Helen

Media/Crisis Media

Helen is a senior consultant with Aziz Corporate specialising in media handling, crisis communication skills and planning, corporate videos and broadcast PR.

She started her career as a newspaper reporter before switching to TV where she spent 14 years producing and directing programmes such as “Watchdog” and “Panorama”.

Commercial Experience

Since 2003 Helen has been running media training courses, broadcast PR campaigns and producing corporate and training videos. Her skills lie in maximising positive publicity through extensive knowledge of the media industry as well as coaching people as the sharp end of media encounters.

Once trained, Helen is often able to promote her clients into the media as industry spokespeople and gurus.

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Breadth of Experience

Clients include Novartis, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), Audit Commission, Arts’ Council England, Expedia, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Capita, University of Southampton, Healing Foundation and the Lord Mayor’s Appeal.

Style / Approach

In consultation with the client, Helen ensures each session is geared to the specific needs, experience and ability ranges of the group. Helen prepares very detailed question areas for each delegate to ensure the questioning is entirely relevant and topical.

Specialist Areas

Helen’s specialist areas include:

  • Media Handling
  • Crisis media management
  • PR training
  • PR support – strategic planning for campaigns and day-to-day support
  • Videos producer & director – corporate and training videos (including drama) as well as video news releases.

Sector specialisms include:

  • Medicine and Health
  • Science
  • Consumer Affairs
  • Leisure industries
  • Law

Qualifications / Accreditations

  • BA (Hons) History – University of York
  • Post-graduate diploma in Journalism Studies at University College Cardiff
  • Training the Trainers

Examples of Work

Regular media training for senior managers and department heads at the health regulator – The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA):
Need: To build a team of experts across all specialities proactive in promoting stories on public health. The difficulty facing the MHRA’s press team was a reluctance or even refusal by key managers to lay themselves open to media scrutiny.

Outcome: Senior managers within the agency gained confidence in their ability to deal with journalists and became skilled in presenting their messages to the media audience. Instead of looking for ways to avoid media encounters, they became keen to embrace the challenge but at the same time understand the preparation involved in an interview.
Media training for the senior management teams and leading academics at various UK universities:
Need: At a time when the universities face unprecedented media scrutiny, senior member need to be confident in their messages under pressure and ensure they are able to promote the benefits of their universities in a way that resonates with prospective students. Many academics were not used to the direct and simple messaging required for a media audience.

Outcome: Each group agreed with the set of messages to be prioritised across interviews and leant to speak appropriately to different media audiences. The performance element of their interviews was greatly improved during training.
PR strategy, media training, press release training and PR support of national UK charity:
Need: Despite obtaining many prestigious awards, the charity felt overlooked in the media but did not know how to kick-start the process of greater public recognition.
Outcome: After media training, and an agreeing a PR strategy, Helen worked with the team to formulate and issue press releases. Within days the interest “exceeded all expectations.”
As well as local newspaper coverage, the Chief Executive was on air for 25 minutes on local radio followed by a second interview the next day.
In the following months, the team has been interviewed on five different radio stations as well as for local TV with airtime totaling more than 50 minutes.
Clips from Helen’s video portfolio can be emailed on request.

Testimonials

“For me the biggest benefit has been a sea-change in the way our senior
managers approach the media. Instead of looking for ways to avoid media encounters, they are keen to embrace the challenge but at the same time understand the preparation involved in an interview. I now have a growing team of senior managers that I can trust to put out there.”
Stephen Hallworth, Head of Media Relation, The Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency
“Aziz Corporate brings professionalism, a highly regarded business approach and a human face to communication skills training which we are already finding invaluable.” Brendan Eley, Chief Executive, The Healing Foundation
“Probably the best training course I have ever been on,” Kat Turner, Lawyer, Colemans CTTS

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