Interview: Richard Harrington

The communications manager at the Marine Conservation Society talks to Gemma Quainton about working to build public awareness of marine issues

Richard Harrington
Richard Harrington

- What's your role?

It's essentially a PR role, looking to build a profile and reputation for the charity. Our subject area can be seen as a little academic sometimes. But our collaboration with Channel 4's Hugh's Fish Fight, our work cleaning beaches with Marks & Spencer, and the constant media interest in our sightings of turtles, jellyfish and sharks show there is a growing interest in the sea and broad support for a better marine environment. My team's challenge is to keep this uppermost in public minds while we try to secure an improving future for our seas.

- What are you working on?

We're campaigning to get a network of marine-protected areas around the UK's coastline. Having been instrumental in getting laws enacted to achieve this, we'll be focusing on Scottish seas over the summer. We're also developing a network of volunteer 'sea champions' around the country. We'll be continuing to highlight the state of the nation's beaches and promoting the message that consumers can buy sustainable seafood too.

- What is your background?

I'm a marine biologist by training and worked on an island nature reserve. I've always been as much a communicator as a researcher, and I've found that there can be such a thing as a communicative scientist.

- What traits do you think are important in comms?

An ability to see two sides of every argument and take the view that every challenge is an opportunity; good planning, with room for spontaneity; willingness to try something creative; but, overall, a commitment to the cause is essential.

- What advice would you give someone wanting to work in charity comms?

Support and interact with any charity you might wish to represent in the future - it is public perception that will matter to you when you enter the role.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in
RSS Feed

Third Sector Insight

Sponsored webcasts, surveys and expert reports from Third Sector partners

Third Sector Logo

Get our bulletins. Read more articles. Join a growing community of Third Sector professionals

Register now