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Helping people share their real-life stories with the media

PR Network

10 March 2020

Stories from real people resonate in the media, but pulling these stories together can be time-consuming and challenging. And there’s always the chance that your real-life story might back out of media coverage at any stage. But if you get it right, these stories can help raise your profile, increase awareness for your charity, and they might even impact your charity’s bottom line too.

In this session, we heard from charities both large and small who are helping people share their stories in the media – the triumphs and the challenges, the joys and the sorrows, and the missed opportunities too. We also talked about the sensitivities that you need to consider when sharing real-life stories with the media.


Crisis communications isn’t always about the negative – Nicola Swanborough, acting head of external affairs, Epilepsy Society

What defines us? The importance of authentic communicators, the misconception between perception and reality in real-life stories – Gary Mazin, stories library manager, RNIB

How Bowel Cancer UK maximise case studies during Bowel Cancer Awareness Month – Francesca Corbett, press manager, Bowel Cancer UK

Crisis at Christmas: Sharing real life stories at the point of support – Grace Stokes, senior media officer and George Olney, stories manager, Crisis

20 Voices for 2020: Using supporter-generated content to share personal stories – Roisin Treacy, media & communications officer, Fight for Sight


Article: The power of human stories: our top takeaways – Molly Clarke, CharityComms

Article: Working with storytellers: it’s never our story to tell, it’s theirs – Hayley Tomkinson, stories manager, Anthony Nolan

Article: Sensitively telling other people’s stories, and getting the most out of them – Kate Sanger, head of communications and public affairs and Amy Reddington, communications officer, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust

If you’d like to be one of the first to hear about these events, please contact our events team to be added to the mailing list.

About the PR Network

CharityComms’ PR Network is a group for professionals working in PR and media in UK charities and not-for-profits.

The PR Network gives you the chance to meet your peers, compare notes on workplace practices and share successes, ideas, challenges and inspiration. The network is designed to encourage networking and peer to peer support, sharing issues in a ‘safe’ environment.

The group meets three times a year to focus on a common challenge. The format of the meetings is one or two presentations on a specific topic, followed by small group discussions, providing a combination of best practice and peer-to-peer sharing.