So, you want my job? Head of media, campaigns and digital at the Office of Rail and Road

PRWeek takes a sidelong look at recruitment in public sector comms. Do you fancy Lisa O'Brien's job as head of media, campaigns and digital at the Office of Rail and Road?

Train wheels get flats - you learn something every day, says Lisa O’Brien
Train wheels get flats - you learn something every day, says Lisa O’Brien

Name: 

Lisa O’Brien.

Job: 

Head of media, campaigns and digital at the Office of Rail and Road.


Also see: Confessions of a social media manager – Virgin Trains


Starting salary/salary band for the job? 

Equivalent to Civil Service Grade 6/7.

What qualifications do you need?

Although I have a degree, the most important elements are good experience, common sense and tenacity. 

What level of experience do you need?

My background is a mixture of private and public sector. 

Is previous experience in a public sector comms role necessary/useful?

As ORR is a regulator, I’ve found my previous experience both in Ofgem, the energy regulator, and Heathrow Airport really useful in navigating the pressures of a regulated environment. It’s a nuanced area, so previous experience helps, but is not an absolute requirement. 

What are the main day-to-day challenges?

Similar to most press offices, it is balancing requests and making sure that we explain our role and position on contentious issues clearly.

What is the best part of the job?

My team is great and I really enjoy working with policy and safety teams. I’m looking forward to, at some point soon, going on a cab ride (which is sitting in the driver’s cab during a train ride). 

What is the most unusual fact you know as a result of this job? 

Train wheels get flats. That is actually sometimes due to leaves on the line, making it harder to brake. I’m new to the train world, so I found that interesting as a commuter. 

If you get an interview, do say…

I like trains.

If you get an interview, don’t say…

I don’t like trains.

If you’re good at this job you might also be well-suited to…

I find regulation interesting as it’s all about holding companies to account so that they deliver for consumers, so it definitely is an interesting area to work in. 

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


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