PA0918 - Press Assistant (12 month fixed-term)

Posted: 28/09/2018 12:30
Start Date: Not Available
Salary: up to £22,000
Location: Piccadilly, London
Level: N/A
Deadline: 22/10/2018 23:59
Hours: 40.00
Benefits: Plus attractive benefits
Job Type: Temporary

About the Royal Academy of Arts

The Royal Academy of Arts (RA) has undertaken the most radical redevelopment of its central London site in its 250 year history. In 2018, we opened a new campus uniting Burlington House on Piccadilly with Burlington Gardens. This includes a new suite of galleries, our first dedicated Learning centre and a 250-seat lecture theatre. An enhanced public programme of exhibitions and debate will build on our already world-class reputation for promoting the practice, understanding and enjoyment of the visual arts.

We are an innovative and forward-looking organisation, yet we’re also immensely proud and respectful of our two and a half centuries of heritage. Our mission is to be a clear, strong voice for art and artists, and we are leaders in exhibiting, creating and debating the visual arts and architecture.

About this role

We are searching for an exceptional Press Assistant to join our Communications Department to provide administrative support for the Royal Academy’s busy Press Office and to be a point of contact for all press enquiries.

About you

You will be an experienced administrator in the press or public relations field, with a polished, professional and ‘can-do’ manner.  Extremely well-organised, with meticulous attention to detail, you will have the ability to manage administrative tasks simultaneously and have a methodical and detailed approach to work. Flexible, versatile and a strong team player, you will be a confident writer and have excellent proof reading skills to help support the day-to-day running of the Press Office.

You will possess excellent IT skills: a competent user of the MS Office suite, you will be adept with social media platforms and will grasp new systems and processes with ease. Lastly, you must be able to demonstrate a genuine interest in the visual arts and a commitment to the vision and values of the Royal Academy of Arts.

What benefits do we offer?

We offer a very generous pension scheme, contributing up to 10% of your salary into a defined contribution scheme. On top of 25 days’ holiday and 8 days’ bank holiday each year, our offices close between Christmas Eve and New Year, allowing staff additional paid holiday. Staff are encouraged to attend free history of art and life-drawing classes on site. We also have a staff choir and a craft club. Best of all, our reciprocal agreement with the leading museums and art galleries in London and New York entitles you to enter for free with your staff pass.

Closing date for applications:         Sunday 14 October (midnight)

Interviews to be held:                       18/19th October 2018




Under the general direction of the Head of Communications (HOC) and Senior Press Officer (SPO):

  • To provide a comprehensive administrative service in support of the Press Office
  • To provide a point of contact for press enquiries
  • To assist with press campaigns


  • Assist Press Officer, Senior Press Officers and HOC in the implementation of RA press campaigns.
  • Act as a point of contact for press enquiries by phone and email– handle day-to-day press enquiries, demonstrating a clear understanding of the RA’s key messages and communicating these effectively; send out images, catalogues and press releases on request and field enquiries where appropriate to PO, SPOs and HOC. 
  • Work on campaigns and draft press releases for select exhibitions and events such as RA Lates and free displays, with SPO.
  • Undertake the weekly distribution of exhibitions and events details to listings publications and guidebooks
  • Ensure correct information held in the national Culture Diary and liaise with other galleries on clashes
  • Organise press mailings and printing schedule including press releases, image sheets and press view invites - liaising with design team, printers and mailing house; producing e-communications where appropriate.
  • Maintain, update and develop press office database to ensure media contacts are up-to-date and comprehensive.
  • Work with the Press team to build lists of press contacts and develop expert knowledge of key target areas.
  • Responsible for the organisation of all logistics around press events, views and launches; liaise with other RA departments e.g. Facilities, Development, Restaurant, Shop; answer queries from press/media, prepare press packs, liaise with suppliers, check/prepare venue.
  • Responsible for the development of strategic timeline to ensure effective dissemination of releases and images to journalists working closely with PO, SPOs and HOC
  • Supervise and organise film, crews, radio crews and photographers in the gallery during press events and out of hours filming and photography, as required.
  • Point of contact for clearing photography and filming procedures across the rest of the RA and supplying the internal contact and/or photographer/filmmaker with boundaries and RA filming/photography contract
  • Manage press team room bookings via RA booking system Ungerboeck
  • Manage passwords and subscriptions to publications
  • Responsible for the efficient dissemination and management of coverage; analysis, scanning and filing of hard copy press coverage
  • Account management of the Academy’s external services: media monitoring, image service, media database
  • Responsible for maintenance and supply of the digital picture library, selecting and sourcing high quality images for publicity purposes; Collate, re-sizing, label, file and maintain stocks of photographs for press use. 
  •   Keep Press Office information systems updated; include working with other departments to ensure up-to-date sponsors’ crediting, photographic crediting, etc.
  • Monitor press section on RA Website, liaise with Website Editor to update and ensure the accuracy of listed information.
  • Monitor social media (Facebook /Twitter) for media comments/contact.
  • Monitor specific areas of the press budget and handle invoices and financial processes under supervision of HOC.
  • Contribute to the post-exhibition evaluation reports.
  • Deputise for members of the press and marketing team when necessary and work with the Marketing and Digital Assistants.
  • Liaise where necessary with external PR agencies.
  • Responsible for clear organisation of the press office – press pack, documents, and publications’ filing and storage
  • Organise and manage bi-annual press and marketing exhibition breakfast views for fellow museums and galleries
  • Organise weekly press office meeting
  • Comply with all relevant health & safety policies, procedures and regulations and take appropriate and reasonable care for the safety of colleagues and visitors to the Academy.
  • Undertake any other task, which may reasonably be required by the Head of Communications, Senior Press Officers or Press Officer.


  • Broad range of office-based experience gained in a press or public relations field, preferably within the arts.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills – first class written and oral skills; close attention to detail, well-honed proof reading ability
  • Some experience in a public-facing role, providing information and dealing with enquiries. Professional, friendly, confident and helpful manner with press and members of the public either in person or over the telephone
  • Methodical and detailed approach to work, ensuring accurate information is maintained and distributed throughout the RA and to press and public
  • Strong administrator, with exceptional organisational skills to maintain and improve current office systems
  • Demonstrable aptitude with MS Word and Excel, advanced user level in both, proficient in using a number of social media channels and Photoshop
  • Able to manage time effectively – ability to deal with high volume of work, to multi-task, to work at pace, be comfortable with unpredictable demands – e.g. journalists’ deadlines. 
  • Some experience of organising events
  • Some experience of short term tasks/projects
  • Ability to develop strong working relationships with other departments in particular Exhibitions, Sponsorship, Publications and Education
  • Confident, enthusiastic, inquisitive, energetic and self-motivated personality – ability to use initiative and willingness to work as part of small team
  • Flexible approach to work, occasionally working long hours and early mornings 
  • Keen interest and enthusiasm for the visual arts and an awareness of new developments in media
  • Hard work ethic, willingness to go the extra mile and take pride in output