Position Title: FT Schools Project lead

Company: Financial Times

Contract Type: Full time 

Location: UK

Working pattern: Hybrid


About the FT

The Financial Times is one of the world’s leading business news organisations, recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. The FT has a record paying readership of more than one million, three-quarters of which are digital subscriptions. It is part of Nikkei Inc., which provides a broad range of information, news and services for the global business community.


Job Purpose 

Developing the FT’s student audience globally is a key FT Group strategic goal. 

FT Schools has two objectives. First, by widening access to our journalism, the next generation will achieve more academically, make informed career choices, understand personal finance and become more engaged citizens. Since launch in 2017, FT Schools has reached 89,000 students at 4,000 schools in 126 countries. 92% of students who read the FT feel more informed and curious. Students benefit from a wide range of resources such as the FT Schools Hub, regular competitions, a newsletter, topical webinars and the Student Advocate Work Experience Programme.

The bulk of the registered schools are in the UK. A key objective is to build our audience over the next two years in India and the US, among other countries. 

Second, we believe that if young people improve their perception of the FT and build a habit for reading its quality journalism while they are at school, they will be far more likely to subscribe to the FT when they enter the world of work. Building a pipeline of new subscribers is a key strategic objective.

The FT is able to make our journalism free for secondary schools thanks to the generosity of a corporate sponsor - Singapore-based Temasek. Your role is to manage FT Schools’ relationship with Temasek, other internal and external stakeholders and pitch for further growth and investment. Additionally, you will be responsible for prospecting and pitching to additional sponsors as the Programme grows. You will work closely with the FT’s Editorial, Product, B2B and Commercial teams to develop ideas to pitch to sponsors. Your role also includes a number of other core responsibilities which are essential to the successful operational running of the Programme including: devising and executing an annual marketing plan, liaising with our Customer Support team to ensure we manage the demand of students/schools, managing our Student Advocate Work Experience and Mentor Programme and maintaining visible performance metrics.


Main Duties and Responsibilities

  • Running the daily operations of the FT Schools programme. Managing the outreach to schools, teachers and students globally and building a youthful audience for the FT based on core interests in Economics, Business, Politics and Geography. Developing a clear understanding of what students and teachers want from the FT, and delivering it within the academic year.
  • Managing the Student Advocate Work Experience Programme. We believe FT Schools is an exciting talent pathway with 250 curious Student Advocates undertaking work experience and five university student interns every year. We would like to further build these talent pathways.

This involves:

  • Working with partners and teachers, and launching advertising campaigns to reach 250 Student Advocates globally. Recruiting and managing five interns who will mentor clusters of Student Advocates
  • Overseeing long term strategy for the Programme
  • Regular and clear reporting of student engagement levels 
  • Sponsorship sales, negotiation and relationship management
    • Generating leads on new potential sponsors for FT Schools with the Commercial team
    • Leading pitches to prospectives partners and working with colleagues to negotiate sponsorship deals
    • Managing relationships with existing sponsor(s) and ensuring we achieve our deliverables
  • Planning and executing annual marketing and advertising campaigns: working with our design/marketing teams to create a compelling and targeted marketing campaign for FT Schools across FT media, third party advertising and social media.
  • Working with the FT Product team and the FT’s Global Education Editor to develop new ideas on how to engage 14-21 year olds, and supporting related initiatives such as webinars, events and outreach
  • Liaising with the FT Customer Support team to ensure schools are able to access the FT
  • Subscription pathways
    • FT Schools is step one on the subscriber acquisition journey. You collaborate with other teams in the business e.g. Product, B2B, B2C to help fit FT Schools into the wider subscription mission for further education at university business schools and ultimately employment.
  • You will report regularly to the FT’s Director of Strategic Partnerships, at board level. 
  • Diversity and Inclusion
    • FT.com is free for all secondary schools globally. We are committed to ensuring that the students and schools benefiting from our journalism are diverse and representative. There is an opportunity to work with the FT’s D&I team to strengthen this.


Key Skills

  • A combination of business acumen and strong interest in Education strategy and learning techniques. The role may appeal to a teacher or a journalist seeking opportunities in new audience development among young people.
  • An understanding of the value of quality journalism in the world. Specifically, you would promote how international, world class journalism can support curriculum learning at the secondary school level.
  • An ability to execute an agreed plan that requires versatility, management of multiple inputs and clear visibility of metrics within a Media environment.
  • Sales and negotiation skills. You will be involved in prospecting and leading pitches and negotiations with new and existing partners - generating sales decks, contributing to presentations and working with the FT team on negotiations. You will need to be a confident presenter.
  • Partner relationship management. Evolving the relationship with registered schools and sponsors is mission critical, as is playing an advocate role within the FT for educational purpose and design. You will be responsible for bringing partners on a journey, leading meetings and ensuring they are getting value for the investment and meeting goals. Excellent communication skills are required. 
  • Stakeholder management. FT Schools has connections across the FT Group so excellent interpersonal skills are needed to build and manage relationships with key internal stakeholders and our partners. We are looking for enthusiasm, curiosity, self-starting instincts and a positive attitude. 
  • Team playing and outcomes-focused. You will need to be creative, innovative and relish working in a team to meet clear and structured goals. 
  • Leadership. You have a key role in growing an exciting project and will also have operational responsibility for the Student Advocate Programme, growth in school registrations and building higher engagement among student readers. You will need to be empathetic and enjoy a mentoring role. 


Further Information 

At the FT, we are committed to providing an inclusive working environment for all. We are an equal opportunities employer that seeks to recruit and appoint the best talent regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, socio-economic background, religion and/or belief. We also promote flexible working and will consider specific requests around flexibility for all roles where it can be accommodated. We aim to treat all employees in a fair and consistent manner, promote good working relationships to encourage high standards of conduct and performance within a work environment free from harassment, bullying and discrimination. Please let us know if you require any adjustments as part of the application process or to enable you to attend an interview. If you would like to discuss your requirements, or have any questions, please contact a member of our HR team who will be happy to help. 


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