a specific offence – the Ministry of Justice is one of only a handful of Government departments that can truly dominate the news agenda.
And our Press Office, bursting with talent, is widely recognised as the gold standard within government for shaping stories and influencing news across print, broadcast, and online. With a diverse remit including, prisons and probation, family justice, legal aid and modernising the courts system, no day is ever the same in this busy office.
We are looking for creative, hard-working, passionate people to join our team, so if you’re looking for an exciting, challenging job, where you can develop with support from experienced communications professionals, keep reading.
You could have responsibility for setting up and managing media facilities, organising interviews, drafting sharp, reactive statements and briefing journalists to generate and influence our coverage. There will be opportunities to advise Ministers and provide them with media handling advice on announcements, visits and speeches, and to help us boost our social media presence.
Alternatively, you could be working as part of our planning and strategy team, liaising with Number 10 while coordinating announcements and horizon scanning for events and opportunities that affect the department.
If these challenges sound exciting, you have experience in media relations, communications or journalism, and you enjoy the buzz of a busy environment – apply now to be a Ministry of Justice media officer. You are exactly who we’re looking for.
About the role
We currently have two roles available in our office. The team works across a wide range of areas, from proactive announcements on specific policies such as prisons and probation to reactive work, fielding calls from journalists on our busy news desk. While some of the team work on our Planning and Strategy Desk, playing a key role in media planning.
While responsibilities will depend on the desk you join, all media officers are expected to:Create proactive announcements and media strategies, using everything from traditional broadcast and print media to consumer websites and social media. Provide regular media handling advice to Ministers, officials and colleagues on sensitive, complex and high-profile issues. Anticipate and spot news stories so you can swiftly prepare and issue robust responses to potentially negative stories. Develop and maintain strong relationships with Ministers, officials, journalists, stakeholders and colleagues in other departments. Work effectively with the Communications team and wider Government so media plans are joined-up with digital, internal and strategic communications. Understand departmental and Ministerial priorities so you can communicate key messages clearly, accurately and creatively to media.
If joining our planning team you will also be expected to:Coordinate the department’s day-to-day and long-term announcements and play a key part in developing and maintaining the strong Press Office relationship with Number 10.Represent the department at the weekly Number 10 planning meeting.
You would also contribute to the Press Office out-of-hours service, for which overtime is paid.
We are looking for candidates who have work experience in journalism, in-house press offices or PR and communications agencies.
The salary range for this post is £34,262 - £38,373 plus generous overtime payments for participation in the out of hours rota. Existing civil servants on level transfer will retain their level of pay unless this is lower than the starting salary as per MoJ T&Cs.
As part of the application process, you will be asked to provide a CV, provide short examples demonstrating the behaviours below in previous roles and give us your assessment of the main media issues facing the Ministry of Justice over the next six months.
We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection and interview process:
Communicating and InfluencingCommunicate clearly and concisely both orally and in writing; Express ideas clearly and with respect for others; Listen to and value different ideas, views and ways of working; Respond constructively and objectively to comments and questions; Handle challenging conversations with confidence and sensitivity.
Delivering at paceRegularly check performance against objectives, making suggestions for improvement where necessary; Identify what is required to ensure success, set clear goals and continually assess workloads considering individual needs; Have a positive and focused attitude to achieving outcomes, despite any setbacks.
More details on these can be found in the Civil Service behaviours (PDF).
We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:
InsightUnderstand how to reach the biggest and/or most appropriate audience for an announcement using a mix of media channels. Maintain an awareness of the news agenda.
IdeasWork up ideas for stories and case studies to help increase media interest in a positive news story.
ImplementationDraft high-quality press releases that maximise media coverage and punchy statements that rebut criticism effectively.
ImpactMonitor media coverage and evaluate your success in reaching the target audience and delivering key messages.
More details on these can be found in the Government Communication Professional Competency (Technical Skills) Framework.
Flexible working hours
The Ministry of Justice offers a flexible working hours system. Like most government press offices, our jobs mean working hours can be unpredictable at times, but you will not be expected to work overtime regularly and ensuring everyone has a healthy work-life balance is a priority for us. You will take part in the out of hours duty rota, which is rewarded through generous overtime payment, but there is flexibility, particularly for those with parental or caring responsibilities.
Security clearance and residency
If you are successful at interview, we will work with you to acquire security clearance. This is a straightforward process for most people but does, generally, require you to have been resident in the UK for at least the last five years.