Press Officer at Transport for London (TfL).
Starting salary/salary band for the job?
What qualifications do you need?
A good grasp of grammar and attention to detail. A degree is preferred, but not required.
What level of experience do you need?
You don’t need to have worked in PR before, although it obviously helps. It’s important that you are able to communicate effectively, manage your time wisely and build long-lasting relationships. There is a real focus on putting the customer at the heart of everything that we do, so if you have experience in a customer-facing role, this will put you in good stead.
Is previous experience in a public-sector comms role necessary/useful?
It is useful, as it will help you to understand the position and political context of the organisation, but it is certainly not a prerequisite. I joined TfL on a graduate scheme and the press office was my first placement. Apart from some work experience at a couple of newspapers and magazines, the only jobs I had had before were as a fundraiser, lifeguard and bouncy castle supervisor!
What are the main day-to-day challenges?
Everyone assuming you drive a train when you say that you work for TfL! Joking aside, I would say that time management and relationship-building are the two biggest challenges. TfL is a complex organisation and when you have a tight deadline, it can take some skill to get the information you need about a topic and understand the bigger picture quickly, especially if it’s something you haven’t worked on before. This is why relationships are so important – if you make the effort to establish rapport with colleagues from across the business, as well as with stakeholders and journalists, they can often support you when you need it and help you find a solution.
What is the best part of the job?
The variety of topics that I get to work on makes every day exciting – I was recently working on a children’s book competition, which involved me visiting a factory to see how books get made, which was completely fascinating. I am also a bit of a chatterbox, so the fact that I get to talk to and meet new people frequently as part of my role is definitely a bonus.
What is the most unusual fact you know as a result of this job?
As somebody who studied history at university, I was shocked to find out that people used to shelter in the Tube stations during air raids in World War II. I got to meet two of the people who did so as children and their stories were absolutely riveting.
If you get an interview, do say…
You love how transport can make a difference, keeping the city working and growing.
If you get an interview, don’t say…
Transport is just about getting people from A to B, isn’t it?
If you’re good at this job you might also be well-suited to…
Working for a local government organisation or a charity.
Please note: Interviewees for 'So, you want my job' are not leaving their current role.
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