Head of Corporate Communications and External Relations - Absa Bank



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Job Description: Responsibilities, Qualifications, and Necessary Skills





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With over 100 years of rich history and strongly positioned as a local bank with regional and international expertise, a career with our family offers the opportunity to be part of this exciting growth journey, to reset our future and shape our destiny as a proudly African group.

My Career Development Portal: Wherever you are in your career, we are here for you. Design your future. Discover leading-edge guidance, tools and support to unlock your potential. You are Absa. You are a possibility.

Job Summary

  • Build an in-depth understanding of the external environment (competitors, market trends, industry issues, relevant stakeholders through research, interacting and networking), in order to advise on appropriate positioning and messaging regarding Corporate Communication and External Relations at all levels and ensure alignment throughout the business.
  • Support the MCRD with the implementation of Corporate Communication and external relations strategies and its execution plan, ensuring a clear alignment and integration with overall bank’s business, marketing and communication plans including customers, partners, media, colleagues and all other bank’s stakeholders.
  • Ensure that Absa through strong external relations management and expert input is viewed as a key sector policy contributor with regards to the appropriate government sectors, regulators and policy makers on sector related or overall economic issues.
  • Develop and maintain an effective working structure that ensures that public/sector policy issues of material impact to the Bank are effectively coordinated in a devolved operating environment -including the accurate and timely escalation all potential risks and mitigating actions
  • Develop and support the MCRD to lead a program of thought leadership for Absa Bank Ghana targeted at key public sector stakeholders. Identify key themes where Absa Bank can establish itself as a thought leader working with internal resources e.g. research and external bodies e.g. Local Think Tanks and relevant international institutions.


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Job DescriptionStrategy execution

Time split: 50%

Output:

  • Support the MCRD to develop Lead and manage implementation of corporate communications and external relations strategies to promote and protect Absa’s brand and reputation in alignment with overall business strategy.
  • Lead the implementation of the integrated external stakeholder communication strategy aligned with the business strategy
  • Research and proactively map out policy issues of material impact to the bank and work with relevant functions to manage expected mitigation actions.
  • Build relationships with relevant trade and business associations, chambers, bodies, influencers etc and work with business units to leverage on available opportunities.
  • Participate as a member of the National /Regional Public policy and Government Relations management team and will in that capacity be part of various management meetings and forum.
  • Develop Corporate media relations strategy and manage its execution to ensure the banks derives full benefits from these media relationships and to ensure bank enjoys positive reportage and profiling
  • Develop Thought Leadership strategic plan for the business with clear profiling component and support Senior leadership to leverage on plan to support brand image building and visibility for the Bank
  • Manage the writing and review of Corporate Communication and support Senior Leadership (including the MD) with Op-Ed’s, articles, and speeches
  • Own and support the resolution of stakeholder complaints.

Reputation Management

Time split: 20%

  • Develop and implement the appropriate platforms to manage corporate reputation and issues.
  • Build and maintain senior stakeholder relationships within the
  • Local financial sector and other sectors with director impact including key players within Absa Africa Regional Operations (ARO)
  • Manage public policy issues of strategic significance to the Bank, working with business heads and relevant enabling units to ensure that Absa protects its commercial interests and reputation.
  • Prepare briefs for senior executives on sector, local, regional, and global public policy developments and provide advice, guidance and support the management of reputational issues from a corporate relations perspective
  • Promote strong internal understanding of brand and reputation risk management and the value of early engagement with the Marketing and Corporate Relations Department

People Management

Time split: 20%

Output:

  • Manage the Performance Development (PD) Plans of the supporting teams whilst having clarity of objectives alignment to the MCR Unit’s overall annual objectives
  • Motivate direct team and MCR colleagues and ensure they are recognised through own leadership and other recognition programs being run within the bank
  • Create an empowering and collaborative environment for team members, encouraging individual ownership and initiative attitude.
  • Manage the development of direct team through Performance Management, regular coaching, offering learning opportunities to create quality growth and talent development.


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Management of Operational Risk

Time split: 10%

Output:

  • Have clear oversight of allocated budgets by monitoring the payment of suppliers and review of budget spend reports and trackers to avoid overspend
  • Monitor all prescribed compliance training to be undertaken by self and direct reports and ensure completion within prescribed timelines.
  • Procure and manage suppliers within the Absa procurement Policy framework.
  • Support MCR Director in the implementation of policies and procedures and ensure its strictly followed whilst recommending its refinement as when necessary

Role Specifications

  • Strong Communication skills (written and verbal)
  • Reputation management skills
  • Media Relations skills
  • Strategy /concept development and execution
  • Insight development and analysis
  • Project Management
  • Presentation skills
  • Business management
  • Adapting and responding to change
  • Resilience and flexibility

Person Specifications:

Knowledge, Experience & Expertise

  • Deciding and initiating action
  • Presenting and communicating information
  • Entrepreneurial and commercial thinking
  • Relating and networking
  • Enable results
  • Coach & Develop
  • Emotionally Intelligent
  • Create an inclusive culture
  • Persuading and influencing
  • Creating and innovating
  • Critical and analytical in thinking


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Essential

  • The job holder must have a minimum of 5 years experience in a similar Senior Leadership role with proven management and understanding of Corporate Communication and external relations, Policy Influence management strategies, Media Relations, Reputation risk management, Thought Leadership Management and Marketing Management.
  • Ability to work with and influence C. Suite individuals and teams across multi-functions, challenging and overcoming organisational boundaries
  • Ability to write for MD and senior leaders and for publication in high-end newspapers, magazines etc
  • Must have the skill to identify changing stakeholder needs and advise businesses to adapt to changes if impact on business will be deemed material
  • Demonstrate an appreciable knowledge of the products & services within the banking sectors

Education

Bachelor’s Degree: Communication Studies and Language (Required)

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