Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Public Information Officer Jobs in South Africa

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Public Information Officer Jobs in South Africa

Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the Communications and Public Mobilization Section, in the External Outreach Service of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). The incumbent reports to the Regional Representative of the OHCHR Regional Office for Southern Africa.


Within delegated authority, the Public Information Officer will be responsible for the following duties:

  • In coordination with offices throughout the Southern Africa region and with Headquarters, takes the lead as regional spokesperson principal liaison, representing the Office in TV, radio, and print interviews with local media in countries throughout the region as well as with international media based in the region and elsewhere.

  • Manages and undertakes other activities to promote media coverage (e.g. press conferences including involving senior officials, press releases, speeches, Q&As, talking points, interviews, press seminars, and other special activities) of priority issues and/or major events in the Southern Africa region, initiates and leads pro-active media outreach efforts, proposes and arranges press conferences/media coverage and disseminates materials, in close coordination and consultation with the Media Section on approaches/story angles, understanding OHCHR’s achievements and objectives.

  • Develops strategic partnerships and sustains professional relationships with journalists and other key external constituencies. Conducts or manages media training for senior staff and other public information officers in the region.

  • Identifies the need for, and manages the production of specific types (e.g. print, broadcast, digital, etc.) of communications products and content (e.g. feature articles, human-interest stories, social media content and posts, booklets, brochures, backgrounders, audio-visual materials, etc.).

  • Strategizes appropriate medium and target audience, conducts research, prepares production plans, writes, drafts complex materials and revises drafts produced by associate/assistant public information officers, obtains clearances and finalizes texts, edits copy, coordinates design approval and printing procedures, and ensures distribution through the web, social media, and other digital platforms. Ensures accuracy and that the publications conform to the Organization’s information policy and procedures.

  • Assesses needs and opportunities, develops and implements complex strategies for communications, web and digital media for a region or a major programme area, including social media, audio-visual production, etc.

  • Manages, coordinates and supports communications campaigns and events in close coordination with the Communications Section in support of OHCHR priorities.

  • Builds and maintains effective working relationships and communications channels with representatives of United Nations departments, funds, and agencies in the Southern Africa region, to develop ways to implement communications campaigns system-wide, to address specific regional or country-based human rights issues and to incorporate the campaign message and themes into all relevant events and products.

  • Maintains social media platforms and uses digital technologies to disseminate and promote outreach activities in coordination with the social media team at Headquarters. Stays abreast of the latest digital technologies to enhance advocacy.

  • Evaluates and reports on media and social media trends and issues in the country and/or region, monitors media statistics, social media and web usage, and adapts content, editorial and outreach priorities accordingly.

  • Analyses, evaluates and reports on the impact of coverage, undertakes appropriate follow-up actions, and provides advice and
    expertise to senior management on appropriate action/responses, methods and approaches.

  • Anticipates and resolves communications/public relations issues/problems.

  • Keeps the Office website updated regularly. Proactively resolves technical issues, and ensures overall brand coordination with the Web team at Headquarters.

  • Identifies, establishes, influences and fosters partnerships and collaboration with regional or local media outlets, personalities and celebrities, academia, influencers, etc. to support the Office’s communications activities.

  • Supervises junior staff and interns.

  • Performs other related duties as required.



    Knowledge of the full range of communications approaches, tools, and methodologies essential to planning and executing effective campaign strategies and programmes, e.g. campaign management, media operations, marketing and promotion, audience outreach, and message targeting. Ability to rapidly analyze and integrate diverse information from varied sources. Ability to identify public affairs issues, opportunities, and risks in an international environment.


    Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.


    Actively seeks to improve programmes or services; offers new and different options to solve problems or meet client needs; promotes and persuades others to consider new ideas; takes calculated risks on new and unusual ideas; thinks “outside the box”; takes an interest in new ideas and new ways of doing things; is not bound by current thinking or traditional approaches.


  • Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in communications, journalism, public relations, international relations, public administration or related field. A first-level university degree in the specified fields of studies, in combination with two additional years of qualifying work experience, may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

    Work Experience

  • A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience in communications, journalism, public information, media relations, international relations, public administration or related area is required.

  • Experience drafting public information materials (e.g. news articles, opinion pieces, feature stories, press releases, etc.) is required.

  • Media experience is required.

  • Experience working with international organizations is desirable.

  • Experience in the area of human rights is desirable.

  • Experience working with social media platforms is desirable.

  • Experience in developing communication strategies and/or campaigns is desirable.


  • English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is an advantage.

    How to Apply

    For more information and job application details, see; Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Public Information Officer Jobs in South Africa

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