Hello, I'm Charles Rhodes. I deliver media and presentation training to leading international brands, corporations, public sector providers and regulators in Government, the arts, and the National Health Service. Welcome to my website. You can find out more about me and my 20 year career at the BBC here

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Strategic counsel and communications advice

Poacher turned gamekeeper

Since my days as a news reporter, I’ve turned my journalistic experience on its head to help clients achieve their objectives. CEOs, politicians, and directors regularly seek my counsel and advice about how to communicate challenging messages in hostile environments; whether it’s making sensitive announcements, handling difficult negotiations, trying to reach target audiences, or stand out from the crowd.

Messaging

I have considerable experience drilling down to the key issues and challenges facing my clients, across both the private and public sectors and then helping them communicate effective messages. Working with executives facing a number of challenges, either over a period of time, or in a single session, to help them achieve their objectives, I frequently advise clients how to explain why they exist, what they want to achieve, and how they will get there, in terms their key audiences and stakeholders will understand. This often leads to preparing organisation-wide messaging and campaigns designed to achieve specific goals.

Challenging environment

As media and communications consultant to the South East County Leaders, I devised and implemented a series of campaigns to influence policy-makers and opinion-formers, as the group of councils in southern England sought to influence Government policy. This included building trust and agreeing a way forward with a diverse group of interests, creating strong relationships with key leaders, building good relationships with journalists and media platforms, and other stakeholders and opinion formers. This led to consistent media coverage, including a Financial Times front page, Daily Mail double page spread, and regular appearances on the Today programme, broadcast and regional media in support of the group’s viewpoint. The result was access to key policymakers in Whitehall, new partnerships with key stakeholders, and audiences with national politicians on a series of contentious issues from house-building, public sector reform and finance to localism.

Strategic counsel

One organisation, I worked with became the target of an orchestrated campaign by MPs, the local media, and a national newspaper investigation. To prepare an effective communications strategy and agree rapid and relevant responses to media allegations and court decisions, I quickly established a strong rapport with senior executives and their financial and legal advisers. Working with a college as it was being prosecuted for negligence, following the death of a student, meant I had to build trust quickly with senior staff to provide effective counsel. My sensitivity, credibility and experience mean I am able to establish robust relationships with clients and challenge them. I persuaded senior managers in a multinational corporation that they needed to be more open about how many people they were planning to make redundant, as they prepared to make a public announcement.

Communications advice

I have devised communications strategies, drafted news releases, sold in news stories and features to editors and journalists, and engaged reporters and editors in discussions about the issues and viewpoints I have promoted on behalf of several clients.