Public Information Officer

OCHA, New York, United States

Skill Required:, Policy/ Advocacy and Campaign
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
6th November, 2020

Job Description

This position is located in the Public Advocacy and Campaigns Section of the Strategic Communications Branch in the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in New York. The Public Information Officer (Film Producer) reports to the Head of the Section and works closely with the Photo Editor and Digital and Campaigns Unit.
The Strategic Communications Branch (SCB) is OCHA's communications and public advocacy team supporting headquarters and field operations in public outreach on humanitarian action. SCB oversees senior leadership public advocacy and media, including the global spokesperson function, messaging and speeches, and social media. OCHA is the part of the United Nations Secretariat responsible for bringing together humanitarian actors to ensure a coherent response to emergencies. OCHA also ensures there is a framework within which each actor can contribute to the overall response efforts. OCHA's mission is to mobilize and coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors in order to alleviate human suffering in disasters and emergencies; advocate the rights of people in need; promote preparedness and prevention and facilitate sustainable solutions.


Within delegated authority and depending on location, the Public Information Officer (Film Producer) may be responsible for the following duties:

  • •Ensures implementation of multimedia programs to publicize priority issues and/or major events, to include drafting information strategies, using film and other visual media, coordinating efforts, monitoring and reporting on feedback, taking appropriate follow-up action, and analyzing the outcome.
  • Monitors and analyzes current events, public opinion and press, identifies issues and trends, and advises management on appropriate action/responses.
  •  Undertakes activities to promote multimedia coverage of priority issues and/or major events, to include development of a multimedia strategy and action plan, initiating pro-active outreach efforts, proposing, conceptualizing and arranging coverage and post-production, disseminating materials and consulting with partners on approach/story angle and other information requests, undertaking appropriate follow-up action and analyzing and reporting on the impact of coverage.
  •  Conceptualizes, produces and/or oversees production of film, photographic, and other media materials, including proposing topics, undertaking research, determining appropriate medium and target audience, preparing production plans, writing scripts, obtaining clearances and finalizing treatments, taking and editing footage, conducting interviews, and coordinating approval of proofs, technical processing and distribution. Prepares, on the basis of official UN documentation and other sources, initial concepts and scripts of films or other visual media materials for inclusion in UN websites, presentations, broadcast channels, reports and books.
  •  Initiates and sustains professional relationships with key constituencies.
  •  Acts as focal point on multimedia specific issues, monitoring and reporting on developments, responding to inquiries, etc.
  •  Participates in selecting the multimedia information transmitted to key constituencies.
  •  Provides guidance to, and may supervise, more junior staff.



  • Knowledge of the full range of film, photographic and other audio-visual 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, 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. Ability to diplomatically handle sensitive situations with target subjects and audiences and cultivate productive relationships. Knowledge of relevant industry-standard technical practices and techniques, internal policies and business activities/issues. Ability to produce a variety of visual communications products in a clear and compelling style. Shows strong story-telling skills for a variety of audiences and media, including social media, high-level conferences and donors. Ability to deliver oral presentations to various audiences. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.


  • Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.


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 communication, journalism, international relations, public relations or related field. A first-level university degree in combination with qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in public information, journalism, international relations, public relations or related area is required.
  • Experience with film-making, including field production, cinematography, editing and post-production is required.
  • Experience with humanitarian advocacy is desirable.


  • English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in English is required; knowledge of French is desirable. Knowledge of another UN official language is also desirable.


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