Ever since she was young, Chloe Pizzey knew that she wanted to work in football. Her mum was a professional footballer in Italy, and since the rest of the family were also “football mad”, it seemed like a natural progression.
Opting for a fusion of journalism and sport, she studied a journalism degree at the University of Kent, graduating in 2018. But she had already been applying for jobs, and a week before she graduated she’d snagged a job at the football club she’d supported her whole life.
Now working for Charlton Athletic Community Trust, the club’s charitable arm which runs a range of programmes for the local area, we caught up with Chloe to chat about sport media, the difference between journalism and PR, and the importance of enthusiasm.
My day usually starts at…
Seven o’clock. Typically, I take a while to wake up in the morning, so it gives me time to wake up properly. I leave for work at eight o’clock and get into the office at about half eight and check my emails. The first thing I do on a Monday is make sure all our social media followers are up to date.
Then it varies from day to day. Typically, I guess I’m in the office, I’ll be writing a story. We write at least one story a week to go into a local newspaper.
A journalism degree can lead to many things – including working for the football club you’ve always supported growing up ⚽️
— Journo Resources (@journoresources) October 23, 2019
I’ll be scheduling social media for the rest of the week or the weekend, having a catch up with one of my team members about what we’ve got coming up, what we’re doing currently, looking at any bits of artwork, if we’ve got any videos coming up, and that’s basically my typical day.
Or I can be out and about at a school, covering an event that we’re doing or I’ll be at The Valley (Charlton Athletic’s main home) helping out – sometimes we give tours to the participants in our programmes. So yeah, it completely varies between when different strands call me and want me.
I also work with the women’s team on their media…
For the women’s team I run their social media account. Three of us use it, so three of us that will put content out. I interview new signings, I interview the manager, I create videos for them – various things. And on a match day I do all the pre-match social media and content. I live tweet games occasionally, so that’s a varied role as well.
What I found incredibly about my degree at the University of Kent was the video skills. They taught us how to edit on Final Cut Pro, and loads of different features, which is really useful for me as I help edit videos for the women’s team.
Want to hear more about someone else’s work life? Why not take a look at our video interview and feature with Mina Joshaghani, a broadcast journalist at BBC World Service and BBC Persian – just one year after graduating.
The thing that surprises me most about my job is…
When I finished studying my journalism course, the perception I had of a press officer role was a lot more PR, but I’ve actually found it is a lot of journalism as well. And because we’re interviewing participants, interviewing stakeholders, a lot of it is journalism. We’re writing stories for the local press, so yeah, that surprised me a lot.
It’s quite different from what people said to what it actually is. My advice to graduates would be: don’t just look for one type of job. Look for a range because you never know what’s going to come up.
I always wanted to be…
I never really knew what I wanted to be, but I always loved football. So I knew that I always wanted to be involved in football in some respects.
But I never had that moment like, “Oh, I’m going to be a police officer” – I never had a set aim. I just kind of got more interested in journalism, so I went down that avenue.
I got the job because…
I was enthusiastic. I knew a lot about the trust and the club, which helped.
I’d previously been involved with Charlton Athletic Women, I’m a Charlton fan. So, you know, I have a lot of knowledge about the club
And I’m quite a driven person. So I do have targets that I set and wants to achieve. I think they saw that and thought I’d be a good addition to the team.
If someone wanted to follow in my footsteps…
My advice to people who want to get involved in sports media would be to do what you want to do, because you’ll eventually find something you really enjoy. Just follow what you want and you will get there.
— Chloe Pizzey (@chloepizzey_) May 17, 2019
The thing I’m most proud of so far is…
I’m actually most proud of getting here. I was still at uni when I applied for the job – and then I got it literally a week before I graduated.
I did work experience here before a job position came available, so I was just so happy to have got the job. I knew when I was coming out of uni that I would be in full time work.
And I’ve developed a lot over the past year. I’m now helping to run the case studies that we do and we’ve got a new page on the website where we promote our success stories. I’m really proud of how far I’ve developed and I hope I can continue to do that.
After work I…
On a Tuesday I’m likely to go to training with Charlton Athletic Women to either catch up with the other staff, or do interviews or film something.
If I’m not doing that, then after work some of us play tennis some days, for an hour or two. But if I’m not doing anything, then I’ll just go home and relax.
This piece was produced in partnership with the Centre for Journalism at the University of Kent. The Centre for Journalism offers NCTJ Accredited Undergraduate and Postgraduate Journalism degrees, with a range of scholarships available.