Saturday, May 30, 2015

Somebody has to flack for the British Ministry of Defence at the embassy in Washington -- why shouldn't it be you?


The British Embassy on Observatory Circle in Washington, DC -- does it look as if the neighborhood would have a lot of delis or other places to buy a breakfast bagel on the way to work and, say, a decent sandwich for lunch?

by Ken

Wouldn't you know it would be our "In the Loop" pal Al Kamen coming up with word of this job opening posted by the British Embassy in Washington?

The pay is nothing special, but the benefits are OK, and it looks like a pleasant enough place to work, though it doesn't look as if the neighborhood would have a lot of delis or other places to pick up a breakfast bagel and coffee on the way to work and maybe a decent sandwich for lunch. There's probably some sort of cafeteria or commissary, though. But then too, remember how expensive it is living in Washington. (It doesn't sound as if telecommuting is in the cards.)

"These are, of course, very tough times in the newspaper business," Al notes, "as papers shrink or disappear and reporters are laid off in the crunch. But there are plenty of jobs out there for those willing to jump over the fence and join the spinmeister side."

His case in point is this job at the embassy as a "strategic communications advisor," working for the British Defence Staff-United States, which "is responsible for strengthening the defence and security relationship with the United States on behalf of the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) and the British Embassy."

"Doesn’t seem like heavy lifting," Al ventures.
The relationship is pretty secure, one would think. You would “lead the delivery of an effective and sustained campaign plan of proactive and reactive engagement across defence to influence our key US stakeholders in support of the UK’s defence reputation,” etc. etc.

Okay, the pay is not quite the $10 million a year former NBC anchor Brian Williams pulled in. “The target salary,” we’re told, is $58,200. But there’s “a strong benefits package [which] includes medical, vision, life, long term and short term disability insurance” as well as a retirement plan and “generous vacation and leave time.”
But hurry, Al warns. The application deadline is June 11.


The FCO presumably handles staffing matters for the embassy, even though the actual work, as noted, seems to be primarily on behalf of the Ministry of Defence. Here's some more information you may need to start getting your application together.
Strategic Communications Advisor

The post is within the British Defence Staff-United States (BDS-US) team, within the British Embassy in WashingtonDC. BDS-US is responsible for strengthening the defence and security relationship with the United States on behalf of the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) and the British Embassy.

The BDS-US team covers all areas of defence policy, delivery and the military with respect to the MOD’s relationship with the US. The team works closely with the Embassy Communications Team and wider embassy departments to protect and promote the reputation of UK defence in the US.

The role will lead the delivery of an effective and sustained campaign plan of proactive and reactive engagement across defence to influence our key US stakeholders in support of the UK’s defence reputation; monitor and analyze trends relevant to our sustained campaign on defence reputation; and work in partnership with the wider Embassy and Communications Teams to plan, refine, and assess messages and activities required to implement a successful reputational campaign.

• Serve as the primary advisor and main point of contact for approximately 800 British Defence Staff personnel to educate them on campaign and communication activities, providing strategic advice and guidance on issues such as content generation and effective engagement techniques.
• Measure the progress and effectiveness of campaigns, ensure regular assessment and provide insightful reporting on achievement of the campaign plans to senior leadership up to the Defence Attaché (DA) and other senior level stakeholders. Highlight opportunities for improvement and further engagement and provide guidance to teams as needed.
• Increase the quantity and quality of reputational communication and engagement with stakeholders by providing strategic advice and recommendations on communications campaigns which aim to raise the reputation and profile of UK defence in the US.
• Empower and enable senior staff and the wider embassy to plan and deliver their own defence communications campaigns in a way that is coherent across the team to maximise impact. Work with wider team on external delivery of campaigns.
• Develop productive and valuable relationships with a wide variety of internal and external stakeholders (including think tanks, the US Department of Defense, and UK government departments)to instill a deep understanding of the reputational needs, challenges and priorities of UK defence in the US.
• Identify and define our stakeholders and determine the most effective ways to influence and engage with them.
• Work in partnership with the Communications Team and wider Embassy to refresh and review existing key campaigns, themes, activities, and messages we need to communicate.
• Work with the BDS-US and Communications Teams to coordinate the tasks, activity and planning of the campaign to support the delivery of reputational influence and outcomes.
• Work with the BDS-US and Communications Teams to use a wide range of delivery means including events, media, Congressional engagement, senior visitors, think-tanks and academic institutions.
• Work with the Strategy and Planning arm of the MOD’s Defence Directorate of Communications of embedding UK reputation in the US into their thinking, and to ensure the US and the Embassy are recognised as important stakeholders.
• Line management of one Strategic Communications Support Officer.

