So, you want my job? Media relations officer at Canterbury Christ Church University

PRWeek takes a sidelong look at recruitment in public sector comms. Do you fancy Holly Finch's job as Media Relations Officer at Canterbury Christ Church University?

If you want a job at Canterbury Christ Church University, you had better watch the news every day
If you want a job at Canterbury Christ Church University, you had better watch the news every day

Name:
Holly Finch

Job:
Media Relations Officer at Canterbury Christ Church University

Starting salary/salary band for the job?
Starting from £26,052

What qualifications do you need?
A degree or an equivalent qualification. I have a degree in journalism, which has proved really useful. Having an understanding of how the news agenda is determined will allow you to target publications and journalists accurately and more effectively as a result.

What level of experience do you need?
At this level, a couple of years’ experience in a public relations, media, or press office role is required. A passion for news, current affairs and social media is essential.

Is previous experience in a public sector comms role necessary/useful?
I would say that it helps but is not essential. I did not have any public sector experience before working in higher education, but there was a lot to learn when I started. Universities are fairly complex, but I enjoyed the challenge.

What are the main day-to-day challenges?
The main challenge in the press office is juggling proactive and reactive media opportunities. Reacting to the daily news agenda by promoting academic expertise and providing requested statements tend to delay your planned proactive work. Putting aside some time as a contingency helps, but is unlikely to ever be feasible.

What is the best part of the job?
Listening to the news and thinking about how you can work to add value. Working with academics means there is a diverse pool of expertise to call upon, and usually a story each day that they could contribute to. Thinking creatively about these opportunities makes each day enjoyable and different.

What is the most unusual fact you know as a result of this job?
That synthetic venoms have been used successfully in cancer drugs.

If you get an interview, do say?
You are interested in the latest digital technologies and social platforms.

If you get an interview, don’t say?
You don’t watch the news.

If you’re good at this job you might also be well-suited to?
Mind-reading.

Please note: Interviewees for ‘So, you want my job’ are not leaving their current role


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