At Barrie Media we have decades of experience as top-notch journalists, filmmakers and trainers. We’re multilingual, international, and we’ve worked with some of the biggest names out there. What can we do for you?
So many brands now recognise the power of quality content to connect with the world. We’ve been crafting stories for award-winning programmes at the BBC – the world’s most famous broadcaster – for years. Now we use those skills to bring brand stories to life – to tell them for you, or help you tell your own.
We have contacts and collaborators across Europe, and we love working with non-English native speakers to make their English shine.
We’d love to help you too. If you’re ready to bring your brand to life, just get in touch.
Why produce a video? Well … many people say it’s the future of communication online. Show what you do, don’t just write about it. Good quality video is emotionally engaging, shareable on social media, and can help search engines like Google rank your site more highly.
At Barrie Media we produce sponsored content for broadcast, marketing videos, case studies, documentaries and sometimes return to our roots as television journalists. We combine years of experience with the latest thinking on the future of video.
However you spread your message now, not much beats getting some editorial coverage in respected media outlets. But an encounter with a journalist can be a minefield. We’ve worked as BBC journalists for decades, and know what our colleagues want, and what they’ll reject. What stories do journalists like? What can you do with yours to make it fly? We’ll show you how to look your best, and deal with hostile questioning as well. We can also help you hone your message to maximise media attention.
At Barrie Media we specialise in presentation training in English for people who don’t speak it as their native language. English is the global language of business, and a good presentation in English could be key for you in winning attention, customers or a promotion. We’ll take the terror out of public speaking, and even make it an enjoyable experience. We have worked for years as presenters on national and international BBC. And worked with clients like the European Commission and L’Oreal
We know the best quality video doesn’t come cheap – though it might be much more affordable than you think. Sometimes the best option though is to produce it yourself – it’s never been easier. We would love to help you create your own videos – train you in how to spot a story, and how to turn it into clear, compelling content for your audience. We can share tips from the professionals, and coach your spokespeople to give their best performance on camera.
Janet produces and directs video, and coaches in media and presentation skills. She has worked with the European Commission, the National Health Service in the UK, L’Oreal, British Telecom, the Bank of England, and many smaller organisations all over Europe. She worked for the BBC for fifteen years as a correspondent, presenter and producer. She was the BBC’s Europe correspondent, based in Brussels, and the Germany correspondent in Berlin. She’s reported for national and international BBC from twenty countries, and also worked as a news presenter on BBC World TV, and BBC World Service Radio. She still appears on the BBC as a freelance World Affairs correspondent. Janet also shoots and edits video, and speaks fluent German and decent French.
Velislav’s also a BBC veteran – as a producer and presenter for the Bulgarian Service in the 80s and 90s he was one of the best known voices in the country. He reported on the changes in Bulgaria, the siege of Sarajevo and the wider Balkan Wars. He then moved on to edit some of the World Service’s most high profile news programmes, before promotion to Deputy Head of the BBC Russian Service. Veli now works as an interpreter and video producer, creating documentary content and exploiting the power of social media to spread it. He edits the site mycentury.tv, and has thousands of followers across eastern Europe and Russia. He speaks fluent Bulgarian, Russian, German, Swedish, Serbian, Croatian/Bosnian… And English…
Here’s Janet’s interview with the London School of PR Blog in Sofia about a new training course Barrie Media starts this Autumn. We’ll be looking at the power of the international media and how Bulgarian businesses can do more to make the most of it!
On 1 October starts the new education in “PR & Reputation Management” at the London School of PR in Bulgaria. The course programme this year includes a new module “International Media and Video Content”, led by Janet Barrie, a seasoned journalist, correspondent around the world and BBC News presenter.
What is media training, and why does it matter?
Simply put – media training is showing businesses how to take the power of the international media and put it to work to their advantage. Even a humble local radio interview could connect you to more people than you will ever manage to meet in your life. Imagine what a favourable mention for a business in an international newspaper or broadcaster that reaches millions could do? There’s nothing quite like mass media coverage to raise profile and improve reputation. But it works both ways! An interview with a journalist from an international media outlet can be an amazing opportunity, but it carries a big risk too. Reputations can, and have, been torn to shreds through misunderstanding the way the media work, and from bad planning. And that’s why it’s so important your spokespeople are thoroughly prepared for any encounter with the media! Media opportunities can be planned, but very often they also happen without warning – when crisis strikes, and the stakes are particularly high.
Who are you? What’s your background?
I spent twenty years at BBC News – as a foreign correspondent, and a radio and TV presenter. I worked for many years in Brussels, Berlin and London, reporting from dozens of countries across Europe, as well as the Middle East and Afghanistan. I’ve done many hundreds of interviews on location and in the studio – with politicians, business people and celebrities. I know what works for the international media, and crucially what doesn’t! I still do some journalistic work, but focus now more on helping organisations present themselves well to an international audience, and that includes making the most of every bit of media coverage they can get. I have a communications agency, Barrie Media, https://barriemedia.net, which I run with my Bulgarian partner. We take a special interest in helping Bulgarians promote themselves abroad.
How have new ways of communication changed things for local and international businesses?
It’s a radically different world from the one it was even ten or fifteen years ago! Crucially, I’d say, the biggest difference social media makes for businesses is a loss of control over how the public sees them. You can hold your AGM behind closed doors, but can you really stop every one of your thousands of shareholders there from filming something on their phones, and putting it up on YouTube? And it’s an amazing globalised world – an unguarded comment on Facebook in Bulgaria can find its way around the globe in minutes, and cause huge damage to a business’s reputation. It’s so important for business leaders now to be consistent and clear in what they say, and realise nothing’s ever truly “off the record”.
Why do media interviews and professional video material matter? Why and how should managers prepare for them?
Social media has become such an important way to communicate that it’s easy sometimes for businesses to overlook the power of the old-fashioned mainstream media. There’s so much to be said though, for the endorsement of trusted international names – to get mentioned in the New York Times, or the BBC, or Der Spiegel is still a special, powerful thing – and you need to get interviews with tough, international journalists right to get the coverage you want! Preparation is key – what are you going to say, and how are you going to say it? What is the journalist likely to ask you? And that preparation includes proper professional support from people who understand the international media. The themes and messages and stories that work for your local audience are unlikely to appeal to someone half a continent away.
These are exciting times for communicators. We can still embrace the power of the traditional media, but businesses also have so much flexibility to produce their own content, manage their own channels, and reach their audience directly. It’s so important here though, that businesses understand the importance of good content – including good video. It’s never been easier to film and edit video, or to write on a blog, but there is a lot of bad content out there – and that’s never going to be a good thing for a business to be associated with. Professionalism is key – a useful video isn’t just one that looks pretty – it needs to have a strong message too!