Org. Setting and Reporting
The position is located in the United Nations Forum on Forests Secretariat (UNFFS), a division in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs. The Public Information Officer (Communications Officer) will report to the Director of the United Nations Forum on Forests Secretariat.
Within delegated authority, the Public Information Officer may be responsible for the following duties:
- Ensures implementation of information programs to strengthen outreach activities of the UNFF Secretariat, publicize priority issues related to sustainable forest management and/or major events, to include drafting information strategies, coordinating efforts, monitoring and reporting on progress, taking appropriate follow-up action, and analyzing the outcome.
- Monitors and analyzes current events, public opinion and press related to forests and sustainable development, identifies issues and trends, and advises management on appropriate action/responses.
- Undertakes activities to promote media coverage (e.g. press conferences, interviews, social media outreach and other special activities) of priority issues and/or major events, to include development of a communication strategy and action plan, initiating pro-active social media outreach efforts, proposing and arranging press conferences/media coverage, disseminating materials and consulting with press on approach/story angle and other information requests, undertaking appropriate follow-up action and analyzing and reporting on the impact of coverage.
- Produces or oversees production of a new website for the UN Forum on Forests, to make it more user friendly, to include proposing topics, undertaking research, determining appropriate substantive content and site architecture in line with UN guidelines, preparing production plans, writing drafts for the text of the new webpages, obtaining clearances and finalizing texts, and coordinating design approval, and launch of the new website.
- Prepares, on the basis of official UNFF documentation and other sources, initial drafts of articles, multimedia content and news stories for inclusion in the UNFF website, and UNFFS and DESA online newsletters.
- Initiates and sustains professional relationships with key constituencies including Strategic Planning and Communication Services (SPCS) in OUSG/DESA, Department of Global Communications (DGC) and Office of Information and Communications Technology (OICT), and UNFF related communication partners and stakeholders.
- Acts as focal point for the migration of the UNFF website from WordPress to Unite Web, monitoring and reporting on developments related to the UN websites, responding to inquiries related UNFFS communication and outreach activities.
- Participates in selecting the information transmitted to key constituencies and target audiences related to the implementation of the Communication and Outreach Strategy of the United Nations Strategic Plan for Forests.
- Perform other assignments as and when required.
- Professionalism: Knowledge of the full range of communications approaches, tools, and methodologies essential to planning and executing effective campaign strategies, as well as in line with UN website standards in terms of branding and design, as well as IT standards and mandatory requirements for information security of UN website. Ability to rapidly analyze and integrate diverse information from varied sources. Ability to identify public affairs issues, opportunities and risks in an international environment. Ability to diplomatically handle sensitive situations with target audiences and cultivate productive relationships. Knowledge of relevant internal policies and business activities/issues. Ability to produce a variety of written communications products in a clear, concise style. Ability to deliver oral presentations to various audiences. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.
- Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
- Technological Awareness: Keeps abreast of available technology; understands applicability and limitation of technology to the work of the office; actively seeks to apply technology to appropriate tasks; shows willingness to learn new technology.
- Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in communication, journalism, international relations, public administration or related field. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
- A minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in public information, journalism, international relations, public administration or related area is required.
- Experience in forests, environment, or sustainable development-related communication and outreach is desirable.
- Experience with the UN forests, environment, or sustainable development-related intergovernmental processes is desirable.
- English and French are the working languages of the UN Secretariat. For the post advertised fluency in English (both oral and written) is required; knowledge of the other is desirable. Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.
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