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Press Officer
Eden Project

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Jess Ratty

00:00:04 I’m called Jessica R, I’m the Press Officer here at the Eden Project. I look after film crews, journalists, photographers. I organise press shoots, photo shoots, and I do Press Release writing for the newspapers, and we do a lot of coverage – we sort of monitor the coverage – any environmental coverage that people might be interested in here.

00:00:32 When I was younger I had no idea what I wanted to do, you know, one minute I was going to be a vet, and the next a doctor, and then I wanted to live down a rutted track, you know, in the deepest, darkest of Cornwall with a farm. Yeah no, I didn’t have any idea what I wanted to do.

00:00:46 I never, ever thought I’d end up here. When I was – just gone 16 – I ended up leaving college because my Dad said to me – All right my handsome, you don’t have to do this if you don’t want to. And I thought Oh, thank God, you know, and it took so much pressure off me, to have to perform for my parents or anyone else who thought formal education was the way to go. Which clearly – I was so unhappy it really wasn’t. So I started here at Eden as a Waitress. I never knew I was going to leave school, and not go to college, and not go to University, because it seemed like – that’s what everybody does, you know, like that’s what you have to do. And so I thought that’s what I would have to do. And it just didn’t turn out like that at all, thank God, I’d have hated it.

00:01:29 In 2001 when we opened I was a Waitress, so I did that for – I think it was two years. And then I – the opportunity came up to work on the Stewarding team, Eden gave me the chance to work in different departments. So I was working in the shop. And then I went from the shop to Design over a Christmas period, so I was making Christmas decorations for this site, hurt my hands, didn’t like that very much. Hard work. And then I went from Design to Admin, up in the office. And then I met – who I still call my mentor – she doesn’t work at Eden any more, Briar Scudamore – but she – she made me really believe that I could actually do something with my life, and that I was capable of being much more than a shop assistant, or pouring teas and coffees.

00:02:10 Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it just – I was ambitious by this point. And she offered me the job of Communications Assistant, so I – and I went for that, and got it. And then two years on, last year I think, I got offered Press Officer job, which is what I am now. Knowing that I’m capable is just – it’s something that – it’s like a feeling like coming home, you know, you knew – you always know that you’re able to do something with your life, and then – it’s a funny thing, Oh yeah I found my niche, or I found something that people appreciate me for. Rather than constantly struggling against a big wall of water, you’re going with the flow, you’re like you’re with your school of fish.

00:02:52 When I grow up I’d like to – I really want to be a writer. And I want to – I don’t necessarily want to be famous, but I want my – I wanna change people. I wanna change people’s opinions of things, maybe make them more broadminded, or give them, you know – coming from Cornwall it can be such a small world, you know, and I wanna – my life’s been broadened, and I still live in Cornwall, and I don’t leave very often. So I don’t see why other people can’t. And that goes not just for Cornwall – all over the world there’s places that, you know, you might not get to, or – or get out of. You can take that world to people.

00:03:29 I’ve learnt that anything’s possible, you know, you can do anything you want to. Look at Eden, you know, that was – Tim Smit was in a pub and he wrote – he drew on a napkin what you can see behind me. And I’ve also learnt that you can have no qualifications, so to speak, and still have a great career, one that you love. So I’ve learnt that it’s not necessarily what’s put in front of you, and you say Oh you have to do that job. It’s what you can – every single job, you make the most of it, and make it the best job you’ve done, and you have a laugh and, you know, you can – you can be serious about life, and serious about big issues like the environment and sustainability, but you can also have a good giggle along the way.

00:03:45 ENDS

 

Formal education is not the route for everyone and Jess's dad helped her accept that. She dropped out of college at 16 and started as a waitress at the Eden Project. Having worked in several departments, she has found her niche as Press Officer. Jess is proof that with patience, hard work and the right approach, you don't have to have qualifications to have a great career.

More information about Public relations professionals

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Data powered by LMI For All
£36,920
average salary

The UK average salary is £28,758

39
average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

59%  female  41%  male 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Description

Public relations professionals plan, organise and co-ordinate the activities that promote the image and understanding of an organisation and its products or services to consumers, businesses, members of the public and other specified audiences.

Qualifications

Most entrants possess A levels/H grades and a degree or equivalent qualification. Further professional qualifications are available.

Tasks

  • 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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