Focus: Communications - Three minutes with... Robert Music, National Endometriosis Society

What is the bursary you won?

We were one of three charities that won a bursary from the PR firm Weber Shandwick to give us 14 days of free media advice over a year. We used to pay for a communications person to work for us two days a month, but in the end we had to stop that because we couldn't afford it.

Is the public aware of endometriosis?

Sadly, awareness is not very good at all. A recent Mori poll found that although the condition,involving abnormal cell growth, is experienced by two million women in the UK, only 20 per cent of those questioned had heard of it. This compares with 30 per cent who had heard of sickle disease, which affects only 6,000 people.

On average, it takes eight years for a woman to be diagnosed, and 65 per cent get misdiagnosed. Those who have it take about 53 days a year off sick because they are in so much pain.

How has the bursary helped?

We had wanted to put on some kind of event to attract corporate support, but Weber Shandwick was amazed at the scale of the problem and felt we should take things further and modernise our brand. Even though our year's bursary has come to an end, we have built up a good relationship and hope to remain in contact. Weber Shandwick has helped us to focus our work, and winning has helped to give us credibility.

When will the rebrand take place?

The Endometriosis SHE Trust is another charity working in the same area.

Our trustees feel there probably isn't a need for two, so we are in the process of discussing a merger. It makes sense to announce our new name and logo once all of that has been resolved - it's important that it doesn't seem like a takeover.

Any charity without a dedicated full-time member of staff in a communications role, and an annual turnover of less than £2m, can apply for a 2006 bursary. Call the Media Trust on 020 7874 7610.

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