Charity and Voluntary Sector Case Study

Independent Search and Rescue Team

Effective communication training

The Charitable and Voluntary Sector must meet the varied demands of their team of volunteers, benefactors and their wider public audience. Communicating their vision, messages and role effectively is of paramount importance to retain financial and public support. Good communication and media handling enhances reputations, rewards effort and is essential in today’s world.

The client’s challenge

As an independent search and rescue team, the client is aware of the high profile and unique challenges it faces in both routine communication and in handling its response to emergency incidents. Staffed wholly by voluntary personnel, it is important that they are confident in communicating with stakeholders and the media. It was vital that their newly established media team gained appropriate and effective support and training.

Services provided

The objective of the training was to share good practice and deliver an overview of the media landscape. A flexible, two-strand approach was delivered to meet the organisation’s staffing demands.

Firstly, an online interactive session covering:

  • The role of the press officer
  • Press release writing
  • What the press and media want
  • How the press and media work
  • Social media tips and trips

Second session – for a small group face to face, in a classroom-type setting, covering digital and broadcast as well as the considerations and skills. This is a practical session giving delegates the chance to hone their interview skills and gain an understanding of the pressures interviewees might face, and an awareness of the methods and strategies that can be used to create a win-win scenario.

Including – making the most of a media opportunity through:

  • Coordination of interviews
  • Preparation of spokespeople
  • Tips and trips
  • The interview and landing the message


  • The new media team received timely, bespoke training
  • Staff and volunteers were upskilled in how to harness their enthusiasm and match that with successful communication outcomes around the actions of the rescue boat/crew and the needs of the media
  • The charity reinforced its objective to communicate effectively with the media and external stakeholders, to protect and enhance the organisation’s reputation and secure public support