So, you want my job? Media relations manager for the Forestry Commission

PRWeek takes a sidelong look at recruitment in public sector comms. Do you fancy Stuart Burgess' job as media relations manager for the Forestry Commission?

Stuart Burgess advises you not to say you want to be a lumberjack in your interview
Stuart Burgess advises you not to say you want to be a lumberjack in your interview
Stuart Burgess

Media relations manager, Forest Enterprise England (Forestry Commission England)

Starting salary/salary band for the job? 
£40,013 - Senior Information Officer

What qualifications do you need?
You will need to be educated to degree level or hold a relevant professional comms qualification or equivalent industry experience. For those beginning their career look out for the Government Communication Service’s apprenticeships.  

What level of experience do you need?
You will definitely need direct experience from working in media relations or press office roles. Advantages would include national responsibility; working with comms colleagues across the country and experience from other comms disciplines. Broad interest in the environment (beyond trees, woods and forests) and land management, science, outdoor recreation, education and business would help. Be ready to learn, we cover a lot.

Is previous experience in a public sector comms role necessary/useful?
Useful, but not necessary as core skills are transferrable. Private sector and public sector roles bring their own opportunities and challenges. I’d recommend being familiar with the Government Communication Service (GCS) and our Modern Communications Operating Model. The GCS website is a great resource.

What are the main day-to-day challenges?
The huge variety of what we do. In the part of the Forestry Commission I work for we are responsible for more than 250,000 hectares of land and are approaching our centenary year. We welcome more than 20 million visitors, supply around half of England’s home-grown timber, support some of the country’s rarest wildlife and work with other businesses in the nation’s forests.

What is the best part of the job?
The huge variety of what we do. I also get to work with committed, knowledgeable colleagues and occasionally see some stunning places.

What is the most unusual fact you know as a result of this job? 
Where to begin? I always smile to myself when I remember the fact we were given a couple of bison from the Polish government once. You don’t see that much nowadays.

If you get an interview, do say?
"It was tough but we were successful in the end." Public sector media relations is challenging yet gives you some great rewards while making a positive difference to people’s lives.

If you get an interview, don’t say?
"I’d love to work for your charity." Understand who we are and what we do. Don’t say "lumberjack" or "when do I get my chainsaw?" either.

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

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

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