What I do
I’m a press officer. I work for IWM North, part of Imperial War Museums, in Manchester. My job is to help television programmes, radio stations, newspapers and websites to create features about IWM North’s exhibitions and events. When we appear in the media, the public get to hear about what is happening. In turn that helps to attract visitors to the museum.
How I got my job
I saw it advertised on a newspaper website and applied. I had studied history at university and had experience of working in journalism, so I had the right skills to do the job. Now I can use those skills to tell journalists how powerful the stories IWM North tells are – and therefore share the museum’s collections with the whole country.
What I love about my job
IWM North is a fascinating place to visit, let alone work. Objects on display include a huge piece of steel from the World Trade Center in New York, destroyed on 9/11, and the field gun that fired the first British shell of the First World War. I love being able to show people how war has shaped people’s lives from 1914 to the present day. IWM North is a unique, stunning building designed by a world-renowned architect, so it’s a great place to work.
What’s difficult about my job
We get a huge amount of media requests because there are so many incredible stories on display here – like the stories of medics on the front line in our new Saving Lives exhibition. It can be very hectic at times, because news crews need information at short notice, but the results are worth the effort.
Where to start
If you would like to work for a museum like IWM North, then studying history can help. I did a degree in history and then trained as a journalist, before starting to work for newspapers and magazines. This gave me experience of how journalists work, which is important if you want to be a press officer. There are lots of ways to do it, but having an interest in the media is a great start.