Public Communications Officer – Natalie Allred
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Natalie Allred, Public Communications Officer, Reaction Engines.
Where do you work and what is your job?
I work at Reaction Engines Ltd as Public Communications Officer.
What does your job involve?
Communication is key to my role. My main focus is to inform and interest target audiences in the SKYLON project. Our publicity is dependent upon relationships built and maintained with organisations such as the UK Space Agency and also with the media. The aim of maintaining a positive vision is enhanced by Public Relations and Marketing exhibitions and also the company website.
What interested you in working in the space sector?
As my background is in Modern Languages, I wished to be involved with a company dealing regularly with other countries in Europe. Reaction Engines has an active relationship with the European Space Agency and also many other aerospace companies on the continent, particularly in Germany, and this is largely what attracted me to the role.
What do you do in a typical day?
Everyday is different at Reaction Engines and this is something that I love about my job. However, a constant theme is that I prepare and drive many projects through to completion to ensure that the aims and objectives of the PR strategy are met. Projects vary from arranging copy in publications to the creation of new company literature and promotional items. I deal with the media in some way, shape or form on a daily basis to comment on current stories or arrange interviews with key members of staff, for example.
Are there any other interesting aspects to your work?
There are lots, but the most interesting so far has been my work as Project Manager on a LAPCAT II combustor project. This project gave me the amazing opportunity to work directly with colleagues based at different sites. Our manufacturing and testing facilities are exceptional as are the individuals working there.
What is it about your job that fascinates or inspires you?
At Reaction Engines we are working on a reusable spaceplane that is going to revolutionise the way that the Earth and space work together in the future. For me, that is fascinating in itself. The knowledge and dedication of my colleagues is a real inspiration. For many, this project would have been a distant memory, but the determination and belief of not only the founders, Alan, Richard and John, but the rest of the team is what drives me to succeed every single day.
Why is what you do important?
By having no real interest in space in the past, I have brought a different perspective to Reaction Engines. This has been useful to the company because I focus on our key messages and ensure that they are clear to all in the outside world to whom the idea of a spaceplane and even how we can use space itself is new. It is my job to ensure that anyone reading about Reaction Engines and the SKYLON project is not only informed but also excited about and supportive of what we are working towards.
What advice would you give to someone considering a career in space?
It is evident from my background that you can enter and be involved in the space industry regardless of your field. However, as for all degree disciplines, the best advice I can give is to gain as much work and practical experience as you can. Be proactive!