R&D Communications Assistant Manager

  • Permanent
  • London
  • Applications have closed



In R&D, we’re here to challenge, provoke, invent and discover. We have the ability to transform the lives of people and the health of the planet with scientific insights, a pioneering approach and innovative technology.

We’re no stranger to world-class achievements. From our ambitious plastics agenda and commitment to ingredient transparency, to our aspirational stand on non-animal testing and water-smart products, innovation is engrained in our business as it is at the core of Unilever’s purpose.

We are looking for someone with lots of energy and a strong bias for action. The ideal candidate would balance creativity and ideas with planning and organisation. You will have strong written and verbal communication skills [and proven experience in communications], and think cross channel in your approach. You will enjoy working with different teams across the business and externally, and be confident working with senior stakeholders. You’ll be passionate about innovation and bringing the work done in R&D to life across the organisation and externally.

Role Purpose

The purpose of this role is to drive employee engagement with the R&D vision and strategy through all internal platforms and support R&D’s external communications and engagement agenda aimed at positioning Unilever as an industry leader with external audiences.

The role will manage internal communications for the global R&D function, this includes the development and management of internal channels i.e. Yammer, R&D Portal, Leadership messages, and content creation i.e. videos, articles, presentations to effectively engage employees i.e. via live web-casts.

In addition, the role will support the R&D external communications, engagement and advocacy agenda focused on R&D strategic priorities and showcasing Unilever as an industry leader across R&D, Innovation and priority topics i.e. plastics.

Main accountabilities:

Internal Communications & Employee Engagement

  • Manage internal communications channels and content creation to ensure that the new Compass and R&D strategy is understood in a meaningful and motivational way
  • Manage the production of R&D videos, cascade and webcasts
    • Manage relationship with production agency and production schedule
    • Manage logistics and planning e.g. booking studio, agency access forms etc
    • Assist in managing content gathering and development e.g story board and ‘news room’ approach
    • Draft speaking points and scripts
  • Gather stories to show case R&D innovations and the R&D Strategy
  • Develop content for the R&D newsletter, Yammer, portal articles, presentations, speeches, awards, recognition programmes, videos, and images/ graphics

  • Profile the R&D Strategy, priority topics, Chief R&D officer, RDLT, R&D employees across Unilever internal channels (i.e. with employees beyond R&D)

  • Drive R&D engagement and usage of internal channels including Yammer, the portal and other Comms channels. Monitor traffic and performance of internal comms with analytics reviews, putting forward recommendation to improve engagement and performance

  • Support the team in ensuring R&D is well represented at key Unilever events throughout the year (e.g. annual Change Leaders Conference).

  • Lead the execution within R&D of broader corporate internal communication and employee engagement activities e.g. Compass Awards, Flex Experiences, other Campaigns

  • Ongoing management of communication materials and assets including distribution lists, segmented lists tailored to audiences and manages leadership and spoof email accounts (drafts & distribution)

External Communication & Engagement

  • Input into and support the planning and execution of external communications, stakeholder engagement and advocacy
  • Support external communications on key R&D Strategy priorities working with R&D, media relations and content teams
  • Review R&D external speaking and media engagement requests with the media relations team, assessing for risks and/or opportunities

  • Draft briefing documents for key stakeholder meetings i.e. biogs, draft talking points linked to R&D topics

  • Develop and update the bank of case studies to support internal and external communications – e.g. examples of innovative plastics reduction

  • Develop the Chief R&D Officer executive profiling via presence and activity on Linked-In including thought leadership and communications plan

Planning, interfaces & budget management

  • Effective briefing and management of agencies to deadlines and budget (i.e. video production, PR agencies, copywriters, u-studio)
  • Key interface with global content team, and other communications teams for delivery of quality communications including representing R&D at relevant meetings e.g. Global Editorial
  • Create and maintain the R&D internal & external communications calendar and planner
  • Update the communications function ‘look ahead’ note with the relevant R&D activities
  • Actively contribute to a dynamic communications environment of continuous improvement.
  • Ad hoc projects as required, delivered with agility and flexibility
  • Assist with budget planning and management including raising POs

Key Skills

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Filming and editing skills
  • Ability to develop new approaches to meet changing needs and to work in a fast-changing, quick-paced work environment
  • Comfortable working in a virtual environment and develop a strong network across the business
  • Ability to relate to and influence a wide range of personalities, levels of seniority and working styles
  • Ability to prioritise and do back planning to meet timelines
  • Flexibility in handling ad hoc requests with short deadlines
  • Proactive and flexible in style and approach
  • Self-confident and enthusiastic

Relevant Experience


  • A minimum of 2-3 years’ experience in internal and external communications in a similar organisation, preferably within a large matrixed organisation or agency
  • Experience with high-level senior communications
  • Project management expertise
  • Experience in communicating business strategy and key priorities, clearly and simply
  • Passion for innovation, research & development, science and technology


  • International experience with understanding of cultural differences
  • Clear understanding of the requirements and demands of a global communications role
  • Solid understanding of Unilever’s matrix structure and the implications involved in this (preferable)
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