This week, Caite-Jane Cook, who studied on the Napier course a few years ago, takes us through her role at Oxford University Press!
As the world’s biggest university press, OUP was an exciting but daunting prospect as my first publishing employer. Originally starting as a Marketing Assistant in the Trade division, fresh out of my MSc Publishing course, I made the leap to Law around a year and a half ago, first as a Marketing Executive then achieving promotion.
The Law team has a slightly different output from what you may expect from Oxford University Press. As well as academic law books, we publish professional texts aimed at practising lawyers and judges, as well as a range of study and ‘on the beat’ handbooks for police officers. The latter two categories are where I come in: my role is to look after our Criminal Law titles along with the Blackstone’s Policing list.
I often think that “Senior Marketing Executive – Law” sounds far more serious (and boring!) than it actually is. In truth, I have one of the most varied Marketing roles within the division, looking after print books, digital products, and an academic journal. Days can be hectic – I rely on a multitude of spreadsheets, notepads, and Post-Its to get me through – but they’re never boring.
Tasks typically appearing on my ‘To Do’ list include brainstorming posts for the OUPblog, briefing an author on plans for their new book, preparing for conferences, copywriting for e-campaigns, coding updates for the website, and working with designers on branded promo materials. Inevitably, as Senior Marketing Executive, I spend a lot of time in meetings but I enjoy finding out about what other colleagues and teams are doing (and giving my two-pennies’ worth to any discussion!).
One of my favourite things so far has been bringing the Blackstone’s Policing brand further into the digital age. We’ve relaunched our online study platform, adding a major new product in the process, and have stepped up our social media game, creating new content themes each month to keep our Twitter followers and blog readers interested. I made my mark by bringing in a branding refresh – which ties in nicely with our various product groupings for different levels of police officer – giving all of our marketing materials a clean new look.
When starting my Publishing postgrad, I never thought that 4 years down the line I’d be working on legal texts. It seems even more unlikely that I’d be enjoying it. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that most of the basic publishing skills you learn are easily transferable (particularly true of marketing) and that in itself is a massive advantage for your career. Publishing is filled with a weird and wonderful range of companies and products – so don’t be afraid to try something different.