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Associate Director (Public Affairs)

About Hawthorn 
Hawthorn Advisors is one of London’s fastest growing strategic communications consultancies and one of the most dynamic and rewarding places to work in the sector.  We are commencing our expansion overseas, with an office open in New York and one planned in the Middle East. We are completely focused on helping businesses, organisations and their leaders around the world navigate the complex and rapidly changing economic, political, and social landscapes in which they operate, whilst developing our people to help them achieve these objectives.  

A career at Hawthorn presents opportunities to work across different specialisms and a range of sectors, and to broaden and deepen experience, working with some outstanding talent. The specific services we offer derive from our own expertise and include advising our clients in the following areas: Corporate reputation and leadership; Political advisory; Growth Companies and Capital Markets; Digital Strategy; Purpose and ESG; Employee Communication and Engagement, and International Business.  

Hawthorn comprises an ambitious senior leadership team, all with acclaimed expertise from the highest levels of the corporate, political and media worlds. We combine the knowledge and wisdom of our senior leadership team with an exceptional team of strategic communications and digital specialists across our consultancy to deliver truly impactful and commercially successful projects for our international client base.  

Renowned for honest and experienced counsel, Hawthorn uses in-depth intelligence, creativity, and its connectivity and knowledge to build communication programmes across all platforms that respond effectively to our clients’ needs.   

Associate Directors at Hawthorn are strategic thinkers with deep experience developing and overseeing the execution of high-quality, multidisciplinary communications programmes on behalf of clients. The Associate Director leads their team to deliver impactful, multidisciplinary communications programmes with high quality results for their clients. They are a trusted advisor to senior clients and go-to source of insight and counsel. 

Associate Directors are central to the running of the consultancy, driving Hawthorn’s entrepreneurial culture and taking responsibility for managing junior members of the team – playing a key role in developing and retaining Hawthorn’s talent. Associate Directors contribute to the strategic direction of Hawthorn as the business develops, building connections that support Hawthorn’s commercial objectives and working closely with Directors and Partners to ensure that the firm continues to deliver on its core values as it grows. 

This is an opportunity for an ambitious and enterprising candidate with public affairs experience to be part of the next exciting phase of the Hawthorn journey, and to help further shape the direction and culture of the organisation as it continues to go from strength to strength. 

Our People 
At Hawthorn, we put the client and our people at the heart of everything we do. We give our colleagues the freedom and autonomy to do whatever they can to help our clients achieve great things. We work hard, love a challenge, have big ideas, and plenty of fun along the way. If you’re looking for a place that values curiosity, creativity, and ambition; want interesting, diverse, and challenging work; have a desire to learn, and if you’re seeking big thinkers who love to collaborate, then Hawthorn could be the place for you. 

Building an inclusive culture is vital to our future. We are the sum of our parts and believe the best way to drive collaboration, unlock creativity, and enable innovation is through combining diverse perspectives, experiences, and ideas. We’re committed to building a diverse and equitable company where everyone feels they belong. 

Attributes of a Hawthorn employee  

    • Rigorous thinker with creative flair.  
    • Self-starter with a desire to proactively build networks and make things happen. 
    • Focused on delivering positive change, both internally and externally.  
    • Team player who is always on hand to support colleagues at all levels in the business.  
    • Energetic, hardworking, and excited by the challenge of a fast-growing company.  
    • Intellectually curious with big picture perspective on what communications can achieve for clients.  
    • Passionate about helping colleagues to thrive and achieve their potential. 
    • Interested in working across traditional and digital platforms to deliver effective messaging.

    Key responsibilities  

    • Devising and overseeing high quality, impactful and innovative public affairs and strategic communications programmes, based on strategic insight, political intelligence and drawing on the firm’s connectivity. 
    • Lead a broard portfolio of clients across our key sectors (tech, media, energy, financial services and infrastructure). 
    • Act as  a senior resource for clients and the wider business on policy and politics, with a particular focus on Labour. 
    • Use an existing political network and policy understanding to drive new business processes as well as to inform client work. 
    • Building strong relationships with clients, ensuring regular interaction and bringing in additional senior resource within the business at the appropriate time. 
    • Acting as an ambassador for Hawthorn’s entrepreneurial and innovative values – ensuring that teams deliver results for clients that go beyond the usual expectations that they might have of communications programmes. 
    • Ensuring that work is being consistently delivered to a high standard by teams, according to an agreed scope of work; and that clients’ specific needs are being met by the team at all levels. 
    • Attracting, develop and retain the best talent in the sector, and from a range of professional backgrounds. 
    • Building and maintaining a network of contacts that help to deliver outcomes for clients and to grow the Hawthorn business. 
    • Empowering Consultants and Analysts to take ownership of their professional development, providing opportunities for growth and regular, consistent feedback to drive a culture of constant improvement throughout the firm. 
    • Overseeing the day-to-day account management activity that is delivered by Senior Consultants and Consultants, ensuring that activity is delivered on schedule and to a high standard.
    • Supporting Directors and Partners in driving business development activities.

    Candidate specification 

    • Must have experience in policy and a political environment, with a strong political network and understanding. 
    • Ability to use a network to bring political intelligence into the business for clients and new business processes. 
    • Strong leadership skills. An inspiring person to work with, clearly showing a collaborative approach to account management and showing an ability to think creatively and use political acumen to achieve policy successes. 
    • Strategic advisor to clients with a deep understanding of politics and policy. 
    • Wide-ranging experience of leading responses to issues and crisis management and advising clients. 
    • Adept at handling sensitive political issues. 
    • Strong relationships with politicians and their advisors and broader stakeholder contacts. 
    • Trusted advisor to senior clients and prepared to take well-considered risks. 
    • Develops and nurtures high-performing teams that enjoy coming to work each day. 
    • Exceptional written and verbal communications skills.

    Examples of day-to-day work 

    • Developing strategy in partnership with Senior Directors and able to independently devise complex communications programmes. 
    • Managing client teams. 
    • Reviewing draft content developed by Consultants and Analysts, such as op-eds, messaging documents and campaign planners. 
    • Developing thought leadership content in support of Hawthorn’s marketing activities. 
    • Actively using your political network to support Hawthorn’s reach. 

    Our benefits 
    We offer competitive salaries that fully reflect your skills and experience, and benefits that support your mental, physical, financial, and social wellbeing, including: 

    • Benefits including Pension, Salary Exchange, medical and life insurance, plus cycle to work and technology schemes.
    • Flexible working options based around home and office locations, with flexible working patterns. 
    • Time-off including annual, parental, sabbatical, and volunteering leave.
    • 25 days annual leave in year one, 26 days thereafter.  
    • Annual charity day where an employee can volunteer their time to a chosen charity of their choice 
    • A continuous learning culture to support your growth.
    • Proactive wellbeing support including our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), sick leave provision, mental health first-aiders, and menopause app Peppy. 
    • Office perks including breakfasts, lunches, snacks and drinks.
    • A packed social calendar which includes sports and cultural activities, charity bike rides, plus not-to-be missed summer and Christmas parties each year.

    Apply now

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