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Public Relations Senior Executive

Job Purpose

The Viking UK Public Relations team is responsible for protecting and enhancing Viking’s reputation, brand attributes and awareness in the public domain. The PR team’s activities ensure that Viking has a competitive voice by building brand awareness, winning industry awards, and facilitating editorial coverage across top tier media channels. The Public Relations Senior Executive reports to the Head of Public Relations and supports the PR function to ensure Vikings UK and Global business strategy and objectives are met. The Public Relations Senior Executive manages specific assigned PR activities and covers for the Head of Public Relations when absent.

Key tasks and responsibilities of the Public Relations Senior Executive:

Public Relations Planning and Media Responsibilities:

  1. Developing Viking’s Annual and Quarterly PR Plans with Head of PR (to include one overarching theme plus 4 quarterly creative campaigns)
  2. Executing quarterly PR plans for Ocean and River products, e.g. creating brief, liaising with Basel Operations to identify crew member/ship/topic, etc.
  3. Managing PR support for trade shows and consumer events, including input into brand activation, coordinating media meetings and co-hosting events
  4. Drafting media materials including releases, Q&As, keep media kit up-to-date and developing new factsheets for river and ocean products
  5. Attending media meetings (4 per month) – with Head of PR and independently
  6. Managing ad-hoc and special projects, e.g. Guinness World Record attempt for Ultimate World Cruise/launch of Expedition cruising
  7. Managing the Viking UK Press Office – ensuring all enquiries are handled in a timely manner and to maintain Viking’s reputation for having an efficient and exceptionally helpful press office
  8. Support the PR assistant in developing and maintaining knowledge banks, story libraries, archiving quotes etc

Sponsors/Partners and CSR Responsibilities:

  1. Supporting Viking’s Corporate Social Responsibility by providing PR support for charity partnerships
  2. Support Head of PR in managing sponsorships and partnerships working closely with events team

General Responsibilities (applies to all PR Team members):

  1. Act at Viking ‘Brand guardians’
  2. Supporting all PR planning
  3. Supporting both consumer and trade PR activities
  4. Facilitating an effective Viking UK Press Office including, handling incoming media enquiries, responding to media enquiries to prescribed deadlines.
  5. Ensuring proactive media outreach, including drafting and distribute media releases, pitching for forward features and creative campaigns
  6. Supporting group and individual press trips, including identifying opportunities and new angles for a fresh perspective, pitching to established and new contacts and negotiating coverage, overseeing all arrangements, following up, tracking coverage (includes placement of features on celebrities)
  7. Maximising opportunities around UK based ship visits
  8. Attending networking events and co-hosting Viking events (including some evenings and weekends)
  9. Accompanying journalists on press trips abroad (one to two per year)
  10. Building Viking’s database of media contacts
  11. Selling-in/pitching stories and managing media giveaways
  12. Monitoring media for positive/adverse press coverage
  13. Maximising social media coverage from media familiarisations, events, etc.
  14. Ensuring content is shared across all available channels
  15. Monitoring competitors and adding information to PR Team Knowledge Bank.
  16. Monitoring issues and trends which may affect Viking’s business

Reporting and Responsibilities

  1. This role reports to the Head of Public Relations
  2. This role has no direct reports but will work closely with the PR Assistant

Organisational Position

  1. This role reports to the Head of Public Relations
  2. This role has no direct reports but will work closely with the PR Assistant

Role of Department

  1. The Public Relations team is instrumental in protecting and enhancing Viking UK’s reputation and brand.

Key Result Areas

  1. Responsible for supporting the achievement of monthly and annual Public Relations targets.

Systems

  1. MS Office to Intermediate Level
  2. Experience of using media databases like Gorkana would be an advantage

Decision Making and Problem Solving

  1. Analytical and proactive approach to solving problems within own sphere of influence

Communications and Relationships

  1. The main internal contacts are with the Head of PR, MD, Head of Sales, Marketing Manager and Events Coordinator.
  2. The external contacts are with sponsors, partners and press.
  3. Management of third party supplies, such as PR Agencies for ad-hoc projects

Income and Expenditure

  1. Responsibility for managing budgets for assigned campaigns and projects>
  2. Ensure public relations initiatives meet a standard cost criteria

Person Specification

Knowledge and Experience:

  1. Education to degree level in a relevant subject or by experience. Evidence of two or more PR disciplines.
  2. Good experience in a public relations role either working in-house, at a PR agency or with the media (3+ years)
  3. Good experience of organising successful press events.
  4. Experience of initiating and implementing successful PR plans
  5. Experience of building relationships with journalists and pitching/selling-in PR stories
  6. Working knowledge of Travel Media

Skills:

  1. Exceptional English writing skills, with strong grammar and vocabulary knowledge.
  2. Excellent verbal communicator.
  3. Excellent negotiator and influencer at all levels of internal and external contacts.
  4. Good project management skills.

Attributes:

  1. Highly organised and self-motivated.
  2. Confident team player who enjoys a varied role.
  3. Ability to cover for the Head of Public Relations in their absence.
  4. Ability to work autonomously and to take direction and feedback constructively.
  5. Ability to work in a busy environment, prioritising tasks and sticking to tight deadlines.
  6. Ability to develop and maintain a wide portfolio of contacts across all media.
  7. Ability to travel abroad and in the UK and spend nights away from home (approximately 15 per year) to attend events.
  8. Ability to work in support of Viking’s Values.

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About Viking Cruises:

Viking Cruises offers destination-centric river and ocean cruising designed for experienced travelers with an interest in geography, culture and history. Featuring onboard cultural enrichment and included shore excursions, Viking's journeys are competitively priced for genuine value. As the world's leading river cruise line, since its 1997 inception the company has grown to a fleet of 65+ river vessels (in 2016) offering scenic cruising along the rivers of Europe, Russia, Ukraine, Egypt, China and Southeast Asia. "Best River Cruise Line for Travel Agent Support" in the 2015 TravelAge West's WAVE Awards. Named Cruise Critic's "Best New Ocean Ship" of 2015, the sophisticated state-of-the-art Viking Star hosts 930 guests on itineraries in Scandinavia and the Baltic; the Western and Eastern Mediterranean; and the Caribbean and North America. The company's second ocean ship, Viking Sea, launched in April 2016, and a third ship, Viking Sky, is under construction to sail in 2017. Viking was named the #1 Ocean Cruise Line by TRAVEL + LEISURE readers in the World's Best Awards 2016!

Viking Cruises is an equal opportunity employer.

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