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Spokesperson/Crisis Communications and Advocacy Officer


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Country: Switzerland
Organization: International Organization for Migration
Closing date: 25 Jul 2021

Position Title : Spokesperson/Crisis Communications and Advocacy Officer

Duty Station : Geneva, Switzerland

Classification : Professional Staff, Grade P3

Type of Appointment : Fixed term, one year with possibility of extension

Estimated Start Date : As soon as possible

Closing Date : 25 July 2021

Established in 1951, IOM is a Related Organization of the United Nations, and as the leading UN agency in the field of migration, works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners. IOM is dedicated to promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all. It does so by providing services and advice to governments and migrants.

IOM is committed to a diverse and inclusive work environment. Read more about diversity and inclusion at IOM at www.iom.int/diversity.

Applications are welcome from first- and second-tier candidates, particularly qualified female candidates as well as applications from the non-represented member countries of IOM. For all IOM vacancies, applications from qualified and eligible first-tier candidates are considered before those of qualified and eligible second-tier candidates in the selection process.

For the purpose of this vacancy, the following are considered first-tier candidates:

  1. Internal candidates

  2. Candidates from the following non-represented member states:

Antigua and Barbuda; Botswana; Cabo Verde; Comoros; Cook Islands; Cuba; Fiji; Gabon; Guinea-Bissau; Guyana; Holy See; Iceland; Kingdom of Eswatini; Kiribati; Lao People's Democratic Republic (the); Latvia; Luxembourg; Marshall Islands; Micronesia (Federated States of); Montenegro; Namibia; Nauru; Palau; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Samoa; Sao Tome and Principe; Seychelles; Solomon Islands; Suriname; The Bahamas; Timor-Leste; Tonga; Tuvalu; Vanuatu

Second tier candidates include:

All external candidates, except candidates from non-represented member states.


The Media and Communications Division (MCD) of IOM is comprised of experienced communications professionals based in Geneva as well as various Regional Offices.

MCD provides advice and support on media and public information issues to Headquarters (HQ) and Country Offices worldwide. MCD is responsible for global media relations including managing reputationally damaging media inquiries (crisis communications), as well as producing a variety of other public information materials, manages IOM’s web presence, institutional branding and social media as well as overseeing initiatives including the Global Migration Media Academy and the It Takes A Community Campaign.

Under the direct supervision of the Head of MCD, the Spokesperson, Crisis Communications and Advocacy will lead IOM’s management of and response to all high visibility and potentially reputationally damaging media inquiries and serve as MCD’s lead spokesperson on the same.

The incumbent will also serve as MCD’s Focal Point for the development, implementation and management of Advocacy activities across all relevant programmatic areas.

Core Functions / Responsibilities:

Media Crisis Management

  1. Manage IOM’s response to media inquiries both to HQ and at the Regional and Country Office levels that place the Organization’s reputation at risk or involve political sensitivities.
  2. Develop a media crisis communications management strategy with clear roles and responsibilities for IOM stakeholders from HQ to Regional and Country Offices. Outline contingency plans for different scenarios.

  3. Anticipate possible crisis communications issues through regular coordination with ROs and Country Offices.

  4. Monitor, assess and report on reputational threats and challenges the organization faces based on emerging media lines of inquiry, social media commentary and other sources of information.

  5. Provide technical advice on complex public information and communications issues, methods and approaches.

  6. Work closely with HQ, Regional and Country Office staff to assess the potential reputational damage of media inquiries, and where necessary, coordinate a response strategy for the Office of the Director General (ODG).

  7. Develop and manage Media Lines to Take (LTT) documents on sensitive operations, and issues of high media visibility including Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA), protection issues, International Migration Law (IML) related topics and Migrant Return Policy.

  8. Contact directly media organizations that are the source of the inquiry to better understand the nature of the request and/or allegations.

  9. Coordinate with Regional Offices and other stakeholders the production and approval by ODG of Media LTTs, Public Statements attributable to the Director General or other relevant Senior Managers, Press Releases and timelines of events leading up to the problematic media inquiry and other materials where required.

  10. Act as Spokesperson on crisis-related matters.

  11. Serve as MCD’s liaison with the Organization’s Risk Management Unit under the Department of Strategic Planning and Organizational Performance.

  12. Create a Crisis Communications response tracking system to inform reporting and lessons learned efforts.

  13. Manage overall communications on the Mediterranean and Europe and migration flows to Europe.


  1. Work collaboratively to identify specific thematic and/or operational opportunities to develop consistent public advocacy lines.

  2. Design, implement and monitor an advocacy and communications strategy to ensure that where relevant the Organization’s public statements align with those of relevant UN partners including the UN Network on Migration.

