Communications Lead, Friends of the Lake District

Salary range: £32,000 - £36,000 per annum full time.

Reports to: CEO. Reporting lines may change if organisational structure is reviewed.

Location: Hybrid possible, with at least 3 days per week in the Kendal office to start with.

Full time: 35 hours per week.    

Friends of the Lake District is an influential landscape conservation charity. We were founded in 1934 by campaigners who believed passionately in protecting the beautiful landscapes of Cumbria, and 90 years on we remain committed to this cause.

We have just agreed a new 3-year strategy for Friends, based on months of careful research and consultation. The need for us to invest in our communications came through as a major theme. The Communications Lead will be at the forefront of our storytelling – getting the message out about our campaigning, our new strategic priorities, our partnerships, and our practical spadework on the 600 hectares of land that we own or manage across Cumbria.      


·       Oversee day-to-day delivery of all our communications channels, including social media, website, newsletter, magazine, leaflets, and video content.  

·       Write press releases, respond to press enquiries, and proactively contact journalists to place stories about Friends in the media. Offer quotes and ‘lines against enquiry’ where appropriate. Develop working relationships with local and national journalists.

·       Act as editorial lead for our magazine Conserving Lakeland by commissioning and writing content and overseeing layout and publication.

·       Lead on the communications elements of our campaigning, working with colleagues across the organisation to maximise the impact of our messages.

·       Lead the management and development of the website, using our content management system to update existing pages and establish new site sections. 

·       Lead and manage the wider communication team, including line-management of the part-time Communications Officer.   

·       Produce a range of communications materials to promote Friends of the Lake District activities, including annual reports, brochures, leaflets and posters - working with external designers, printers, photographers and videographers to create content.

·       Oversee, edit and create content for our monthly e-newsletter, and ad hoc communications with members and supporters via Mailchimp.

·       Provide support to internal communications initiatives, and lead the co-ordination of comms-related planning across all Friends departments.

Key medium-term projects

·       Lead a project to re-develop the website, update our social media strategy, style, and content, and refresh the print magazine.

·       Support the overhaul of our brand identity, including the creation of a Style Guide covering all communications activity.

Essential skills and experience

Communication - excellent written and verbal skills, effective at adopting varied styles appropriate to different audiences.

Analysis – the ability to understand complex and nuanced landscape issues quickly, and translate them into effective communications messages. 

Leadership - able to manage staff and external suppliers effectively, and galvanise colleagues to deliver high-quality communications in line with the strategy.  

Storytelling – the ability to spot an angle and tell a great tale. Excellent written, visual and digital skills, proven ability to communicate clearly, concisely and persuasively for all audiences.

Track record in communications - including building engagement and reach by creating great content on social media, e-news and website.

Awareness of charity communications needs - including the value of communications in fundraising, and securing impact through campaigning and policy change.

Technical capability – with website systems, video editing, Mailchimp etc.

Resourcefulness - strong self-leadership and organisational skills, able to lead and own an area of work and take initiative, set and meet deadlines, and commission others.

Other skills which would be useful in the role

A commitment to the mission and values of Friends of the Lake District

Interest in communication trends in the charity sector and the political and campaigning environment, particularly around landscape conservation.

Experience of supporting an organisation through a re-branding exercise.

Experience in creating online campaigns and use of online campaign tools.

Experience using InDesign, Photoshop, Adobe products in print and online content creation.

Ability to use analytics to track and improve performance on digital channels.

To apply please send your CV and a covering letter to [email protected]. In the covering letter please include a short assessment of our current public-facing communications. Be honest if you think there’s room for improvement, and let us know how you’d go about achieving that.