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Head of Communications & Digital – Rugby Australia

Head of Communications & Digital – Rugby Australia

Moore Park, Sydney NSW

Rugby Australia (Rugby AU), the governing body of Rugby Union in Australia, is looking for an experienced, dedicated and committed Head of Communications & Digital, to be responsible for leading the development and implementation of communication strategies and programs to support the priorities of Australian Rugby, with a particular focus on Media Management, Reputation Management, Issues and Crisis Management, Internal Communications, Major Strategic Projects, Marketing, Participation and Rugby Development Pathways

In addition, the role is responsible for planning, developing, implementing, and managing the overall digital creative and content strategy for Rugby Australia, it’s national teams and competitions.  This involves managing Rugby AU’s Digital, Content (including social media) and Creative teams, as well as insight into Rugby AU’s e-commerce strategy (tickets, membership, and merchandise).

If this is the role for you the key responsibilities will be:


Strategy & Advice 

  • Provide strategic communication advice and counsel to senior stakeholders (including Rugby AU’s CEO, Executive and Board) regarding reputational impacts of potential business decisions, business issues or crises. 
  • Create and execute communication strategies to progress the Rugby AU’s business objectives across departments and portfolios and play key role in development of overall Rugby AU Communication Strategy. 
  • Use relationships to improve the effectiveness the communication of relevant stakeholders. 
  • Lead key operational requirements of the Communications and Digital team, including Test Match delivery and media training.

Stakeholder Management

  • Establish and maintain strong relationships with key media outlets, journalists, and other external stakeholders, including Rugby AU’s Corporate and Government Partners. 
  • Establish and maintain strong relationships with senior executives, including Rugby AU’s CEO. 

External Communication 

  • Write and distribute media releases and other external and internal communication materials, including corporate communication materials in relation to proactive and reactive opportunities. 
  • Develop and execute integrated external and internal communication plans to minimize reputational risks, including oversight of a Rugby AU ‘issues register’ incorporating key messages. 
  • Write speeches and other external positioning communication materials and strategies relating to key Rugby AU stakeholders, including CEO and other senior executives. 
  • Oversee project management and execution of major Rugby AU publications including Rugby AU’s Annual Report. 
  • Oversee all promotional and public relations activity of Rugby AU.
  • Management of Customer Service Team(inbound enquiries) and the Archives (physical and digital). 

Internal Communication

  • Develop comprehensive Internal Communication Plan incorporating innovative communication channels for Rugby AU. 
  • Develop and execute CEO internal staff engagement activities, delegating tasks to other members of the Corporate Affairs team as required.
  • Develop and execute internal communication strategies for relevant portfolios, with oversight of all internal communications activities across the organisation. 

Issues Management 

  • Manage Rugby AU’s media monitoring service and analysis programand proactively identify issues that could impact Rugby AU’s reputation or its employees.
  • Develop andadvise onsolutions to mitigate potential impacts and equip customer-facing staff with relevant materials. 
  • Support Rugby AU’s staff and stakeholders through change, through comprehensive stakeholder management and effective communication strategies.



  • To ensure Rugby AU is a market leader in content, from planning to production and delivery to its fans and community across the network.
  • Develop, grow, and drive Rugby AU’s content and social media strategies in coordination with Marketing team, leading to the delivery of innovative and best in class digital products and services.
  • Manage and work with external creative and digital agencies, including Rugby AU’s international and local broadcast partners.
  • Provide strategic leadership to the Executive Leadership Team at Rugby AU on best practice digital and social media, becoming a trusted thought-leader within the organisation.
  • Support all Rugby AU functional areas, as applicable, maximizing, marketing commercial, brand and engagement opportunities.
  • Work in partnership with the Head of technology to develop, update, and maintain Rugby AU’s website/s, including the Rugby Network and RugbyXplorer (app and OTT) and develop, grow, and drive Rugby AU’s own digital broadcast strategy including live streaming/production content, as well as Rugby AU’s broadcast and online broadcast partners.
  • Project manage creative and digital projects to deadlines and budget, from brief, design, UX through to development testing and review.

To be successful in this role you will also need bucket loads of energy and passion, together with: 

  • University degree in communications or other relevant discipline (e.g Journalism/Public Relations/Arts). 
  • 7+ years of experience in similar roles (across Communications and Digital, preferably with experience in the sports industry in a leadership role. 
  • Senior Managerial level skills and experience in developing, delivering, and monitoring integrated digital marketing, social media and eCommerce campaigns that drive new fan acquisition and engagement and commercial objectives.
  • Builds internal and external relationships in a collaborative manner, coaches and supports others.
  • Strong written, verbal, and interpersonal skills that reflect strong understanding of Rugby AU’sbusiness and operating market.
  • High attention to detail
  • Flexible and adaptable through organizational growth.
  • Knowledge and understanding of Rugby Union.
  • Knowledge of Rugby, including current opportunities and challenges.
  • Experience inCMS, SEM, SEO, Google Analytics & social media publishing, listening & performance tools as well as utilizing test plans & data analysis tools.
  • Extensive experience in campaign performance monitoring and database projects.
  • Experience with customer usability (UX & UI), and extensive experience in product management and digital Asset Management (DAM) systems

To apply please send your CV and cover letter supporting your application to Rachel.Buckling@rugby.com.au.

Applications close 31 December 2021.