Road to becoming a… press officer

Sarah Moyes, press officer and campaigner at OneKind, on how she got where she is today


Graeme High School, Falkirk

Work experience:

2017 – present theatre critic, All Edinburgh Theatre 2016 – present press officer and campaigner, OneKind 2014 – 2016 press officer, Edinburgh Playhouse 2014 – present blogger, HuffPost 2009 – 2011 broadcast journalist, Central FM 2008 – 2009 sales assistant, Fopp 2007 – 2008 PR assistant, various Glasgow venues 2007 intern, MTV 2005 – 2006 sales assistant, Sainsbury’s 2003 – 2004 sales assistant, Clarks

What does your current role involve? I have two main roles at OneKind. I’m a campaigner, so it’s my responsibility to deliver and manage OneKind’s animal welfare campaigns, but I’m also the charity’s press officer so I work to secure all our press coverage. My workload varies from day to day and can involve anything from setting up an online petition and scheduling social media posts to writing press releases and answering media enquiries.
Did your degree help you get to where you are now? My degree has definitely helped me. I wouldn’t have been able to get my first journalism job without it. It’s also given me a good understanding of how the media works, which has made it easier to pitch articles and write press releases in my current job.

What’s the most satisfying job you’ve had? It’s my work at OneKind that has been the most satisfying so far because every time I see someone sign a petition or I read a newspaper article about our campaigns, I know it can make a real difference to animals across the country.

Is this where you always wanted to be? If you had asked me that question 10 years ago, then the answer would have been no. I had always wanted to become a music journalist and had planned to move to LA after university to intern at a record label. My plans changed overnight due to a family illness, so I ended up taking some freelance shifts at Central FM and the rest is history. Back then I didn’t think I’d be anything other than a journalist, but the job I do now is much more suited to me.

What’s your best piece of career advice? My advice is to do as much work experience as possible. It’s a great way to learn about the industry you want to work in and it looks great on your CV. I absolutely loved being an intern at MTV, even when I was running around London trying to find bottled water for Russell Brand.

What’s your most memorable moment in the workplace? While I was working at the Edinburgh Playhouse, I helped a young cancer patient meet the cast of her favourite musical. It’s a cause very close to my heart, and I don’t think there was a dry eye left in the house when she went backstage with her family after the show. It was such a special moment for them, and it was an honour to have been involved in it.

What’s your biggest career success? My biggest success was watching over 850 people march down the Royal Mile waving placards and chanting “For the Foxes” during OneKind’s fox hunting march with the league Against Cruel Sports and International Fund for Animal Welfare. It was the largest event I have ever organised, and while it was quite stressful at times, it was incredible to see it all come together.

Is self-development crucial in climbing the career ladder? I think one of the worst things you can do is become too complacent in a job. If you want to progress in your career, then you need to develop your skills and not worry about taking risks. Employers should encourage their staff’s personal development too, so it’s a win-win situation for everyone.

Are you an animal addict? Yes, I’ve always been someone who loves animals. I went vegetarian when I was 12 and made the move to veganism in my twenties primarily because I care about animals. I’d say animals and the arts are my two biggest passions.

Is the third sector best for career opportunities? It’s hard for me to answer since this is my first job in the third sector. In Scotland, there are limited animal welfare jobs in the third sector as most are based in England, so it can be difficult to break into that area. That’s why OneKind offers lots of volunteering opportunities to give people a chance to gain experience and further their skills.