Press & Communications Officer

Location: Geneva

Contract: Permanent, full time position

Reporting to: Head of Communications

Deadline for applications: 12 April 2017   


Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, healthcare exclusion and natural disasters. MSF offers assistance to people based only on need and irrespective of race, religion, gender or political affiliation.

Médecins Sans Frontières set up the MSF Access Campaign in 1999 to address systemic challenges and improve access to existing medical tools (medicines, diagnostics and vaccines) and to stimulate the development of urgently needed better tools for people in countries where MSF works and beyond. The priorities of the Access Campaign are guided by the medical challenges faced by MSF and its patients in its operational settings. The primary objectives of the Access Campaign include identifying, analysing and advocating for changes around the legal and regulatory systems and practices that hinder access to medical tools and innovation suitable for people in need, especially in resource-limited settings.


The Press & Communications Officer reports to the Head of Communications.  The Press & Communications Officer will collaborate with the other members of the Access Campaign Communications team – currently formed of a Senior Manager for Publications & Digital and a Senior Communications Officer (both based in New York), a Content Development Manager (based in London) and an Online Communications Officer (based in Geneva) – and will have extensive contact with members of the other Access Campaign teams: medical, pharmaceutical, and policy advocacy. There will also be extensive contact with MSF colleagues internationally.


In close collaboration with Access Campaign experts and working with key partners in the MSF movement, the Press & Communications Officer work to advance the MSF Access Campaign’s policy and advocacy objectives through the creation and dissemination of effective communications materials to traditional and new media and by working to ensure uptake of Access Campaign content by MSF country offices for dissemination to their respective audiences.  


Media Relations, Editing and Writing (40%)

  • Develop ideas and identify opportunities for media coverage; pro-actively pitch Access Campaign issues and stories; design and organise events targeting the media (press conferences, press briefings, media stunts, press visits etc.);
  • Participate in the development, writing and editing of materials designed for the media (media advisories, press releases, statements, background briefing reports, talking points, blogs, op-eds, letters to the editor, etc.);
  • Provide editing and proofreading support for other AC publications, materials and documents as needed;
  • Provide guidance on media objectives and messaging to members of the Access Campaign's medical, pharmaceutical and policy teams, and assist in defining messages and pitching strategies for key audiences;
  • Develop contacts and actively foster relationships with relevant journalists to promote media coverage and raise awareness in key target audiences;
  • Maintain Access Campaign media database and create and manage specialized lists according to journalist’s beats and interests;
  • Using digital skills and knowledge, identify and engage journalistic influencers across social media and other digital platforms;
  • Monitor press coverage of the Access Campaign and disseminate as needed; manage and guide the compilation of regular press coverage reports for Access Campaign staff and carry out media analyses to evaluate impact and outreach, with the assistance of the NY-based Access Campaign comms intern;
  • Act as point-of-contact for all media enquiries concerning the work of the Access
  • Campaign; manage interview requests and help prepare spokespersons for interviews with background information and talking points as needed;
  • Provide and organise annual media training for new Access Campaign staff; create and maintain bios for key spokespersons; arrange for professional headshots;

Promote uptake of Access Campaign messages within MSF (40%)

  • Help prepare and disseminate communication packages to the wider MSF communications network, including compiling and finalizing relevant materials;
  • Continually engage with press officers in MSF country offices to ensure suitability and uptake of Access Campaign media materials, with a focus on key media hubs such as London, New York, Johannesburg, etc.;
  • Liaise with and provide regular updates to MSF communications coordinators, press officers and other comms staff to share and/or coordinate annual and ongoing communications plans, including for relevant events and conferences;
  • Write, edit and finalize the Access Campaign’s internal email newsletter for MSF staff on a bi-monthly basis, and work continually to increase dissemination;
  • Act as 'first port of call' for enquiries by other MSF offices on messages, objectives and activities of the Access Campaign;
  • Work with MSF offices, particularly field projects, to obtain medical staff and patient testimonies and statements to support Access Campaign media objectives, including identification of field spokespersons as needed;

Support content curation for MSF Access Campaign digital properties (10%)

  • Work with digital team to ensure Access Campaign content is promptly uploaded to the website, including providing guidance to the digital team on placement and links to existing content and ensuring cohesive presentation of information;
  • Monitor incoming MSF content produce by other MSF entities for relevance to Access Campaign issues, and work with digital team to appropriate present and integrate new content on the website;
  • Edit or adapt materials as needed for websites; support, as needed, creation and adaptation of content for social media channels;
  • Provide backup support for MSF social media channels and website content uploading and monitoring.

Contribute to Communications and broader AC work as needed (10%)

  • Actively participate in Access Campaign all-staff calls, annual meeting, strategic planning and other processes as needed;
  • Actively participate in Communication team calls and creative brainstorming and planning meetings, and contribute to efforts to improve team coordination and functioning as required; and
  • Manage inventory of publications and other Coms materials in Geneva office.


  • 3-5 years’ relevant media relations experience, preferably in campaigning, humanitarian aid or global health, with a track record of generating media coverage; and/or 3-5 years’ journalistic experience in a relevant field;
  • Excellent written communications skills, with demonstrated ability to write effectively for a wide variety of traditional and new media;
  • Ability to synthesize complex and sensitive material to produce accurate, effective communications materials;
  • Strong understanding of media trends (traditional and digital) and strategic use of social media to transform policy objectives into media coverage;
  • Ability to develop and maintain good relationships with journalists and MSF press officers; capacity to think creatively and to develop effective pitches;
  • Strong interpersonal and presentation skills;
  • Outstanding time management and organizational skills, including ability to prioritize ongoing vs. immediate needs appropriately;
  • Keen attention to detail with ability to track multiple projects at one time;
  • Excellent judgment and diplomacy;
  • Proficiency in English to mother-tongue standard is a must. Additional languages an asset, particularly French;
  • Ability to work effectively within a geographically-dispersed team;
  • Ability to travel relatively frequently within Europe and occasionally to field projects; and
  • Genuine interest in and commitment to the humanitarian principles of MSF

Location: Geneva

Duration: Permanent Contract

Contract: Full time position – 100%

Starting date: May 1 or As soon as possible after

Deadline for applications: 12 April 2017

Please submit all applications only by email to: stating “Press and Communication Officer” in the title.

Please submit only one file containing your CV and motivation letter and name the file with your last name only.

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.