Media and Engagement Specialist

NGO Jobs / UN Jobs Vacancy

Country: Japan
Organization: United Nations University
Closing date: 7 Feb 2021

About UN University

For the past four decades, UNU has been a go-to think tank for impartial research on the pressing global problems of human survival, conflict prevention, development, and welfare. With more than 400 researchers in 13 countries, UNU’s work spans the full breadth of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, generating policy-relevant knowledge to effect positive global change. UNU maintains more than 200 collaborations with UN agencies and leading universities and research institutions across the globe.


UNU-IAS is a UNU institute based at UNU Headquarters in Tokyo. The mission of UNU-IAS is to serve the international community through policy-relevant research and capacity development focused on sustainability, including its social, economic, and environmental dimensions. Through its postgraduate education programmes UNU-IAS develops future international leaders with the interdisciplinary understanding and skills needed to advance creative solutions to problems of sustainability. UNU-IAS builds on a strong tradition of UNU research and capacity development in Japan, undertaken in collaboration with a global network of professionals and scholars, particularly in Africa and Asia. For more information please visit


The Media & Engagement Specialist will promote UNU-IAS and its activities to raise visibility and impact. She/he will play a key role in implementing the communications strategy of UNU-IAS, with the overall goal of shaping, packaging, and delivering the institute’s products and expertise to maximise impact, effect positive change, and drive further demand for UNU-IAS work.

As part of the UNU-IAS Communications team, the specialist will lead efforts to build new audiences and increase audience engagement, with a specific focus on increasing media coverage. The specialist will identify and capitalise on opportunities to raise the profile of UNU-IAS, and actively promote the institute’s content to ensure its visibility and value for target audiences. This role will involve close cooperation with colleagues across UNU, particularly as part of an ongoing rebranding and website redevelopment initiative.

Working under the general supervision of the UNU-IAS Director, and the direct supervision of the Manager of the UNU-IAS Communications team, the Media & Engagement Specialist will:

Media Relations

  • generate high-quality domestic and global media coverage of UNU-IAS and its initiatives through proactive pitching and engagement with media outlets (including through media advisories, interviews, press conferences, feature stories, social media, etc.)
  • build and manage relationships with journalists in print, broadcast, and online media outlets, as well as other key stakeholders in relevant fields
  • secure and facilitate media interviews with UNU-IAS experts, and provide support including coaching, preparation of key messages, etc.
  • conduct surveillance of relevant news cycles and social media topics to identify opportunities that align with UNU-IAS strategic priorities, and work with colleagues to capitalise on those opportunities in a timely manner

Engagement & Stakeholder Outreach

  • lead active marketing efforts to promote UNU-IAS content, ensuring visibility and value for target audiences
  • formulate strategies and tactics for engaging existing audiences and reaching new ones
  • identify and engage influential organisations and individuals to amplify UNU-IAS work and outputs among their networks
  • develop new tools and products for content marketing and promotion such as email newsletters
  • contribute to planning and implementation of UNU-IAS campaigns targeting major international events and outputs, leading engagement efforts


  • work closely with colleagues in UNU-IAS Communications and across the institute to shape newsworthy content and outputs, with hooks to inject them into timely events and conversations in the media
  • organise and deliver media training for UNU-IAS academic experts and other personnel
  • collaborate with colleagues across UNU and the UN system on joint initiatives, particularly those focused on media relations and audience engagement

Monitoring & Analytics

  • use monitoring tools to measure and report on the efficacy of UNU-IAS media and engagement efforts, and to inform future strategy


  • conduct other duties as assigned

Required qualifications and experience

Required qualifications and experience include:

  • a master’s degree or equivalent qualification in communications, journalism, sustainable development, environment, social sciences, international relations, or a related field; equivalent experience in combination with a bachelor’s degree will be considered
  • a minimum of 5 years of working experience in public information, journalism, international relations, public relations or related area is required, preferably in an international setting
  • established relationships with influential reporters in relevant fields (environment, sustainability, international affairs, etc.) at leading media outlets
  • excellent knowledge of the media and political landscape within Japan and globally
  • exemplary Japanese and English reading, speaking, and writing skills; ability in other official UN languages is an advantage
  • strong knowledge of communications and marketing theory and practice
  • strong knowledge of social media platforms and best practices
  • familiarity with the UN system and current issues related to sustainability
  • experience drafting public information materials (e.g., articles, press releases, website content, etc.) is required
  • proven ability to efficiently manage a variable workload
  • excellent computer skills and web literacy are essential; experience using WordPress, HTML, and/or the Adobe suite of creative products would be a strong advantage
  • good team player with strong interpersonal skills, and a demonstrated ability to work in a multicultural environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity

UNU is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities to apply and become part of the organisation.

UNU has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNU, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination.


Remuneration will be commensurate with qualifications and experience and will range from JPY413,167 – 456,417 per month. There are no other fringe benefits.

This position carries an annual leave entitlement of 2.5 working days per month (a total of 30 days of paid annual leave).

Duration of contract

This is full-time employment on a Personnel Service Agreement (PSA) with UNU-IAS. Initial appointment will be for one (1) year with the possibility of renewal subject to satisfactory work performance, with the combined duration of appointments not exceeding six (6) years.

This is a locally recruited post; no relocation expenses or allowances apply. The successful candidate will be employed under a local contract and will not hold international civil servant status nor be a “staff member” as defined in the United Nations Staff Rules and Regulations. UNU does not sponsor a working visa for this position.

Starting date

Early March 2021 (negotiable).

How to apply:

Interested applicants should submit their application and all required documents listed below online through Impactpool at

  • A cover letter setting out how the qualifications and experience match the requirements of the position (in English)
  • A curriculum vitae (CV)
  • A brief CV in Japanese
  • An indication of the reference number of the vacancy announcement (2021/UNU/IAS/PSA/MES/02)

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