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Aviation PR | Julie Jarratt - Communications Director - The Americas, Cathay Pacific

Find out what a role in aviation PR entails and what makes someone suited to a career in this sector

As Cathay Pacific's Communications Director for The Americas, Julie Jarratt wears a lot of hats as an aviation PR specialist. She's responsible for the internal and external communications for the region, as well as corporate social responsibility, community engagement, stakeholder management and crisis management, to name a few. In this episode of the podcast, Julie shares the types of projects you would manage within an aviation communications role, provides insight on how the Covid pandemic has impacted the aviation industry and her role, and outlines what experience is helpful to have to pursue a PR role within this sector. We also discuss some of the key differences you'll find working in PR between the USA, UK and Australia, examine why cultural fit is often more important than skill set when hiring and bond over the value of sending thank you notes to journalists.

Listen to the full episode on The PR Pod podcast for more about Aviation PR. You'll also find this episode on your fave podcast players, just search "The PR Pod".

Here is a summary of the other topics discussed in this podcast episode:

  • Why you need to take the transactional element out of building media relationships and focus on developing trust if you want career longevity

  • The challenges of joining a PR sector with no prior experience

  • The importance of never being too comfortable with a crisis communications plan, to ensure you're always on your toes and why you need to know what your lane is. The app Julie refers to within the episode is In Case Of Crisis.

  • The value of learning the context of how your contribution fits into the bigger picture, when you start a new job or enter a new sector


  • Be persistent. If you're truly motivated to work within any sector of PR, use your initiative to approach your goal from different perspectives. If there's no inhouse aviation roles available, find out which PR agencies work with the airlines and make it your goal to work there.

  • Volunteer. If the inhouse aviation communications team is short-staffed, they may appreciate having an extra hands to help them out as part of an internship.

  • Network. Find out who has the Communications/PR Manager or Director roles at the airlines, connect with them on LinkedIn and start to engage with them (appropriately). Like and comment on their updates and touch base with them to express your interest in working within that sector.

  • Broaden your experience. An inhouse role for an airline is likely to involve internal and external communications, Corporate Social Responsibility, thought leadership, stakeholder management and community engagement. Build up your experience in those areas so when an aviation role does become available, you've got a relevant, desirable skillset to accompany your winning personality....


  • Grit & tenacity. There will be plenty of elements of your role that will be challenging so having the ability to keep focused and problem solve your way through those situations is desirable.

  • Flexibility. Circumstances and goal posts change regularly. You need to be able to adapt your approach and your strategy at very short notice.

  • Attention to detail. Your effectiveness often is tied to you being able to manage your time and your tasks well. Keep track of the details, at all times, and don't let anything fall through the gap

If you would like to know more about other sectors of PR, you'll find more episodes here.


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