Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Guest Speaker - Jilly Easterby

University College Falmouth's Head Of Communications Jilly Easterby yesterday held a talk regarding her position within the uni and how she got to her current post.

As an English Graduate from North London Poly, Jilly had always aspired to becoming a journalist on a national scale, perhaps occupying the music desk. However, after careful consideration post graduation, she instead decided to apply for a position in publishing at Sidgwick and Jackson, which she was awarded.

On her first day at her new job Jilly explained how "stroppy celebrity" Bob Geldof ranting down the wire regarding his Live8 book that was about to be published. Maybe this was one of the factors that persuaded Jilly into her 'specialised' diet: "I was living off vodka and orange juice".

However, not all celebrity encounters were so hostile. Jilly can take claim to have sold an autobiography for the largest amount of money at the time: none other than Boy George's. Selling the book for £250 000 in '91 meant she was a prime candidate for head hunting.

Jilly was soon snapped up by The Daily Express, and cheekily entered the world of journalism without any interviews or testing pre-rituals. Possibly her finest anecdote involved KAthy Etchingham: the late great Jimi Hendrix's widow. Through a fellow journalist from her home town, Etchingham refused to do any form of interview, unless it was with Jilly.

But Jilly's finest hour, although slightly macarbe, came after Etchingham's love rival Monika Danneman was found dead, after apparently topping herself. Jilly was the only journo to gain an interview with Etchingham, and gained a front page splash on all of The Daily Express' papers.

However, as a self confessed "country girl at heart", the appeal of the city seemed to be wearing off. The draw to open spaces and greenery was too much, and a post at UCF seemed like a fine option.

As Head of Communications, Jilly's job can be broken into five parts: responsibility for Media Relations; edit staff bulletin; represent college on committees/communitee relations; edit the UCF prospectus and oversee the publishing of the website.

Jilly is currently studying for a post-grad in Public Relations. She best sums up her career to date as having "lots of suprises along the way". But who's to say where she go next, and what other suprises will creep up on her.

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