Head of Media Relations
00:00:04 My name is David R, and I’m Head of Media Relations at the Eden Project. What do I do day to day? Well my job as Head of Media Relations means that I’m at the sharp end of dealing with the Media. If there are any stories we want to present, or issues we need to respond to, then I will be the first point of contact for the Media, and I will liaise with the Senior Managers at Eden as to how we react, or how we present. My job means a lot to me. This is the toughest, most challenging and most rewarding job I’ve ever had. I’ve been in this job for four years. Prior to coming into this job, I was a newspaper journalist for 25 years.
00:00:46 My career was totally out of the blue. My father was a fisherman. None of my family went to University. I became a journalist, I went to University. When I was a child we always had newspapers in the house. And after I stopped reading the Beano, I started to read newspapers, and I loved newspapers. I’m still passionate about newspapers. I know they’re old Media, but I’ll always love them. And I also took an interest in the TV News, from a very very early age. When I was about 15, my Dad said to me – you like writing, you’re interested in the news, you should be a journalist. I wasn’t even sure what a journalist was. I knew what a reporter was, and I knew about people writing in newspapers, but that’s how it started.
00:01:30 And so when I did A levels, I did English and History, and my degree was in English and Philosophy. So it was always English, but it was always a means to become, I think, a better writer and communicator. I thought that writing was a thing I could do. I wasn’t sure about journalism, because I knew you had to be pretty tough. But actually you can learn to be tough. So what I had to do was to apply – well I went away on a one-year training course for the basics in journalism, and then I did that classic thing which people did when I started out, I joined a very small newspaper and learned my trade. And then I thought, really I ought to see a bit more of the world. So at the age of 27 I did a Mature Student’s degree.
00:02:07 I went away – this is when I studied English and Philosophy – and that took me up to the edge of London. And when I finished that I thought yeah, let’s give London a crack. So I spent ten years working on what is known as Fleet Street
00:02:22 What’s it like working on Fleet Street? Hellish, fantastic, always in danger of burn out, never know when you’re going to be jumping on a plane across the world, never knowing what sort of difficult situation – whether it be a riot, or knocking on somebody’s door and asking a difficult question – you’re going to be pitched into. It’s a high octane, adrenaline ride. And it’s probably a young man’s game too.
00:03:28 I was probably having a mild mid-life crisis, in that I’d probably had enough of London, but I wanted to come back to Cornwall for family reasons, and because it’s a great place to live. So the newspaper I was with very kindly retained me for six years to write features for them, and I also developed a strand of writing books. I’ve long had an ambition to be an author. Not an author of fiction because I don’t think I’m talented enough. But to write other books, and I’ve written a couple of books in the meantime, before I worked at Eden. One of the things that being a journalist and in communications teaches you is – there are many points of view. There’s no single truth. And it’s very important to listen, not just to the people who are agreeing with you, but the people who disagree with you too. Because they have a valid point of view, and it’s important not to have a closed mind.
00:03:42 In a way I’m living a childhood dream. One has to have dreams, and it was one of my dreams to be a published author, and to write, and to see the world. And without being smug about it, I’ve done some of that – there’s still a lot to do.
As a boy David loved writing, newspapers and current affairs; so what better career path for him than journalism. Coming from a family of fisherman, he was the first to experience university life. From the local paper to Fleet Street and now as Head of Media Relations at the Eden Project, David’s story is an education and an inspiration for all budding journalists.
More information about Public relations professionals
The UK average salary is £28,758
There are 37.5 hours in the average working week
The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male
- Discusses issues of business strategy, products, services and target client base with senior colleagues to identify public relations requirements;
- Writes, edits and arranges for the effective distribution of press releases, newsletters and other public relations material;
- Addresses individuals, clients and other target groups through meetings, presentations, the media and other events to enhance the public image of an organisation;
- Develops and implements tools to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of public relations exercises.
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