The Spokesperson Network is a programme run to substantially boost the number of progressive, diverse voices in the mainstream media. It has been designed to overcome the lack of coverage of key issues in the media. It provides training, coaching and PR booking support for people working on a range of issues, from migration rights to climate change, inequality to public health. So far we’ve had over 1000 high-profile media bookings, including Question Time, Newsnight, Good Morning Britain, LBC, Channel 4 News, BBC 5 Live, Today, Sky News and ITV News.
The programme consists of:
- Two days of training where we will cover everything from messaging and storytelling to interview preparation and non-verbal communication. Participants will practice a series of different interview formats in front of a camera with framing experts, producers and journalists.
- Monthly follow-on trainings which can range from interview practice at a BBC studio, to networking events with journalists and peer-review sessions.
- Following training, members of the network will then be promoted to media outlets by our communications team who offer expert advice to boost applicant profiles.
We also have a Regional Spokesperson Network based in Birmingham, to train and support progressive and diverse voices in regional media throughout the Midlands and the North West.
Who is it for?
We’re looking for people who have something to say on an issue that the media is likely to pick up – we’ll work with you on the rest. It doesn’t matter if you’ve not done media before or not – this programme will provide the tailored coaching and bookings you need to get to the next level.
Booking our spokespeople
We offer a 24/7 booking line for journalists and can help place a wide range of spokespeople for your needs. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 07926 222 879.
I’m worried I’m not qualified enough or that my subject area isn’t right?
Give Kevin a call on +44 (0)20 7749 1108. We’d love to chat about your situation – we’ve found that those most nervous of applying have been some of the best participants!
Does my subject area match your interest?
We’re looking for people who can speak about social, economic or political justice (e.g. migration, inequality, banking, health care, education) and with direct experience of issues at hand i.e. teachers, nurses or experts on subjects i.e. economists, activists campaigning on issues etc. So, in other words: fairly broad areas.
The issues that NEON is mainly focussing on at the moment are the NHS, climate justice, housing, the hostile environment, the rise of the far right and precarious work. So we’d love to hear from folks who are engaged with those issues, but don’t let it put you off if you fall outside of those categories. We can only train up and pitch people on the basis of the issues and themes they are working on and the groups they are working with. We can’t do it on the basis of affiliation to political parties. And if in doubt give us a ring and we chat about it.
How much does it cost to take part?
We ask participants to pay a proportion of that cost depending on the ability of you and/or your organisation to pay. Full scholarships are also available for those who otherwise would not be able to attend. These fees contribute towards the costs of delivering 24/7 booking support for the year, regular follow up trainings and the initial high intensity two day intro session. They do not cover our full costs of providing the programme. Below are the suggested contributions, related to organisational income:
Grassroots/Unpaid Organiser: Free (scholarship place)
Small Org (annual budget circa £100k): £400
Medium Org (annual budget circa £500k): £900
Large Org (annual budget circa £2m+): £2000
I already do a lot of media work – should I do this?
Yes. Three reasons: 1) Even established performers will get a lot from the training process (as witnessed by the improvement of seasoned media performers after the training) 2) You’ll be booked through the service, boosting your profile 3) Most importantly the network will put you at the heart of a community helping to hone your messaging, breadth of issues and connections to others.
How will you book members of the network?
We keep our eyes on the news agenda, then like most large organisations we’ll offer up members of the network for comment (based on your availability). We also book you based on upcoming events or opportunities that your work or activism offers.
Can you support my travel and accommodation needs?
Let us know your requirements alongside the application form and we will do all that we can to help.