Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Strange Fruit consults

I have worked in the civil service since I left school in 1987. I worked in various teams (better regulation, building facilities, health and safety legislation and construction) across the Health and Safety Executive until one day I had to run an errand to the press office. It was buzzing, the TV was on, there was a lot and noise and a lot of paper.  

I asked the Chief Press Officer if I could come and work with her for a couple of weeks, she agreed and I never looked back. Once I understood the importance of well managed co-ordinated and targeted communications I knew I needed to get a formal qualification if I wanted to build public relations based career.  Off I went to Birkbeck University to study for my degree in Media and Business, I did this part time around my new press office job, being a mum and working weekends in a pub to pay my tuition fees. 

Since my first press office job I have worked across many government communications portfolios including construction safety, asbestos awareness, working at heights, restorative justice, community engagement in policing, insolvency, fraudulent company directors and scammers, personal debt, inward and outward investment, entrepreneurs and business success. My work consistently achieves national print and broadcast coverage and where relevant, international coverage.

Working in government communications has always brought variety; I have worked with Ministers of all levels as well as high profile business people like Theo Paphitis, Kelly Hoppen, Tamara Mellon and Ian Wright. In my freelance work I have promoted independent films, nightclubs, books, plays, CDs and business people. My written work has been published in most national papers and I have written for several glossy magazines too.

What I know is that regardless of the topic all PR needs proper planning and realistic expectations. What's more with a bit of knowledge you can achieve a lot of media coverage yourself without the expense of taking on a PR firm. I can help you with that. I can also help you select the right PR firm to work with so you maximise your PR spend.

I'm honoured people feel inspired by my successes in starting Strange Fruit and building a career in communications. I started Strange Fruit literally on a shoe-string; I sold two pairs of designer shoes to pay for my first print run. I still have lots to learn and am taking the Doug Richards School for Creative Start Ups program but it seems my experience so far is useful to others as I get requests daily for advice. 

I am always happy to give feedback where I can, however in doing so I am not spending time on my own projects or with my family. To balance this I charge a small fee (£20.00 ph) as I believe you value something much more when you pay for it.

How it works.  If you would like to get my input into your project let's have a 15 minute chat. If I can help we will agree a time-frame for delivery. I will invoice you and set up your account. We will then set up a series of phone calls or face to face meetings to work on your project. Each meeting will be followed up with a summary email from me.  

To get in touch email me at denise@ilovestrangefruit.com