Voted the nation’s favourite coffee shop, Costa is a British success story experiencing vast international growth. They now need a communications manager to protect, reinforce and advance the brand’s reputation at home and abroad.
We spoke to Kerry Parkin, head of CSR and communications, to find out more about the varied communications manager role. She tells us about the warmth you’ll feel working for such a people-focused hospitality business, and the confidence you’ll need to succeed.
Why would someone want to work at Costa?
Costa is an enormous British success story; it’s the largest coffee shop chain in the UK - this alone is a great thing to be part of. We’re a FTSE 100 home-grown brand and we’ve experienced unprecedented growth in the last 10 years. We have also grown incredibly fast internationally in the last few years, opening up great opportunities to gain experience in international markets such as China, France and the Middle East. As a hospitality business, everyone is warm and welcoming. It’s great to come to work everyday to work with such a friendly bunch of people.
Tell me more about the role you are recruiting for
We’re looking for a communications manager to join our dynamic team of six in the communications and CSR team, which I head up. We’re all passionate about what we do and we very much see the successful candidate having a real opportunity to make this role their own. You will be based in our headquarters in Dunstable and we aim to work from one location as a team at least once a week. However, our flexible working policy enables us to work remotely, such as from home, any one of our 2000 stores or from our London office.
What kind of person are you looking for?
Someone with real confidence, as you’ll be dealing with the CEO, the store managers and everyone in between. You need to be calm under pressure. A warm, welcoming and fun personality would fit in well with our culture. Above all, you need to have real drive to see projects through to completion.
What responsibilities are associated with the role?
The communications manager will be responsible for managing Costa’s reputation programmes, ensuring stories are communicated well, both internally and externally. You will proactively shape and define policy, plans and strategy development - all of which will have a clear impact on Costa’s standing with external stakeholders in the UK and internationally. It’s such a broad and varied role that no two days will ever be the same!
What career challenges are communications professionals currently facing?
In a business the size of Costa, figuring out how to ensure connectivity and influence across multiple stakeholders is a challenge. Managing a brand’s reputation in a 24/7 environment across the globe can be complex. You need to be constantly aware of key developments and issues and be able to react quickly to demands in a very fast-moving environment.
What career progression and development opportunities do you offer?
The level of personal and professional development our employees receive is fantastic. We have a highly rigorous yet flexible framework for managing our people, ranging from talent strategies and personal development plans to coaching, mentoring and courses. There are no limits to your success and I’m very proud to work for a business that invests significant time and effort into developing its people.
What exciting projects are you working on?
Nutrition is a hot topic at the moment and as the nation’s favourite coffee shop we have a role to play. The communications manager will be responsible for helping to shape this policy development for Costa. It’s a very exciting project to be working on. Working in partnership with international franchisees we will also be developing new ways of working and embedding our approach to crisis and issues in a wide range of markets.
What are your top tips for applying for the role?
Show us your technical communications skills and any experience you have had working on reputational programmes. We would like to know about any big brands you’ve worked with, either a FTSE 100 or a major retail brand. If you currently work in a communications or PR agency and are looking to move in-house, this could be a great move for you. We’re a people-centric business so it’s important that you demonstrate your personality so we can see who you are and what sets you apart from the crowd.
Sum up what it’s like to work at Costa
We’re incredibly hard working, we move at the speed of light, and we’re proud of our success story. Come and be part of it!