How to become a press officer: Jessica's story
What’s your job?
I’m the press officer at the Eden Project. I look after film crews, journalists and photographers.
I organise press shoots and photo shoots and write press releases for newspapers. I also monitor and provide coverage on environmental issues that people might be interested in.
I assumed I was going to go to college and university like everybody does. I thought that’s what you had to do but I got a great opportunity that allowed me to do things a bit differently.
How did you get started in this job?
When I was younger I had no idea what I wanted to do. I considered being a vet, a doctor and even living on a farm. I didn’t think I’d end up here. When I was 16, following a discussion with my dad, I knew further education wasn’t something I wanted to do. I ended up leaving college as I was under a lot of pressure. Shortly after this I started at the Eden Project as a waitress.
The Eden Project gave me the chance to work in different departments and the opportunity came up to work on the stewarding team. I went from the shop to the design team over a Christmas period and from design to admin. Whilst working in the office I met my mentor. She helped me to believe that I could really do something with my life and this sparked my ambition. I went for the job of communications assistant and got it, then two years on I got offered the press officer role.
Best thing about your job
I’ve learned that anything’s possible. You can do anything you want to. I learned that you can have no qualifications and still have a great career that you love.
Know that you are capable. You can find your niche and something that people appreciate you for. Make it the best job you’ve done and enjoy it.
What to expect if you want to be a press officer
- Salary: From £18,000 to £90,000
- Working hours: 37-40 hours per week
- Entry requirements: Usually a foundation degree, higher national diploma (HND) or degree is required. Experienced gained from an internship or relevant voluntary work will help get onto courses. You could also get into this job through an apprenticeship - you could move into PR if you've experience in areas like journalism, advertising, marketing or fundraising. Another option is to start as an administrator, publicity assistant or information officer and work your way up.
This information is a guide (sources: LMI for All, National Careers Service)