While you’re looking for that next freelance gig why not do something useful in your spare time (if you have any!) Why sit around worrying about where your next contract is coming from when you could be doing something useful; making new contacts; learning new stuff? I did it and found it a great experience – my story coming up but first:
What is the Media Trust?
Effectively they put media types in touch with charities that need their expertise.
We recently mentioned the Media Trust in relation to an initiative they are running with Sainsburys to make films but there are many more ways to get involved. You only have to read the stories from their Young Ambassadors to see how productive and positive getting involved can be: http://www.mediatrust.org/about-media-trust/young-ambassadors.
In their own words:
“Media Trust believes that everyone should have a voice and the opportunity to be heard. We work with media organisations and charities to enhance their communications and enable communities to find their voice and make it heard.
We do this in a variety of ways – including matching media professionals as volunteers with charities, training, youth media projects, our own in house production team, funding for community media projects, and we also run the Community Channel”.
My Experience with the Media Trust
As a television executive with some time on my hands I was put in touch with The Succeed Foundation through Media Trust – an organisation that matches media professionals with charities requiring support. As a new charity Succeed was looking for advice on writing press releases, contacting celebrities as potential ambassadors or patrons and generally getting the message out to the public about their goals.
Meeting the team at Succeed was inspiring in itself. Their passion for publicising issues surrounding eating disorders, their desire to help families caught up in such problems and their enthusiasm was catching! They had all the research and information to hand but simply needed advice on how to get this out to the public. It was very gratifying to realise that my experience of finding and creating interesting features for television and my contacts with agents was of significant use to them.
There were benefits to both sides in this relationship. While Succeed valued my experience and contacts, I gained an excellent insight into the work of the charity sector. It also helped me to realise the value of my expertise and, of course, to put something back into society. For me personally it wasn’t necessarily very time-consuming – sometimes a phone call or an email provided a suitable contact that moved them closer to their goals. And it wasn’t all hard work – being involved in a glitzy gala night was great fun!
The subject matter of Succeed’s work is really interesting. Everyone has a relationship with food and all too often that relationship can be unhealthy; most of have some issues with our body image. It is something we can all identify with to some degree. Along the way I learnt a lot about the subject and loved getting involved in a nationwide survey on our attitudes to our own body image. The results of that survey gained worldwide press attention which was of great benefit to Succeed.
Being a part of a fledgling charity as it gains in confidence, experience and publicity is enormously satisfying.
I can thoroughly recommend volunteering to anyone. Psychologists and researchers into the nature of happiness are all agreed on thing – happiness is helping others.
You can give the Succeed Foundation a boost by following them on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/TheSucceedF and if you’d like more information about what they do then check out their website at: http://www.succeed-foundation.org
The Media Trust web site is www.mediatrust.org; their Twitter feed is http://twitter.com/#!/Media_Trust and you can join their LinkedIn Group discussion page on http://www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=1805566