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Business Unit Communications Manager at Coca-Cola

The strategic priorities of the Coca-Cola West Africa Business Unit (WABU) include building a high performance culture to drive productivity and sustainable and profitable business growth; and building strong community connections to grow corporate reputation, trust and social license across its 31 markets. The Coca-Cola West Africa Business Unit Communications Manager role will support these priorities through developing and implementing strategy for internal communications to inform, engage and inspire our employees as well as strategies for external and consumer communications and engagements to sustainably grow the reputations of our Company and Brands.

The role will provide critical support in managing the ever-increasing public policy and regulatory risks in WABU’s diverse markets. Working within the framework of the Company’s Communications Policy, the BU Communications Manager will engage with a wide spectrum of stakeholders including the Company’s Leadership and associates, bottling partners, regional and international media, key influencers, government and regulatory bodies and consumers and the general public in communicating the Coca-Cola growth and impact story as well as growing consumer affinity for our brands.

The incumbent therefore must be familiar with the regional stakeholder and media landscapes; possess and apply expertise of regional communication practices to provide strategic communications counsel to the BU and its bottling partners; possess mastery of multiple communications disciplines and media to effectively engage with the diverse stakeholder spectrum; and manage projects to deliver on time and budget.


  • Bachelor’s degree/Advanced degree
  • University Degree preferably in Communication, Journalism or English Language and related fields with a strong natural flair for writing and public speaking.
  • At least 7 years’ experience in Communications or Public Relations functions.



  • Leader of Self & Leader of Others
  •  Working knowledge of the French Language
  • Professional Communications 
  • Creative and Specialized Writing Skills
  • Multimedia/graphic design tools 
  • Project & Budget Management
  • Issues & Crisis Management
  • Media Relations
  • Social/Digital Media

Generic Competencies: Refer to Competency Directory  and Provide between 3 – 7 of the highest priority competencies

  • Delivers Results: Focuses on the critical few objectives that add the most value and channels own and others' energy to consistently deliver results that meet or exceed expectations.
  • Drives Innovative Business Improvements: Develops new insights into solutions that result in organizational improvements; promotes a work environment that fosters creative thinking, innovation and rational risk-taking. 
  • Balances Immediate and Long-Term Priorities: Seeks to meet critical objectives while considering the impact of those decisions and activities on the ability to achieve long-term goals.
  • Imports and Exports Good Ideas: Relentlessly seeks, shares and adopts ideas and best practices in and outside the Company and embraces change introduced by others.
  • Develops and Inspires Others: Builds and maintains relationships that motivate, guide, and/or reinforce the performance of others toward goal accomplishments. Develops self and others to improve performance in current role and to prepare for future roles; seeks and provides feedback and coaching to enhance performance.


Key Responsibilities:


1. Internal Communication: Lead the development and implementation of internal communications strategies across the Business Unit to inform, engage and inspire associates. 
2. Sustainability Communications: Lead the development and execution of strategies to optimize impact communication of our signature programs, in liaison with the BU Sustainability Manager, The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation as well as our bottling and programme partners.
3. Brands PR: Lead the PR agency to develop and implement high impact PR strategies in collaboration with the BU Marketing team and the Franchise PAC Managers
4. Executive Leadership Communications: Develop and implement strategies for optimizing Thought Leadership opportunities on relevant issues through strategic sponsorships at regional level and in key markets.  
5. Issues Management and Crisis Communications: Provide crisis communications expertise to effectively support the BU Incident Management and Crisis Resolution (IMCR) process. 
6. Budget Management: Manage the Function’s DME and OPEX budgets, providing monthly analysis and flagging risks to the BU PAC Director to guide spend decisions.


The BU Communications Manager will lead and drive internal and external communications excellence across a vast and diverse region of 31 emerging and socio-economically challenged markets. The individual will be responsible for ensuring consistent and seamless dissemination of internal communications in the BU’s three key working languages – English, French and Portuguese.  The job holder will also be required to liaise regularly with counterparts in various bottling operations, the Group Office and Corporate (Atlanta).


•Issues management in Media, Government and Community relations – should possess the requisite personal and professional skills and be able to leverage Company resources to effectively manage emerging issues. The job holder will support the IMCR process through developing and managing crisis communications, including media messaging and engagement. 


•Required to advise the PAC Director and BU Leadership team on strategic communications which impact the Company’s image and reputation and the effective management of high profile, risk situations. Job holder must exhibit a high degree of sound judgement and may be required to be a final authority in the absence of the PAC Director.


This role will have responsibility for working with new media properties and tools to substantially shift our internal and external communications engagements from traditional to evolving digital/social platforms, including launching and effectively maintaining the Coca-Cola Journey initiative for WABU’s key countries.  


Responsible for the design of processes and activities, objective setting and follow up performance evaluations, coaching & feedback and developmental plans. Also responsible for managing agency relationships in key countries in the BU.
1. Direct Reports: One Intern (as may be available)



Working knowledge of the French language
• Ability to engage across multiple cultures; Appreciation of cultural diversity
• Ability to appreciate and engage with a diverse community of media 
• Ability to instil trust across diverse groups of critical influencers


Volatile economic and political environments


• 30% to 40% across region and international travels.


This critical role has a direct impact on the Company’s reputation and social licence, Employee engagement and Ambassadorship.

The Coca-Cola System in WABU is complex and diverse, spanning across 31 countries, requiring influencing and engaging with a wide range of stakeholders in the region.  The need to shape our reputation externally brings in complexity to this role.

With a system workforce of ABOUT 30,000, the effective deployment and leveraging of the Coca-Cola Ambassador programme requires the role holder to collaborate effectively with HR and the bottling system to inform, inspire and engage our associates.

With a span of operation across 31 countries, the BU operates within an extensive media landscape dominated by suave, highly competitive and critical media channels. In this context, it becomes imperative to ensure a structured, effective and consistent communication of The Coca-Cola system’s success stories, business impact and sustainability footprint as well as management of negative perception of our products and ingredients in the media and across the health and wellness influencer circles. This is crucial to shaping our Company’s image, building our reputation and strengthening our social license – all of which are critical to the sustainability of our business in this region.

At The Coca-Cola Company you can cultivate your career in a challenging and dynamic environment. We are the largest manufacturer and distributor of nonalcoholic drinks in the world-selling more than 1 billion drinks a day. Unlock your full potential with a future-focused company that is known and respected throughout the world. 


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