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Associate Director – Public Affairs

Standort: Manchester
Position: Permanent

The Associate Director is responsible for providing strategic, operational and leadership support to the Director and Managing Director by ensuring the team delivers excellent results for our clients and Grayling, contributing to the growth of the division and leading business development initiatives.

This is an opportunity to be a big part of developing Grayling’s Public Affairs offer in the region and an exciting time to be joining a growing team with a multidisciplinary offer. The selected candidate will be able to demonstrate a network of contacts, broad knowledge of the Manchester and Northern Political Landscape, a strong background in Public Affairs and a proven track record for developing and converting business opportunities.

Join the UK’s best-connected agency, winner of this year’s Best Place to Work by PRWeek.



  • Provides strategic counsel and advice to clients, developing and delivering innovative, insightful and integrated solutions of the highest standards, sharing this knowledge with the wider team, leading, empowering and supporting them in the delivery of their roles
  • Develops crisis management techniques and advises clients on potential courses of action
  • Monitors client strategy and both political and industry trends to develop and deliver in-depth strategic solutions to exceed client expectations
  • Develops new business and leads the process with prospective and existing clients, monitoring and developing opportunities to secure commercial growth for the division and the wider business
  • Protects revenue and builds long-term success by building strong relationships at the highest levels in client organisations and within Grayling
  • Develops long term client satisfaction by managing and implementing client service programmes
  • Creates budgets and manages them profitably, ensuring a balance between client service and profitability and providing rationale to the client demonstrating added value
  • Assists with business planning for the division through the analysis and evaluation of opportunities, risks and threats, resulting in a commercially astute plan
  • Supports the senior directors in key decision making and calculated risk taking to the benefit of the division and the wider business.
  • Defines KPIs and measurement metrics, using them to increase client satisfaction and improve divisional performance
  • Leads, motivates and develops account teams and individuals using progressive people management techniques and company processes, ensuring the optimum combination of skills and experience to achieve excellent results for clients
  • Connects with colleagues from across the Grayling network, leveraging opportunities to work together to develop global clients for commercial benefit and to enhance professional development and learning
  • Develops and maintains an active network of business contacts for the commercial benefit of the company
  • Continually develops own professional competencies and industry knowledge to ensure skills and experience remain ahead of the curve sharing this knowledge with others to enhance their development



A range of account and budget responsibilities in local markets, with some international account relationships.  Manages senior client relationships on a regular basis.  Likely to manage 1 – 5 employees either as line or operational manager.

Key Relationships 

Internal – account team and other department members, regular contact with colleagues across the business including international, up to and including CEO level

External – holds senior client relationships, politicians, senior stakeholders, suppliers, professional bodies


Skills, Experience and Qualifications

  • Excellent strategic understanding of both politics and policy development processes
  • Digitally savvy
  • Ability to convert new business opportunities to revenue
  • Highly commercially astute and decisive
  • Curious – a desire to learn, improve, apply new knowledge and develop self
  • Excellent grasp of clients’ marketplaces, audiences and routes to market
  • Incisive, creative and strategic problem solver
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Confident networker
  • Organised with ability to juggle multiple and changing priorities
  • Supportive, inspiring and motivational leader
  • Personal drive and passion for the industry
  • Self-aware and able to adapt personal style and approach to clients and team
  • Calm and authoritative in response to issues or crisis



The employee is expected to exhibit Grayling’s values: Connected, Curious, Committed


Policies and procedures

The employee is expected to uphold, safeguard and promote the organisation’s values and philosophies relating particularly to ethics, environment, people and community as referenced in the Grayling company guidelines.


What you can expect?

You can expect an energetic working environment in our Manchester and Leeds offices (although you’ll be based in Manchester, you’ll have the opportunity to work in both!) Manchester is located in the Grade II listed Merchants Warehouse in Castlefield right next to the canal, while Leeds is situated on the riverside and is a short walk from all our lively city has to offer.

You’ll get great exposure to some major household names from the get-go. Our clients include M&S, National Grid, Uber and First Bus.

In normal times we plan regular team socials to get out of the office and try something new, and we finish early on Fridays. Since the pandemic began, we’ve developed lots of great ways to stay connected. Other benefits include a competitive salary, flexible working, free fruit, a company pension scheme, discounted gyms and an increasing holiday scheme (starting at 25 up to 30 days).

We encourage personal development and will set out a clear career path for you. From day one you will be given autonomy and exposure to our interesting and varied clients. You’ll also be able to sign up to our range of training workshops, from writing courses to sessions on commercial finance, resilience, creativity and many more! Hosted around our office network, they’re also a great opportunity to meet colleagues from across the UK.

We are incredibly proud to have been selected as winner of PRWeek’s Best Places to Work. We hugely value our brilliant colleagues and work hard to provide the best possible working environment.

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