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VP, Strategic communications planning

VP, Strategic communications planning

  • Location United Kingdom - South East - London
  • Travel required Yes - up to 10%
  • Job category Communications & External Affairs Group
  • Relocation available No
  • Job type Professionals
  • Job code 138347BR
  • Experience level Executive
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Job summary

bp is in the midst of the biggest transformation in its history and is looking for a strategic, proactive VP-level communications leader to support through this period of unprecedented change.
bp has a net zero ambition and has pledged to move from being an international oil company to an integrated energy company (IEC), focusing on low carbon, renewable energy, convenience & mobility including electric vehicle charging as well hydrocarbons.
In a time of unprecedented challenge for global energy supply, bp needs effective external communications to help audiences understand and recognise the role bp can play to drive the energy transition by delivering its IEC strategy.
The VP Strategic Communications role sits on the Communications leadership team at bp and will drive much of the proactive external activities on behalf of the UK-based HQ communications team. The role requires a seasoned and senior communications leader, whose natural inclination is to think proactively about how all communications can help shape the external environment, while being pragmatic and politically savvy.
The scope of this role is wide and includes teams covering:

  • Campaign planning, delivering ambitious internal and external integrated communications campaigns.
  • News Strategy, planning the varied news announcements going on across the breadth of bp businesses globally.
  • Strategic Events and Sponsorships, covering CEO and Executive Vice President speaker programmes and key partnerships
  • Employee Advocacy, mobilising the global workforce as influencers and communicators
  • Measurement and Insights, conducting reputational research and planning and testing strategic communications activities.

This role will work closely with C&EA teams across the central HQ team (business facing, editorial, brand and creative, press office, etc), as well as regional teams, to ensure activity is fit for purpose.

About the job:
  • Design and deliver integrated internal and external communications and engagement plans throughout the year – devising the approach, securing potential partners, conceiving creative tactics, and leading the execution of the campaign across paid, owned and earned media as well as bp-organised and major external events.
  • Work with teams across C&EA (business facing, editorial, brand, and creative, press office, IR, etc) and the regions to ensure that campaigns are executed professionally, appropriate for each geography and audience, bringing in relevant agency support as required.
  • Use research and measurement to devise the initial communications strategies and then evolve the approach over time, reacting to feedback and analytics, demonstrating what’s working and what can be improved to ensure messages land with impact.
  • Support the SVP, Communications more broadly to help teams across Communications & External Affairs keep the overarching strategy and plan front of mind – working through prioritization decisions; helping business and regional C&EA teams with the most current narrative; ensure a campaign approach is applied to ad hoc events; and help energize the C&EA function.
Key challenges:
  • Overcoming reluctance of business leaders to break out of BAU and build bridges to new audiences and stakeholders using a mix of traditional and innovative approaches.
  • Helping the wider communications team to get more on the front foot and develop proactive communications approaches that will move the needle reputationally.
  • Balancing the different needs of different audiences both internally and externally – from investors to NGOs and from P&O employees to G&LCE employees.
  • Working in a complex highly matrixed organization building working relationships across C&EA, the business entities, SS&V and regions, taking into account the needs of this diverse group of stakeholders in internal and external plan development and execution.
About you:
  • Hands-on, highly proactive communications and external affairs leader with an understanding of how to reach broad stakeholder groups in complex and highly charged political environments.
  • Knowledge of employee engagement – reinforcing an environment where people are more motivated, and empowered; having a greater sense of purpose and satisfaction with their work; and are willing to advocate for bp’s priorities.
  • Deep understanding of the role measurement and insights must play in effective communications planning
  • Proven track record of designing, developing and delivering integrated campaign plans internally and externally - incorporating paid, owned and earned media elements as well as events, employee advocacy and third party partnerships.
  • Creative problem-solver who is able to convey bp’s commitment to advancing the energy transition – advocating for bp’s priorities and marketing the business to countries, partners and customers.
  • A strong team leader able to clearly articulate what success looks like and manage and empower teams to deliver.
  • Educated to degree level

There is always a lot going on at bp particularly as we Reimagine Energy. It is important that there is someone focused on making sure we are proactively communicating how bp is transforming from an international oil company to an integrated energy company and getting cut through on issues that matter– internally and externally.

This role leads the development and execution of high-profile integrated communications campaigns through the year to build support for bp’s strategy. Communications planning should be creative - reaching a diverse group of stakeholders using innovative and effective techniques and building on the efforts of other parts of the full C&EA organization at the center and in the regions.

To ensure a joined-up approach to strategic comms planning, the Head of Strategic Events and Sponsorship and Head of Employee Advocacy will report to this role. A new Head of News Strategy will also be recruited. This role will help to plan and prioritise how we communicate news and announcements both proactively and reactively.

Strategic communications planning must be based on audience insights and use research to continuously improve approaches so the Measurement and Insights team will be an integral part of the strategic comms planning group.

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