So, you want my job? Comms officer for the East of England Ambulance Service

PRWeek takes a sidelong look at recruitment in public sector comms. Do you fancy Adam Gretton's job as comms officer for the East of England Ambulance Service?

Did you know that an ambulance weighs the same as an Asian elephant? Adam Gretton did
Did you know that an ambulance weighs the same as an Asian elephant? Adam Gretton did
Adam Gretton.

Communications Officer for the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST).

Starting salary/salary band for the job?  

What qualifications do you need? 
I have no formal communications qualifications, but do have a degree in journalism studies.

What level of experience do you need? 
A background in communications is useful. However, I joined the comms world three years ago after a career in journalism. Experience of multi-tasking, juggling many tasks at once, meeting tight deadlines, and the art of diplomacy are desirable skills.

Is previous experience in a public sector comms role necessary/useful? 
I had no comms experience before joining EEAST, but had worked for 12 years as a newspaper reporter. My last two years in journalism were as health correspondent and I wrote a lot about the NHS and ambulance service in particular.

What are the main day-to-day challenges? 
Handling reactive media enquiries from the region’s journalists while proactively sharing good news stories with the media, on our social-media channels and among our staff. I’ve recently been made campaigns lead for our team and last week launched "Don’t Choose to Abuse" – a campaign highlighting the unacceptable aggression our staff receive from some patients and members of the public.

What is the best part of the job? 
I feel very honoured and privileged when I get to reunite a patient with the staff who saved their life. It makes great copy, pictures and video, but more importantly it gives staff the recognition they deserve and provides some sort of closure for the patient.

What is the most unusual fact you know as a result of this job? 
I recently learnt that a frontline ambulance weighs 5 tonnes – the equivalent of an Asian elephant.

If you get an interview, do say… 
"I’m a team player and a big believer in life-long learning. I bake cakes and biscuits in my spare time."

If you get an interview, don’t say… 
"I don’t really like working unsocial hours and weekends." Ambulance staff who work 12 hour shifts will not be impressed!

If you’re good at this job you might also be well-suited to… 
Any job that requires working creatively and against tight deadlines. Maybe a circus entertainer or contestant on the next series of The Great British Bake Off.

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

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