I signed confidentiality agreements with most of the companies I have worked with but I can tell you that they have included, among others, the Royal Mail/Post Office, a global insurance firm, a global healthcare firm, a UK bank, a City-based PR consultancy, a leading trade body, a pensions company, a Pakistani NGO, and a major American PR firm.
I offer both generic media training and specific training tailored to clients’ specific needs. The training varies depending on what format the client prefers and the size of the group. Powerpoint presentations are popular, as are mock interviews and mock press conferences. Sometimes these can be recorded and played back to the client with my critique. I find mock interviews and post-interview evaluations to be very useful. But practical sessions aren’t for everyone and can be difficult with a large group. In this case, a presentation might be more suitable followed by a Q&A session. I also bring in other media professionals, including national newspaper and broadcast journalists, if the need arises.
To give you a flavour of some of my courses, titles include:
- The Media Landscape: Past, Present and Future
- The Media is Changing and You Have To Change With It
- Engaging with the Media
- How to talk to the Media – print, online, broadcast, bloggers
- What Do Journalists Want?
- Building Media Credibility
- How to Develop Your Message
- Opinion Writing – How to get onto the Op-ed pages
- Guidance on Writing Commentaries and Letters to the Editor
- Can I Sell Your Message?
- Media Relations: The Journalist’s Perspective
- How to Write an Effective Press Release
If necessary, I split the training into print media, online media and broadcast media.
I also provide help with media strategy (e.g. looking at Forward Planning). This includes writing/examining media proposals, press releases and placed articles. Some clients have found one-to-one sessions to be useful. For example, working with a junior/inexperienced member of staff on writing a press release from scratch.
As a practising journalist, my media training is as up to date as it gets. I write for a wide range of publications, including The Guardian, The Times and The Mail on Sunday and I also work as a freelance producer and presenter for BBC 5 live and BBC local radio. I am the editor and founder of popular arts website, Northern Soul. But you will also see my work in The Big Issue in the North, the Yorkshire Post, Headline Money and the British Theatre Guide. My background includes personal finance, business, politics, consumer affairs, transport, general news reporting (crime etc), editing, culture and the arts. I also carry out corporate writing.
I am very flexible on work patterns and am able to undertake work at short notice and complete it within tight deadlines. I am also interested in hearing pitches for stories.