CV

EILEEN WISE Director of Corporate Communications, National Magazines

I left school in the mid-Seventies, after O-levels, with little idea what I wanted to do. I'd heard of something called PR, which sounded interesting, but I didn't really know what it was about.

My first job was as a temporary secretary in a small PR consultancy in London, whose major client was a beer company. I had to type a report about a new lager they were launching, but I typed lager as "larger" all the way through it, and a permanent job didn't happen. After temping around a bit more, I went into Selfridges as a PA to its publicity director. When one of the press officers left, I got my boss to give me a trial in the job, and ended up working there for a couple of years.

I was then offered a job by a company called Tube Investments, which made household goods, but I didn't find consumer PR very interesting. But I moved on to a job with Walt Disney, as chief press officer, which was one of the best periods of my career. It taught me a lot about how the media behave; when we hired actors to dress up and tour round as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to promote a re-release of the film, I got a call from The Sun to say our Snow White had done a Men Only spread.

After about five years there I decided I wanted a change of scene, and was promised a job in New York with a new film company. But as soon as I moved out there the job fell through, and because New York was such a difficult place to find work, I decided to call people I knew on Fleet Street to ask if I could do stories for columns. I began by feeding into things like "Bizarre" on The Sun, and doing things for various newspapers when their New York correspondents weren't available. When I'd been in New York for a while, I was offered work at an entertainment PR company, and I also worked for a terrible American tabloid called The Star, which was an enlightening experience but not one I'd like to repeat.

After two years there I was quite homesick, and in 1985 I came back to London to do PR for a cable movie channel called The Entertainment Network. Unfortunately that folded after a few months, so I went back into journalism, freelancing for the Mail, The Express, the Evening Standard and Media Week. I also spent a year as an investigative reporter for the Sunday People, exposing fraudulent timeshare operations and infiltrating an anarchist group called Class War.

Apart from a six-month stint at Anglia Television as a drama press officer, I carried on in journalism, working at Today as the deputy diary editor and for Hello! as it launched. But in 1990 I was offered the chance to work as press officer to Robert Maxwell for four months, during the launch of The European - which I felt couldn't be missed. It was exciting, launching a new paper, and at the end I felt gratified, having got Maxwell interviewed in every major newspaper, even though journalists didn't like him.

After that I worked for Hello! again as a freelance, before going to Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group as public relations manager. But then I decided I wanted to make television programmes. It took me quite a long time to get in, but eventually I was offered a job as a researcher on Surprise Surprise. After that I went to work for the BBC on its Inside Story documentaries, and later for LWT on Crime Monthly.

During my time in TV I became very interested in politics, and went to party conferences for about three years running. I learnt a lot, and made some contacts, one of whom was Charles Lewington, political editor of the Sunday Express. When he later became the Conservatives' director of communications, he offered me a job as head of news at Conservative Central Office, and I started in March 1996. The six weeks of the election campaign were both the most gruelling and exciting of my entire life. But one of my jobs was serving as Norma Major's press officer, and working with her I was able to get away from the fray of everyday politics.

But, at Christmas, Terry Mansfield, the managing director of National Magazines, asked me if I would be interested in running his PR operation. He was prepared to wait until I was free to join, and I left Conservative Central Office a few days after the election. I begin at National Magazines this week, and it's going to be wonderful to be able to promote such good titles as Cosmo, Esquire and Harpers & Queen.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
From Mean Girls to Mamet: Lindsay Lohan
theatre
Sport
Nathaniel Clyne (No 2) drives home his side's second goal past Arsenal’s David Ospina at the Emirates
footballArsenal 1 Southampton 2: Arsène Wenger pays the price for picking reserve side in Capital One Cup
News
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
peopleFormer boxer 'watched over' crash victim until ambulance arrived
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
i100
Travel
travelGallery And yes, it is indoors
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Tiger Who Came To Tea
booksJudith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Account Executive/Sales Consultant – Permanent – Hertfordshire - £16-£20k

£16500 - £20000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

IT Application Support Engineer - Immediate Start

£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...

Senior Management Accountant

£40000 - £46000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: Global publishing and digital bu...

Semi Senior Accountant - Music

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: A successful, Central London bas...

Day In a Page

Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

My George!

Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world