Press officers safeguard the reputation of the organisations for which they work. They help to establish and maintain good relationships with their customers, shareholders and staff.
The majority of press officers have degrees in communications, journalism, marketing, media studies or English. The minimum entry requirements for degree study include A levels and GCSEs. As entry into press officer work is highly competitive, postgraduate qualifications and relevant work experience are often helpful. Those without degrees tend to have worked their way up the career ladder from more junior positions.
New press officers are usually introduced to the role by senior staff members. Some employers offer graduate training schemes, which include work shadowing. Employees may be encouraged to study for professional qualifications, such as the Communication Advertising and Marketing Education Foundations CAM Diploma in Marketing Communications.
Press officers are employed by companies in all sectors. They may work in in-house departments in industrial and commercial companies, local authorities, government departments and agencies, the police, charities and professional bodies. Alternatively, they may work for consultancies. Employment openings may be advertised through specialist recruitment agencies. While press officers typically work standard office hours, it is not uncommon for their work to involve frequent travel to meetings and conferences, which may also involve stays away from home.
Starting salaries for press officers are between £12,000 and £21,000 a year. Experienced press officers may choose to become freelance consultants or establish their own businesses.