Rising Star winner Eilidh Reid tells us how she got into publishing and the support available for those looking to get into the industry. 

How did you get into the industry? 

I first became interested in publishing while at university when I worked at Waterstones and eventually took responsibility for the Children’s department. Then, I got accepted for a role as a Publishing Assistant in the Oxford University Press’ Academic Journals division. I really enjoyed the role, however, I knew that I wanted to work in Children’s educational publishing since working at Waterstones, and I’m excited to say I am! I’m now working as a Marketing Administrator in the Educational division of Oxford University Press, providing support across our Primary, Secondary and Trade resources.

What does your role involve? 

My role is really varied – I’m involved in various team projects, such as coordinating the creation of our Secondary catalogues, and liaising with various media sources to set up advertising. I provide copywriting assistance, manage publicity mailings to our reviewers, create press releases for our publications, and create and send out e-newsletters to our reviewers and customers. I’m also responsible for a small portfolio of my own marketing campaigns for middle grade and picture books. I do a lot of website maintenance in order to improve OUP’s accessibility and customer experience on the site. I also am the key contact for our award submissions and review coverage. Like I said, it’s very varied – busy but interesting!

What is your award going to allow you to do? 

I used my Rising Stars award to enrol on the Level 4 CIM Certificate in Professional Marketing. The certificate will provide me with planning and strategy knowledge when it comes to developing successful and engaging marketing campaigns, and to better understand my audience. My hope is that the combination of my current role and the CIM qualification will allow me to take the next step towards managing a larger portfolio of marketing campaigns, and to be more involved in the strategic decision making aspect.

What has surprised you most about the industry you work in?  

I think going into publishing I wasn’t expecting there to be such a large focus on agility and digital innovation. I especially love seeing reading and learning become more and more accessible to children – particularly after the year we’ve had with the pandemic when that aspiration became very much something we needed to fully realise in a short amount of time. 

What would you advise other young people looking to get into the same sector? 

I’d probably advise patience above all else – I and many others have found publishing really competitive. However once you’ve got your foot in the door, you will find a lot of people who want to see and help you succeed. 

The second piece of advice I would give is to be active on Twitter. The publishing network on Twitter is really willing to help and provide guidance, and there are so many resources available if you’re looking to break into the industry. If you’re in that position, I’m always happy to help – I have compiled a list of resources I’ve used and have heard about, as well as some creative ways to make yourself employable without completing one of the big Publishing internships. My Twitter handle is @lttln, feel free to contact me and I’ll send these over!

What are your aspirations for the future of your career? 

All I really want is to be a cheerleader for children, and the way I want to do this is through increasing their access to reading and learning resources, promoting a love of literature, and ultimately helping them realise their full potential. I’m really flexible when it comes to the way in which I make that impact, but what’s important that I’m in a position to do so!

Are you a Rising Star, or know someone that is? To apply, complete our application form and return it to us before 7 March 2021.