  3. Prepare communication materials such as press releases, statements, speeches, stories, or social media posts based on key Advocacy points.

  4. Translate institutional policy into Public Media and Communications lines.

  5. Ensure coherence of messaging throughout the Organization on issues of advocacy and policy lines.

  6. Perform other such duties as may be assigned.

Required Qualifications and Experience:


• Master’s degree in International Affairs, Communications, Public Relations, Journalism, or a related field from an accredited academic institution with five years of relevant professional experience; or,

• University degree in the above or related fields with seven years of relevant professional experience.


• Minimum of four years of professional experience in the media, including experience in media management at the global level;

• Experience managing risk/crisis communications at the global level;

• Experience representing an International organization to the media;

• Proven expertise in writing reports, Media Lines to Take and other materials to manage media crisis situations.


• Sound editorial and interviewing skills;

• In-depth conceptual and research/analytical skills with the ability to think strategically and rapidly analyse and integrate diverse information from varied sources into conclusion and recommendations;

• Ability to work effectively and harmoniously in a team of colleagues of varied cultural and professional backgrounds; and,

• Proven ability to produce quality work accurately and consistently according to set deadlines.


IOM’s official languages are English, French, and Spanish.

External applicants for all positions in the Professional category are required to be proficient in English and have at least a working knowledge of one additional UN Language (French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian or Chinese).

For all applicants, fluency in English is required (oral and written). Working knowledge of French, Arabic and/or Spanish is an advantage.

Proficiency of language(s) required will be specifically evaluated during the selection process, which may include written and/or oral assessments.


1 Accredited Universities are the ones listed in the UNESCO World Higher Education Database


Required Competencies:

Values - all IOM staff members must abide by and demonstrate these three values:

Inclusion and respect for diversity: respects and promotes individual and cultural differences; encourages diversity and inclusion wherever possible.

Integrity and transparency: maintains high ethical standards and acts in a manner consistent with organizational principles/rules and standards of conduct.

Professionalism: demonstrates ability to work in a composed, competent and committed manner and exercises careful judgment in meeting day-to-day challenges.

Core Competencies – behavioural indicators level 2

Teamwork: develops and promotes effective collaboration within and across units to achieve shared goals and optimize results.

Delivering results: produces and delivers quality results in a service-oriented and timely manner; is action oriented and committed to achieving agreed outcomes.

Managing and sharing knowledge: continuously seeks to learn, share knowledge and innovate.

Accountability: takes ownership for achieving the Organization’s priorities and assumes responsibility for own action and delegated work.

Communication: encourages and contributes to clear and open communication; explains complex matters in an informative, inspiring and motivational way.

Managerial Competencies – behavioural indicators level 2

Leadership: provides a clear sense of direction, leads by example and demonstrates the ability to carry out the organization’s vision; assists others to realize and develop their potential.

Empowering others & building trust: creates an atmosphere of trust and an enabling environment where staff can contribute their best and develop their potential.

Strategic thinking and vision: works strategically to realize the Organization’s goals and communicates a clear strategic direction.

IOM’s competency framework can be found at this link. https://www.iom.int/sites/default/files/about-iom/iom_revised_competency_framework_external.pdf

Competencies will be assessed during a competency-based interview.


Internationally recruited professional staff are required to be mobile.

Any offer made to the candidate in relation to this vacancy notice is subject to funding confirmation.

This selection process may be used to staff similar positions in various duty stations. Recommended candidates endorsed by the Appointments and Postings Board will remain eligible to be appointed in a similar position for a period of 24 months.

The list of NMS countries above includes all IOM Member States which are non-represented in the Professional Category of staff members.

Appointment will be subject to certification that the candidate is medically fit for appointment, accreditation, any residency or visa requirements, and security clearances.

Vacancies close at 23:59 local time Geneva, Switzerland on the respective closing date. No late applications will be accepted.

How to apply:

Interested candidates are invited to submit their applications via PRISM, IOM e-Recruitment system, by 25 July 2021 at the latest, referring to this advertisement.

IOM only accepts duly completed applications submitted through the IOM e-Recruitment system. The online tool also allows candidates to track the status of their application.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

For further information please refer to: www.iom.int/recruitment

Posting period:

From 12.07.2021 to 25.07.2021

No Fees:

IOM does not charge a fee at any stage of its recruitment process (application, interview, processing, training or other fee). IOM does not request any information related to bank accounts.

Requisition: VN 2021 157 Spokesperson/Crisis Communications and Advocacy Officer (P3) Geneva, Switzerland (57079524) Released

Posting: Posting NC57079525 (57079525) Released

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