SAIIA is Looking for a Digital Communications Manager & a Communications Officer: Apply Now!

SAIIA seeks to appoint a Digital Communications Manager to lead on the day-to-day communications activities of the Institute, striving to drive greater awareness of SAIIA’s research and ensuring all its outputs are of the highest quality. Reporting to the Head of Communications, the candidate will manage the Communications Officer and work closely with SAIIA researchers, the events department, web developers and service providers.  

This position requires an organised and proactive communicator, who possesses a digital-first skills set along with excellent writing and editing skills. You must have a demonstrable flair for translating policy research into compelling narratives to reach wider audiences using various digital channels (website, social media, newsletters).  

Digital Communications Manager Ref: DCM032024 (Permanent Contract | Salary Range, depending on experience: R500,000 to R600,000 p.a. negotiable)

Key Responsibilities

On Communications:

  • Support the Head of Communications in implementing the communications strategy for SAIIA, integrating traditional and digital dissemination channels for optimal visibility and impact. 
  • Work closely with researchers to design and implement communications campaigns that support specific programmes’ outcomes and targets. 
  • Manage and maintain SAIIA’s key digital communication channels – website, social media and newsletters – and ensure growth in traffic and engagement. 
  • Produce SAIIA’s newsletters and, in collaboration with the Events team, grow the subscriber database. 
  • Write and edit various content for SAIIA’s digital platforms. 
  • Create basic visuals using tools like Canva to package research findings in engaging ways. 
  • Identify and manage service providers such as videographers and podcasters. 
  • Working with SAIIA’s web developer, oversee the technical aspects of SAIIA’s website. 
  • Manage the communication department’s budget. 
  • Manage the reporting for the communications unit, using relevant analytics tools to assess the impact of SAIIA’s digital communication and media engagement. 
  • Other duties as assigned by the Head of Communications.  

On Media Engagement:

  • The candidate will guide the Communications Officer on developing and managing relationships with targeted media outlets (national, regional and global) to amplify coverage and dissemination of SAIIA’s work.
  • Contribute to keeping an active media database with influential contacts relevant to SAIIA.
  • Monitor African and international affairs to proactively identify opportunities to bolster SAIIA’s media presence (interviews, podcasts, panels, etc).
  • Be familiar with the African media landscape and multilateral and development spaces to widen SAIIA’s engagement opportunities.

On Events:

  • Represent SAIIA in engagement with the press and related stakeholders at the Institute’s events.
  • Plan regular media briefings in collaboration with the research programmes ahead of key policy windows.
  • Support the Events team with all communication aspects related to events, such as e-mail invitations, presentations, and other digital material.
  • Work with internal teams to identify communication needs for each event, and provide required support. 

Essential Requirements: 

  • Degree in journalism, communications, or a relevant discipline. 
  • Minimum five to seven years of experience in a communications role, and at least two to three years’ experience in a management role. 
  • The position requires the candidate to be based at SAIIA’s offices in Johannesburg, under a hybrid work arrangement.  

Knowledge and Skills Required: 

  • Proven success with developing and implementing effective communication strategies that meet programme objectives and support the uptake of evidence-based research in policymaking. 
  • Excellent writing and editing skills. 
  • Hands-on experience with managing social media platforms.  
  • Strong technical skillset: website management through WordPress or other content management systems, newsletter distribution and management, and Google Analytics. 
  • Familiarity with newsroom operations and a strong network of press contacts. 
  • Experience with using MS Office.  
  • Basic graphic design skills or experience with platforms like Canva. 
  • Awareness of data protection legislation relating to marketing/communications activities. 
  • Current knowledge of African affairs and international relations, and the latest trends in the media landscape. 
  • Planning, project management and financial management skills. 
  • Excellent interpersonal, presentation and time-management skills. 

Application process:

To apply, submit a motivational letter clearly quoting the reference number of the position that you are applying for, your CV and names of three referees with their contact details to [email protected].

Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be called in for an interview. Final candidates will be required to complete a practical assessment.

Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

Applications close on Monday, 1 April 2024.

Preference will be given to South African citizens and employment equity candidates. SAIIA reserves the right not to make an appointment.


1 Apr 2024

SAIIA is seeking a passionate and driven individual to join its Communications department. This is an excellent opportunity for someone looking to gain hands-on experience in digital communications and develop a career in research communications. The role entails supporting the Digital Communications Manager to implement and execute a range of communications activities. 

This position is based at SAIIA’s headquarters in Johannesburg, under a hybrid work arrangement. 

Communications Officer Ref: CO032024 (2-year contract, with possibility of renewal | Salary range, depending on experience: R264,000 to R300,000 p.a. negotiable) 


  • Responsible for the day-to-day maintenance of the SAIIA website, ensuring content is up to date, accurately categorised and optimised for high discoverability.  
  • Assist the Digital Communications Manager with creating and scheduling content for various digital platforms, including social media channels, website, and email newsletters. 
  • Support the Events team in maximising publicity for SAIIA’s events, webinars, and public engagements. 
  • Assist with reporting on digital performance (collecting and analysing metrics from Google Analytics, media monitoring).  
  • Manage media requests and help the Communications team to build the media database. 
  • Contribute to amplifying the impact of SAIIA’s work by keeping abreast of industry trends and best practices to optimise digital communication strategies. 
  • Support the execution of SAIIA’s overall media and communication objectives. 
  • Administrative support to the Digital Communications Manager.  


  • Relevant tertiary qualification in Communications, Journalism or a related field. 
  • A minimum of 2 years of work experience in a similar role. 
  • Experience working with websites, including knowledge of content management systems, is essential. 
  • Familiarity with social media platforms and digital marketing tools is advantageous. 
  • Proficiency in MS Office. 
  • Basic knowledge of graphic design tools (e.g. Canva) will be advantageous.  
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills. 
  • Creative thinking and problem-solving abilities. 
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively in a team environment. 
  • Detail-oriented with excellent organisational skills. 

To apply, submit a motivational letter clearly quoting the reference number of the position that you are applying for, your CV and names of three referees with their contact details to [email protected]

Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be called in for an interview. Applications close on Monday, 1 April 2024. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered. 

Preference will be given to South African citizens and employment equity candidates. SAIIA reserves the right not to make an appointment. 

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