Sunderland Software City

Application Closing Date: 20/12/2019

Head of Communications and Stakeholder Engagement

Job Title: Head of Communications and Stakeholder Engagement
Responsible to: Chief Executive Officer – Sunderland Software City
Salary Range: £34k – £40k
Term: Fixed to 30th Sept 2021 (with possible extension)


We are looking to hire a forward-thinking member of staff to join our senior management team.  This role will have a broad range of responsibilities but key to success will be developing a communication strategy which helps us understand how we deliver what industry really wants.

This role will be integral to the continued development of the Digital Catapult North East Tees Valley and will provide the post-holder the opportunity to join a fantastic, and growing, team.


Organisation Overview

Sunderland Software City (SSC) is a not-for profit organisation which has the remit of encouraging economic development through the provision of support to North East based software companies.

By supporting software companies to start and grow the North East can build on its reputation as a home to innovation and provide career opportunities for today’s and tomorrow’s generations.

SSC also leads one of three regional Digital Catapult centres known as Digital Catapult North East Tees Valley (NETV). Digital Catapult NETV is headquartered at the Software Centre in Sunderland and manages the Immersive Lab NETV at PROTO in Gateshead.  The focus for this Catapult Centre is to support traditionally non-digital businesses to understand and adopt digital technology to underpin their productivity, efficiency and customer engagement.

The Sunderland Software City (Digital Innovation Partnership) project is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) programme that is managed by the Ministry for Communities, Housing and Local Government.


Role Overview

As part of the senior team this position will be fundamental to ensuring SSC is connected to the clients that it supports and the ecosystem in which we work. Our success relies on our relationship with our clients, partners and other stakeholders, and you will be responsible for developing and maintaining our stakeholder management strategy.  Working alongside senior colleagues, you will advise on new opportunities to promote the SSC and Digital Catapult NETV brands.

You will be a strategic thinker who is happy to also work heavily on delivery. You will be the first point of contact for the media as well as procuring and managing a series of communications sub-contractors.  You will have overall responsibility for protecting and promoting SSC’s and Digital Catapult NETV’s reputation, both with the media and with our stakeholders.  You will have oversight of all SSC’s print, digital and social media campaigns and play a key role in the planning and delivery of SSC’s flagship events. Given the nature of the initiative it is vital that the post holder is confident with new media and is innovative in their approach to reaching Sunderland Software City’s target markets.


Duties and Responsibilities

Communications strategy:

  • Set the strategic approach and delivery plan for SSC marketing and communications. This includes core service and Digital Catapult messaging;
  • Manage annual SSC/Digital Catapult NETV marketing budget;
  • Manage the SSC marketing sub-team, which includes supervising website updates, social media content, copy-editing team blog posts and other content creation;
  • To manage external communications agencies and supplier contracts, ensuring they deliver credibility and value for money;
  • Stakeholder management, including Digital Catapult commercial partners, SSC delivery partners, external contractors and suppliers;
  • Be innovative and forward thinking in the use of data to understand SSC stakeholders;
  • Deliver communication strategy support to SSC clients as part of our offer to businesses;
  • Identify and advise on new opportunities, partnerships or services that SSC and/or Digital Catapult NETV can deliver in order to support the growth of the software sector in the North East.

Research and Policy:

  • Conduct and/or commission research when needed to support the development of SSC and Digital Catapult initiatives;
  • Support the Chief Executive on SSC’s work around local and national policy, ensuring the views of the North East tech sector are included.


  • Exhibition and event planning and delivery;
  • Developing a wide range of collateral to meet appropriate market needs;
  • Content creation and copywriting for all written and digital formats, which includes (but is not limited to) blog posts, advertorials, video content for social media, infographics, digital assets.


Key Skills/Qualifications


  • Educated to Degree level or previous relevant experience in a marketing environment;
  • Excellent communication skills both verbal and written;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and people management experience;
  • A strong background in developing and executing effective communications strategies;
  • Clear evidence of successful working across a multi-faceted and complex organisation;
  • Effective personal and workload organisation and prioritising skills;
  • Understanding of technology trends and/or the North East tech sector.


  • PR or Marketing qualification and/or a demonstrable commitment to CPD;
  • Experience in the software sector;
  • An understanding of the public sector;
  • Experience working with local and national government and/or an understanding of local economic development policies;
  • Experience of conducting research to inform business decisions.


To apply for this role, please send your CV and cover letter to David Dunn at before 5pm on December 20th, 2019.