Have you ever wondered what it is like working in a police press office? One of our latest press officers to join the team, Ella, tells you about the role.
I have been a Press and PR Officer with Lancashire Constabulary since July 2014. I studied Journalism at university and worked in a press office at a local authority prior to joining the police.
I first thought about working for the force whilst studying journalism after producing my own portfolio of news stories, many of which involved close contact with police press teams and officers themselves.
It seemed like a role I would enjoy, utilising my journalism skills whilst going some way to helping solve crimes and delivering information to the public about crime prevention and awareness campaigns.
When a role in the press office was advertised in Spring 2014 I took a chance and applied. After an interview and a couple of tests involving writing a press release and a media strategy, I was offered the job subject to references and vetting. Within weeks I was working at police headquarters at Hutton as part of the press office within the Media and Engagement Department.
As a police Press Officer you never quite know what you will be dealing with on a day to day basis. From press appeals about a spate of bicycle thefts to attending court for the culmination of a murder trial – each and every day is different, which is why I enjoy the job.
Every day as a team we deal with enquiries from both local and national journalists from print, online and broadcast media outlets. We write and issue press releases and appeals along with preparing statements in relation to serious, major and critical incidents. We manage the media around high profile court cases and offer an out of office and weekend on-call function. As well as this, we routinely offer help and advice to police officers in publicising appeals and dealing with the press.
It can be a challenging role, but pulling together and working as part of the larger constabulary team can be really rewarding. Seeing the result of a press appeal leading to the arrest, eventual conviction of an offender and bringing justice for the victim or their family and friends makes the job worthwhile.
Ella, Press and PR Officer