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Joni Smith

Communications Officer

"I've been with the Scottish Government since 2005, and have been in a range of different communications roles, with Communities Scotland, the Scottish Prisons Commission and, more recently, covering Health and Wellbeing.

It's a pretty varied role, and it can be challenging. In reality, it starts long before you get to the office, when the news cycle gets going in the early morning. Once I get to work it is normally a case of going through the press cuts to check if there are any major running stories that are of interest to the Minister. We then have our morning meeting where we run through the Scottish Government events for the day and the major news stories. After that, there's a variety of things I could be involved in – issuing reactive lines on a breaking story, issuing a news releases on Scottish Government announcements, preparing for a Ministerial visit, meeting with officials to prepare for a policy announcement, providing the First Minister’s Official Spokesman with support at the daily media briefing, providing Ministers with presentational advice, accompanying the Minister to a photo call, the list could honestly go on for some time.

There's a real focus on training and development here. You don't just get a thorough induction programme, but also the option on a whole series of in house courses. Since I've been with the Government, I've had training on a range of different activities, from Plain English and Strategic Communications, to Presentation skills.

There are plenty of opportunities for professional progression here – it just depends on how many you're willing to grab. For me, there are still plenty of avenues to explore in the communications field, but who knows that the future holds. In this job you can never quite tell."

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