Adrian Thomas, head of media and public relations, British Red Cross

The British Red Cross should be better known for the work it does in the UK, he tells Kate Youde

Adrian Thomas
Adrian Thomas

- What do you like about working in media and public relations?

Put very simply - and at the risk of sounding naive or glib - it's an opportunity to contribute a small amount to making the world a better place. This could be actively persuading people to take a different point of view, inspiring them to give up their time and energy to help others or, more straightforwardly, providing them with information they would not otherwise have received from reading the news.

- What advice would you give to people starting out in charity PR?

You should always have a clear sense of what you're trying to achieve in the job and understand what it is the organisation itself wants you to support - whether that's policy positioning, services promotion, fundraising or all of the above.

- What was your vision when you joined British Red Cross?

I think it's a foolish - or foolhardy - person who has a vision for any job before they've fully understood the context in which they are working. I am keen that we are better known for the great work we do here in the UK. We are also developing our advocacy agenda.

- What campaigns are you currently working on?

We've been working on projects relating to the first anniversary of the Haiti earthquake, reporting on the progress made and the role of the British Red Cross in that since the earthquake happened in January last year. We are also marking six months since the Pakistan floods. One of our current areas of focus in the UK is our advocacy programme for destitute asylum seekers.

- What is the biggest challenge facing charity PR?

You hear the words 'scrutiny' and 'accountability' far more these days than you did 10 years ago. This means that we have to be even better at communicating both our achievements and the standards by which we operate.

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