Head of Marketing & Communications – Irish Cancer Society

TITLE:  Head of Marketing & Communications

REPORTS TO:  Chief Executive Officer

DIRECT REPORTS: Communications Manager, Digital Services Manager

DEPARTMENT: Communications


HOURS: Full Time -Some evenings and weekend work required

CONTRACT TYPE: Fixed Term Contract – 6 Months


The Irish Cancer Society is a community of cancer patients, survivors, families, friends, nurses, doctors, scientists, professionals, volunteers and supporters. Together, we strive to ensure fewer people get cancer and that those who do get the best care, treatment, information and support. In addition to lobbying Government for better public services, we also provide direct supports, including free advice, counselling and nursing care, to people affected by cancer. We are also the largest voluntary funder of cancer research in Ireland, investing in individual researchers and major collaborations to deliver improvements in cancer prevention and treatment.

Over the past thirty years, we have helped double the number of people who survive cancer in Ireland from 3 out of 10 patients to 6 out of 10.

Now, our focus is on the future. We are currently finalising an ambitious and forward-thinking new 5 year strategic plan with a range of exciting new initiatives to ensure more people survive and thrive after cancer in Ireland. Essential to the delivery of this new ambition will be effective communication of our new strategy and advocacy, research and support services. To that end, we are seeking a dynamic and innovative marketing and communications expert to join our senior management team.

The successful candidate will ensure the Society’s new strategy is communicated to a broad and diverse range of stakeholders in a clear, inspiring and impactful way.

They will also have overall responsibility for the Society’s day to day marketing, communications and public relations across a wide range of areas including research, advocacy, cancer information, support services and fundraising.

The ideal candidate will have at least five years’ experience at a senior level, leading the conception, development and delivery of major marketing and communications initiatives. They will be digitally adept and have a track record of embracing new technologies and ways of working to succeed in a rapidly changing communications environment.

Commitment to the Society’s mission and values is a must.


  • Lead the Society’s marketing, communications and public relations work.

  • Devise and ensure effective delivery of communications initiatives to increase awareness of and support for the Society’s work.

  • Lead, motivate, and develop the communications and digital services teams to deliver timely and impactful communication of the Society’s research, advocacy, support services and cancer information work across all channels.

  • Ensure our brand messaging is strong, inspiring and consistent across all departments and channels.

  • Provide strategic communications advice to the CEO, senior management team and, where appropriate, the Board.

  • As an integral member of the Senior Management Team, help implement the Society’s overall organisational strategy and deliver positive change for people affected by cancer in Ireland.


  • Develop and implement a plan to communicate the Society’s new organisational strategy to a broad and diverse range of stakeholders in a clear, inspiring and impactful way.

  • Provide strategic leadership in respect of a powerful public communications campaign ahead of Daffodil Day 2020 to increase income from the Society’s flagship fundraising event.

  • Work with teams across the Society and external partners to plan the communications calendar for the rest of 2019 and 2020.

  • Lead the Society’s communications activity, building strong relationships with the media and influencers, ensuring proactive communication of our message and responding to media queries in a timely and effective manner.

  • Lead on market research, brand development and storytelling.

  • Work with the Digital Services Manager to ensure the effective completion and launch of the Society’s new website.

  • Monitor and evaluate the impact and effectiveness of the Society’s marketing and communications activities, using effective data analysis to maximise performance.

  • Manage external partners as required.

  • Provide strategic advice and guidance to the CEO, Senior Management Team and Board (as required) on the communication challenges likely to affect the Society and develop appropriate programmes to address them.

  • Support the CEO as the Society’s lead spokesperson, arranging media opportunities and coordinating briefing materials for interviews and events.

  • Identify, develop and support other Society spokespeople.

  • Lead, manage, motivate and inspire an interdisciplinary departmental team, ensuring a culture of learning, innovation and development throughout the department.

  • Monitor staff performance and development, set objectives and conduct appraisals.


  • Degree in a relevant field.

  • At least five years’ experience working at a senior level in a strategic capacity and the ability to operate with, and positively influence, a senior management team.

  • A strong track record of developing and delivering successful marketing and strategic communications initiatives.

  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills, with the ability to translate complex issues into simple and clear messages and tailor content to meet the needs of diverse audiences.

  • High emotional intelligence and superior leadership, people management and networking skills.

  • Sophisticated understanding of today’s multimedia communications environment and likely future developments.

  • Solid knowledge of digital analytics and other tools for monitoring the effectiveness of campaigns and activities.

  • Skilled at making decisions in fast-paced, dynamic environments, as well as the judgement to seek advice on sensitive issues.

  • Self-starter with initiative, drive and ability to think creatively and identify and negotiate opportunities.

  • Ability to manage competing pressures, prioritise initiatives and remain focused on overall strategic objectives.

  • Experience delivering innovation and leading a team through a period of significant organisational change.

  • Experience of project management with a track record of delivering on objectives.

  • Proactive in recognising and overcoming communications challenges.

  • Excellent IT skills, including MS office, CRM, digital media and digital analytics tools.

  • Understanding of, and passion for, the role and values of the Irish Cancer Society.

This job description is not exhaustive. It merely acts as a guide and may be amended at any time to meet the changing requirements of the Irish Cancer Society.

The Irish Cancer Society is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to building an inclusive environment for all employees. We know that the more inclusive we are, the better our work will be.

HOW TO APPLY: If you are interested in applying for this position, please send Curriculum Vitae and cover letter including your salary expectation to: Nicola Cosgrove, HR Administrator, Irish Cancer Society, 43/45 Northumberland Rd., Dublin 4. Email: recruitment@irishcancer.ie

The closing date for applications is 9.00 am Monday 2ndSeptember, 2019.

Interviews will take place on Thursday 5th September and shortlisted candidates after first interview will be required to be available for one hour on Friday 6th September, 2019. 

The Irish Cancer Society is an equal opportunities employer.


  • Closing Date for Applications
    9.00 am Monday 2nd September, 2019