21 May 2013

I often wonder why certain professions get a “bad press”. Journalists usually lead the way on this and recent allegations of hacking and other bad practice don’t help that perception. Estate agents are often criticised too, as are lawyers.

So here’s where I stand up for the legal profession. As a crime reporter for many years, I came across countless solicitors and barristers and found every one to be professional and dogged about their work.

Yesterday I carried out some media training for a small group of corporate lawyers working for DWF – a dynamic, growing law firm with offices across the country.

What did I encounter? Exactly what I expected.

Lovely, bright, clever, funny, hard working people who wanted some advice on how to make the law accessible and understandable to you and me. These people know their field inside out and back to front. They are highly educated and spend every day dealing at a high level with judges and other lawyers.

They mission yesterday was how to make the law make sense to ordinary people – teachers, builders, cabbies, doctors, cleaners and carers…..

We all have a right to understand the laws that govern the organisations we deal with and the rules which affect us. Whether that be the banks, the transport industry, data protection or health and safety, it’s only right that someone who knows all about it has the ability to explain it to us. That is what the lawyers at DWF know only too well. Working with them was a pleasure.

19 April 2013

An entire city has been locked down so that police can find the men suspected of bombing the Boston Marathon earlier this week. I have spent a lot of time today glued – not only to BBC Radio 5live, which covers breaking news better than anyone else - but also to social media, for updates on this appalling situation. The eye-witness reports from people tweeting live from their bedrooms in Boston as they watched one of the suspects killed by gunfire, made me stop in my tracks. They also told the world about hand grenades being thrown at police during the stand-off, and another man who hid in the cupboard shaking during the shoot-out found a bullet hole in the chair in which he had been sitting. Some of the terrified residents hid inside their closets terrified, others took pictures and filmed what was happening on their phones so they could tell the world. The way we now report and receive news has changed beyond all recognition!


Whatever your story, or initiative everyone has a voice thanks to the amazing power of social media. It’s another way to convey your message to a massive audience. Knowing how to use it well is vital for any organisation.

18 April 2013

I spent yesterday doing some training with amazing doctors. They were wonderful talkers, experts in looking after their patients, and completely committed to making the new Clinical Commissioning Groups they are now part of, work well. We spent a few hours putting them through their paces in TV and radio interviews. It was great fun. They learned so much and embraced everything the fantastic trainers had to say. A great day media training with people who understand how important it is to be able to convey their message well.

Now I'm off to the University of Salford at MediaCityUK to spend the afternoon with some wonderful undergraduates on their assessed radio newsday. They’re going live at 3pm!


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