Vacancy: Communications Manager

Communications Manager: Job Description and Person Specification

Closing date for applications: 31 March 2021


The Bag Factory is a non-profit contemporary visual art organisation in Newtown, Johannesburg. With a pioneering 30-year history of providing a supportive infrastructure for artists, the Bag Factory is unique in combining art making with cultural debate and art exhibitions, thereby creating a fertile international environment for experimentation, innovation, and cultural dialogue between creatives in South Africa and the rest of the world. We are affiliated with the international Triangle Network.

We provide studio space to a cross-generational community of Johannesburg based artists and we host an internationally renowned artist and curatorial residency programme. We support the development of emerging artists through various programmes including the Cassirer Welz Award, David Koloane Award, Young Womxn Studio Bursary, and professional skills workshops. We present regular exhibitions in our gallery, showcasing great art by emerging artists to the wider public. All our programmes are accompanied by a public programme that encourages greater understanding of contemporary visual art and stimulates interaction between artists and the local community. The ultimate overall aim continues to be that the process leads to the creation of new, high quality and innovative programmes that engage and grow audiences.

In 2020, the Bag Factory secured its future by purchasing the building it has called home for three decades. The organisation is now embarking on a capital campaign to ensure the sustainability of the organisation by improving its building and programme facilities. This is a unique opportunity to join the Bag Factory team during a time of transition and to be a key player in shaping the future of the Bag Factory’s physical space and creative programmes.

For more information visit our website:

Purpose of the job

The Communications Manager is responsible for the Bag Factory's brand identity, website and all public communications.  The postholder will work alongside the Director in managing the Bag Factory's Patrons’ scheme and Artists Editions strategy. The Communications Manager will also be responsible for developing audiences and producing accurate and detailed reporting for the board and funding applications.

Reports to Director and Deputy Director

Responsible for: Marketing Assistant

Communications and External Relations:

  • Responsibility for overall brand identity
  • Oversight and development of communications strategy
  • Manage website and all social media content, and the overall look, feel and functionality
  • Manage website and social media analytics
  • Ensure consistency in the Bag Factory’s external communications including developing style guide for all written work
  • Copyedit and proofread all external communications, liaising with programming staff
  • Compile and edit the Bag Factory’s bi-monthly e-newsletter
  • Manage Marketing Assistant
  • Overseeing audience development strategy, and data collection through surveys to be carried out by the Marketing Assistant
  • Researching new audiences and developing relationships with the local community
  • Take ownership of the Bag Factory’s databases and mailing lists
  • Maintain and update press database
  • Manage and develop current and new relationships with journalists and press contacts
  • Contributing and developing multimedia content, including all video content and the overall Bag Factory digital strategy

Patrons and Corporate Donors:

  • Manage the Bag Factory’s Patrons scheme alongside the Director and Programmes Manager: developing and managing events, all patron communications and maintaining relationships
  • Work with the Director to research and develop new relationships with individuals and corporates

Editions and Funding

  • Ensuring all funders are acknowledged appropriately, requesting logos, and liaising with donors where necessary
  • Support the production of funding reports and evaluation documents for board meetings and donor reporting
  • Contribute to the editions strategy alongside the Director, creating online content and marketing material to promote the sale of editions


  • Ensure all front of house areas are presentable and welcoming
  • Actively seek to implement the Bag Factory’s Equal opportunities policies, financial procedures and health and safety policies
  • Contribute to and participate in a collaborative working environment, including weekly team discussions and other conversations

This Job Description is a guide to the nature of the work required. It is not wholly comprehensive or restrictive.

Communications Manager Person Specification 


  • BA Marketing / Marketing Communications or BCom Marketing Management degree (or similar relevant qualification)
  • Minimum 3 years’ experience in a marketing or communications role
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills including editing and proofreading
  • Strong visual skills
  • Experience of managing web and digital content, working with Content Management Systems and social media platforms
  • Understanding of brand identity
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Experience of writing for different audiences
  • Good technical skills including working with Photoshop
  • Track record of working with colleagues to implement house style
  • Experience of managing relationships
  • Strong understanding of working with individual donors and patrons
  • Ability to multi-task, delegate and prioritise within a busy working environment
  • Strong ability to build team-spirit in the workplace
  • Confident working independently but also as part of a small team


  • Experience of working in a visual arts organisation
  • Track record of producing high quality digital content
  • Experience of managing staff
  • Experience of event management
  • Further technical skills including sound and video editing
  • Experience of preparing or assisting on fundraising applications
  • Interest in contemporary art practice, and curatorial practices, with a strong interest in international artists and debates

Terms and conditions

  • 7-month fixed term contract, starting 1 May 2021
  • Hours of work: 9.00am – 5pm
  • 3 days a week
  • The period of notice is two months in writing
  • Probation period: 6 months

How to Apply

Only applications submitted using the online form will be accepted.

You will be asked to upload the following documents:

  • Single PDF file no bigger than 1MB: One-page motivation letter & CV, including references (max. 2-3 pages)
  • Copy of your ID or valid South African work permit
  • Incomplete applications or applications submitted via email will not be considered.

Closing date for applications: 31 March 2021

Regrettably due to the high number of applications we receive, we will only be able to respond to those shortlisted for interview. If you have not heard from us within two weeks of the closing date please assume that your application has been unsuccessful.

We reserve the right not to fill this position.