• Bachelor’s degree in communications or a related field
• Minimum 6 years of experience in communications and campaign management.
• Excellent project management and analytical skills with a pragmatic approach and management experience.
• Experience of measuring the effect of reputational and communications work.
• Experience of developing and delivering a campaign using a range of tools to protect and promote the reputation of an organisation in the US. Knowledge and use of a full range of communication tools is desired.
• Experience in the defence sector or strong knowledge of UK and US defence is desired.
• Strong team work, communication and negotiation skills with the ability to build trusting relationships and to confront ideas and divergent opinions at all levels.

[There's also information about citizenship or residency requirements set by our State Department for nondiplomatic embassy staff. -- Ed.]

Salary and Benefits:
The British Embassy Network offers a strong benefits package. This package includes medical, dental, vision, life, long term and short term disability insurance, a 401(k) retirement savings plan, generous vacation and leave time, and an enriching training package.

The target salary for this position is $58,200 annualized. Salary will be confirmed upon offer of employment. Non US taxpaying citizens will be paid a net salary based on a simulated US tax status.

Staff recruited locally by the British Embassy are subject to Terms and Conditions of Service according to local US employment law.

To Apply:
Resume and a cover letter with salary history should be submitted by 11 June 2015. Please identify in your cover letter whether you are currently eligible to work at the Embassy. Internal candidates must address their resumes through the Head of Group before applying.

Only successful candidates will be contacted. Please no phone calls. Due to the high volume of resumes we receive, we cannot guarantee consideration of your application if the submission instructions are not properly followed.

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At 10:31 AM, Blogger Geese Howard said...

Greetings. I want to point out something, mainly a problem with your headline.

See I lived in Dupont Circle Washington DC for several years on an enlisted military mans salary, and then off my GI Bill + bartending while I completed some IT certifications and other education. You can find quality living there.

1. Dupont Circle is downtown DC. There are a slew of businesses (I worked at a non profit in Dupont as well) as varied as lobbyists, to the SEIU, to various diplomatic missions. That's sort of the nature, the big players there are political. Some of the diplomatic areas have very nice grounds, but the rest of the Dupont Business areas are highrise office buildings.

2. Dupont is fairly residential. It's one of the few places you can live, grab a bagel on the walk to work, have decent dining at lunch, go to happy hour after work, go to a night club to pick someone up after, and then go home to your apartment. You never have to leave the area.

3. Dupont is the gay mecha of DC. This is why the property values are so high. It's also very progressive and socially liberal. It's the young and hip place to be.

Whoever wrote your caption either knows nothing at all about life in DC and what goes on in the various districts... or is deliberately twisting facts Fox News style to lie their way to a point.

Take your pick, but all I have to do is the read the caption to know you either don't know jack about DC or are making shit up.

At 8:09 PM, Blogger KenInNY said...

Somebody is pretty confused here, GH, and for once I don't think it's me. This would all be interesting -- well, some of it might be -- if Dupont Circle came into the discussion at all. Could you be thinking of some other British Embassy? As I wrote in the actual caption, what I had in mind was the actual British Embassy, the one in the picture, on Observatory Circle, at 3100 Massachusetts Ave. NW, nowhere near downtown.

(Map here:,-77.062944,15z?hl=en.)


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