Eve has recently been making use of workshops organised by FEU Training to build her skills and talks about her experience.
Can you tell us a bit about your career to date?
I have had an extensive career in broadcasting starting in the independent sector with LBC/IRN and Sky News before spending 20 years on radio and television as a producer/reporter for BBC news, BBC Westminster and BBC Business as well as producing and delivering documentaries.
These days I am using my journalistic skills and knowledge to further causes I am passionate about in my roles as President of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland (RIBI) for 2016-17, Vice-Chairman of Rotary International’s End Polio Now: Countdown to History Campaign Committee, Director of the Rotarian Action Group for Endangered Species and in setting up the media sector of The Circle, an organisation founded by Annie Lennox to tap into the potential of women around the world to overcome poverty and make change happen.
As President of RIBI, I launched and have helped drive the Purple4Polio campaign to End Polio Now and achieve Rotary’s goal of a polio-free world. We’re making a huge amount of progress – cases have been reduced by 99.99 per cent from around 1,000 cases a day in 125 countries in 1985 when Rotary started the campaign to eradicate polio to just 33 cases of wild poliovirus in 2018!
Another project I am very proud of was the creation of the Rotary Young Citizen Awards in 2007, which highlights and rewards the great things some of our young people are doing.
To support these projects, I have produced promotional films and documentaries, been involved in negotiating partnerships with other organisations such as The Royal Horticultural Society and Typhoo Tea and run successful promotional campaigns.
What do you like most about your work?
Through documentaries I am able to give a voice to people who would otherwise not have one. It’s an opportunity to get things changed and I love that. A BBC documentary I produced helped change attitudes in Pakistan to breast cancer there. I really feel that the work I am doing now, especially through Rotary, is saving lives. The power of journalism allows me to use my skills and knowledge to really contribute something positive in an area I am passionate about.
What are the biggest challenges of maintaining a freelance career?
The biggest challenges for freelance journalists is keeping up to date, not just with what is happening, which is essential in the news sector, but also with technology, maintaining contacts and social media. Another huge challenge is that rates have either remained the same or have dropped.
Have you added new skills to your portfolio over time?
My main area of learning new skills has been broadcasting technology and, of course, social media. I advise RIBI on this, so I need to keep on top of it all.
What is the biggest challenge of learning the skills that you need?
The biggest challenges are the time and cost.
What FEU Training courses have you attended?
• Run a Successful Social Media Campaign
• Social Media for Work
• Driving Traffic to your Website
• Mobile Video Kickstarter
• Run a Successful Social Media Campaign e-course.
What are the most important things that you’ve learned and how has it helped in your work?
I have learned how to do things on social media, which has really built on what I’m doing already. It’s good to understand the importance of strong landing pages when you are driving traffic to a website. I have used much of what I have learned from FEU Training in my capacity as advisor to RIBI. FEU Training has great tutors and has been a real find. I first came across it through the NUJ and quickly realised it was something I should get involved with.
As a result of the workshops I have attended, I definitely use social media more effectively and with greater impact. I think more about whom I am trying to reach and what will get me more re-tweets. I also now think differently about how to make websites more attractive to people. My next project is going to be creating a video using my phone.
What has encouraged you to attend FEU training sessions?
FEU Training provides a very friendly atmosphere and great networking opportunities. It is good to meet all the different people who attend - all of us trying to improve ourselves. Courses like these are not offered elsewhere, at least not free. You know you’ll get good professional tutors and that it will be a day well spent. People should really take advantage while they can.
Do you know any other organisation that offers business skills courses for creative?