Porter Novelli and Media Trust announce Charity Voice winner

Lynne Elliot Charity Voice 2013

Lynne Elliot, Chief Executive of The Vegetarian Society has been named winner of ‘Charity Voice 2013’ by a judging panel of journalists and communication experts. The award, now in its second year, highlights the importance of good communication skills for spokespeople in charities and the public sector and provides useful techniques for breaking in to the media.

Nominees were selected from delegates attending Media Trust’s spokesperson training sessions during the past year, run by Porter Novelli and designed to help charities build a positive media profile for their campaigns by effectively communicating their messages and finding opportunities to get noticed. Charities have an important role to play in today’s media landscape, and the training encourages organisations to stand out and speak up on current topics in their areas of knowledge.

The judging panel for the award were impressed by Lynne’s measured and authoritative interview around the recent horsemeat scandal. Lynne will receive a profile on the Guardian Voluntary Sector Network and a free media training session by Porter Novelli for six people from The Vegetarian Society as a prize.

The judging panel included David Mills (Editor of Guardian Voluntary Sector Network), Stephen Cook (Editor of Third Sector) and Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith (PRWeek Reporter). Representatives from Porter Novelli and Media Trust also took part in the judging panel.

One other shortlisted candidate, Una Moran, Director of Fundraising and Communications at St Luke’s Hospice in Sheffield, was also highly commended by the panel for her strong performance in the interviews and her ability to provide valuable insight into the work the hospice does for the local community.

Porter Novelli organizes ten media training sessions for Media Trust every year, planning, preparing and training spokespeople with a range of experiences from diverse organisations within the third sector. Over the past year, Porter Novelli has supported the Media Trust training with over 300 hours of pro bono support.

Lynne Elliot said: “I’m thrilled to have won Charity Voice 2013. The idea of representing the UK’s vegetarians in the media could have been daunting but the guidance and expertise gained on the course has already helped me dispel myths about vegetarianism and give vegetarians in the UK a collective voice.”

Neil Bayley, UK Corporate Practice Leader at Porter Novelli said: “Over the last year, we’ve trained 21 spokespeople from charities and voluntary groups. This brings the total number supported through our pro bono partnership with the Media Trust to over 220 in the past four years. Third sector organisations have a great opportunity to get positive profile for their campaigns by effectively contributing to media stories, so it’s great to see so much talent shortlisted.”

Gavin Sheppard, Marketing Director at Media Trust added: "We are delighted at Poter Novelli’s ongoing commitment to media training charities and this competition is a great testament to the brilliant results they achieve. Lynne is a worthy winner from a very strong shortlist."

To read a blog from Third Sector Editor Stephen Cook on the announcement of Lynne Elliot as the winner of Charity Voice 2013, and how a charity can "live or die by a soundbite", visit www.thirdsector.co.uk

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