So, you want my job? Counter terrorism media officer

PRWeek takes a sidelong look at recruitment in public sector comms. Do you fancy Christopher Terris Taylor's job as counter terrorism media officer for the National Police Chiefs' Council & National Counter Terrorism Policing HQ?

Don't ask when you will be issued with a gun if you get an interview, warns Christopher Terris Taylor
Don't ask when you will be issued with a gun if you get an interview, warns Christopher Terris Taylor

Christopher Terris Taylor

Counter terrorism media officer, National Police Chiefs’ Council/National Counter Terrorism Policing HQ

Starting salary/salary band for the job?
Met Police Band C, plus allowances and on-call payments.

What qualifications do you need?
Degree or post-graduate qualification in a relevant field is preferred, but not essential. Like many comms roles, experience is more important.

What level of experience do you need?
Ideally you’d have a background in journalism and/or a busy press office. I was a NQJ-accredited sports journalist for five years before joining Greater Manchester Police’s press office, and have stayed in policing ever since.

Is previous experience in a public sector comms role necessary/useful?
Knowing how both policing and the media work alongside each other is a massive help, but not essential. I think policing is a unique environment and having some knowledge of how forces are structured makes the job easier. But ultimately if you have some comms experience and willingness to learn on the job then you’ll be fine.

What are the main day-to-day challenges?
Time-management and prioritisation of workload present different challenges every day, but I think that’s fairly typical of many similar roles. There is a weight of responsibility, too. Terrorism is understandably at the forefront of many people’s minds, and the ability of the police to manage this threat is closely scrutinised by the media and the public. The pressure I feel is two-fold, firstly in ensuring that the messaging designed to save people’s lives is reaching them effectively. Secondly, that I am successfully demonstrating to the public that our officers are doing an extraordinary job, in extraordinary circumstances, of helping to keep them safe.

What is the best part of the job?
Working as part of both the National Police Chiefs’ Council and National Counter Terrorism Policing’s comms units I get to be a member of not one, but two great teams. And we are looking to recruit at the moment, so keep an eye out! Between them, there’s a lot of shared experience and expertise, which is helping me progress professionally. Also, the fact we work so closely with our partners in the Security Services and Government is a great part of the job, and a recent meeting at 10 Downing Street was a particular highlight for me personally. But the most satisfying part of this role is knowing that I am helping to deliver advice and information that will potentially save people’s lives and make a difference.

What is the most unusual fact you know as a result of this job?
Slightly morbid, but then terrorism isn’t exactly a light-hearted subject: You are more likely to die as a result of falling out of bed than you are from a terror attack.

If you get an interview, do say?
I’m ready to help our officers save lives and keep people safe.

If you get an interview, don’t say?
When do I get my gun?

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

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

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