Head of Brand Communications, Open to flexible working

London (Central), London (Greater)
05 Nov 2020
05 Dec 2020
Contract Type

The Corporate Relations (CR) team’s role is to protect and promote Diageo’s reputation and licence to operate, in service of becoming the best performing, most trusted and respected consumer products company.  CR will work as business owners and strategic partners to transform the competitive environment, unlocking value by:

  • Driving a consistent, dynamic, global narrative and helping to prioritise what we want to be known for over a 3-10 year timeframe
  • Leading our public policy, tax, trade and market access work to sell and help sell
  • Proving ourselves a trusted partner with all stakeholders in addressing society’s concerns around the misuse of alcohol and the entire CSR agenda
  • Providing senior expertise and counsel, as well as analytics and intelligence to our business leaders
  • Advising our leaders on how to engage and inspire our people
  • Anticipating and mitigating risks

The Head of Marketing Communications is responsible for the day to day creation and delivery of specific proactive PR programmes and campaigns, securing impactful coverage and fuelling our corporate brand building.

To become more efficient and effective, our Global Brand Diageo communications strategy called for an obvious and direct shift from largely reactive, financially orientated corporate communications, to proactive campaigning. This requires a blend of corporate and more consumer-orientated PR activation based on the creation and delivery of effective programmes across a new paid, earned and owned channel mix.



Required to work within and manage budgets for projects and campaigns as part of the wider global brand and communications programmes.

Market Environment/ Complexity

The Global Brand and Communications strategy required the global team to transform its approach in order to effectively engage, communicate, protect and enhance our reputation in this connected, digital world.

Our market environment and operating context has change significantly - faster trends, greater social awareness, increased expectations of transparency and the role of business in society, are now core to the execution of our corporate brand and reputation strategy. This means a step change in capability is required, the removal of silos, the integration of content, channels, data, insights and analytics into our everyday decision making and delivery.

The individual will need to work collaboratively, cross-functionally and move effortlessly between Above Market and Market teams to enhance our brand and protect our reputation. 

Leadership Responsibilities/ Key Stakeholders:

Responsible for leading the design and execution of a comprehensive communications strategy for Diageo’s Inclusion and Diversity priorities and delivering proactive PR and impactful coverage for Diageo using its Marketing, Innovation and Digital Commerce assets.

Top 3-5 Accountabilities

Inclusion and Diversity: leads the design and execution of a comprehensive communications strategy (through both external communications and employee engagement) for Diageo’s Inclusion and Diversity priorities. This requires extensive collaboration with HR and the delivery of effective communications programmes for both global and local activation. This role is required to deliver significant external media coverage, Internal employee engagement and an external profile plan for the Chief Human Resources Director (CHRO) to demonstrate Diageo’s commitment to create the most inclusive and diverse culture and shape market-leading policies and practices.

Marketing and Brands: Leads the design and delivery of world class proactive PR programmes to successfully position Diageo as one of the world’s most trusted and respected brand marketing companies. The role is required to deliver impactful, positive coverage and an external plan for the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) on behalf of the Marketing function to demonstrate Diageo’s capability and reinforce talent attraction and retention.

Innovation & Digital Commerce: Leads the design and delivery of proactive PR programmes to successfully position Diageo as one of the world’s most innovative consumer products companies. Through utilising their media network, this role is required to deliver global coverage of Diageo’s product innovations, Distil Ventures and profiling Diageo’s innovation function, including the development of our digital commerce capability.

Global Press Office: This role is a key player in Diageo’s high-performing global press office. The role requires highly creative media skills, with a thorough knowledge of content creation, digital and traditional communications in order to help build trust and respect in Diageo. The role must be able to proactively place news and feature skills and demonstrate proven media relations contacts.

Reactive communications: this role is the lead interface with the Global Marketing function and is required to provide crisis and issues guidance and support for Brand teams and the Marketing Leadership Team ensuring full connectivity with Group communications.

Qualifications and Experience Required

The successful candidate will have strong Public Relations and integrated communications experience:

  • Educated to graduate level with a minimum of 8 years’ PR and communications experience, within a consumer brand or FMCG industry. 
  • A track record of designing, creating and leading effective, integrated PR campaigns with strong core functional standards and skills.
  • Strong, current understanding of content and digital media with directly held editorial relationships across a range of outlets
  • Outstanding writing and presentation skills.
  • Outstanding project management and project leadership skills with proven experience
  • Able to build strong relationships with broad spectrum of people and align them from idea to implementation. 
  • Calm under pressure, with experience in managing issues and applying sound judgment
  • Has experience of working in a highly commercial environment.  Good understanding of Diageo’s commercial drivers and disciplines an advantage.
  • Has the ability to work with leaders and colleagues at all levels and the capability and confidence to provide direction and support to those leaders, and other colleagues up to the most senior levels in Diageo.
  • Managing complexity.  Demonstrated track record of delivering performance within a matrixed, complex, multi-stakeholder environment.
  • Strong drive, resilience and determination
  • Highly tuned functional and behavioural skills with demonstrable track record
  • Clear understanding of the obligations faced by a regulated, listed business
  • Able to flex leadership style to influence at the most levels within the business.

Barriers to Success in Role

  • Inability to think/act strategically, creatively and proactively
  • Inability to work collaboratively and cross-functionally
  • Inability to influence peers and senior stakeholders; and lack of self-awareness
  • Requirement for extensive direction
  • Lack of resilience
  • Inability to balance functional and behavioural performance
  • Poor judgement and/or an unwillingness to take decisions
  • Inability to see the bigger picture and understand business goals
  • Inability to think a project through to completion, anticipating barriers and pitfalls, and formulating ways to overcome these for success
  • Inflexible to out of hours working

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