What is your role?
I'm the PR manager at Age UK, heading five senior media officers. We promote the work of the charity, including its charitable services, research, fundraising events, corporate partnerships, specially tailored products and more than 440 charity shops. We devise and deliver stories that capture the interest of a range of traditional and new media.
What campaigns are you currently working on?
Winter can be a harrowing time of year for older people, with too many finding themselves alone and unable to get out and about, heating bills soaring and health problems setting in. We know that 200 older people die every day in winter because of the effects of the cold, so Age UK has launched its third annual Spread The Warmth campaign. This brings together expertise from across the charity to help raise funds and alleviate suffering. We are calling on everyone to get involved by donating winter coats to our shops, finding out about the practical information we offer on keeping warm and well, or helping us to fundraise.
How easy is it to get coverage for your cause?
Ageing affects us all - one in five of us in this country will reach our 100th birthday. Sadly, too many older people face challenges that can affect their health and quality of life. We try to make ageing issues relevant to a range of audiences, reaching older people and their families, friends and carers, as well as other supporters.
What advice would you give would-be comms professionals?
Be brave and focus - creative thinking and getting to know your subject are invaluable.
What changes to communications do you see in the future?
The volume and type of communications channels available are changing all the time. Being flexible and having a thirst to learn is crucial, but remembering the basic principles of what makes a good story should never be underestimated.