This week the PR Fraternity had the great pleasure of meeting Jane Ray, current Artistic Director for the Whickers World Foundation. However, if this wasn’t impressive enough, Jane’s journalism background also includes a formidable 29 years at the BBC, and an amazing 4 SONY awards.
Not only did we talk about all of these aspects of Jane’s career, but also we listened to all of the brilliant advice she gave – so thank you Jane!
First, let’s fill you in on how Jane started out in her career…
After always being interested in radio from listening to programmes and stories from a young age, Jane found them really insightful and meaningful which is what inspired her career. Then, Jane got her ‘big break’ whilst working on the Yellow Pencil Radio Show with our very own programme leader, Nicky Garsten! When Nicky went on to be a medical journalist, this inspired Jane to become one too, in radio. One day she was interviewing broadcaster Melvyn Bragg and he gave her the name of a BBC contact in Radio Training. Starting out at BBC Radio Cumbria, Jane’s curiosity about everything in the world was satisfied!
So, there’s no wonder Jane loves her job!
“We understand the world through stories that can change the hearts of millions”
After a successful career at the BBC, Jane was commissioned to be a journalist for the NGO Care International, as part of their 70th anniversary. Here, Jane was able to meet and spend time with vulnerable individuals that have no connection with the world of media, but were required to talk in depth about things that they’d never before had to express. Jane was chosen for the role due to her natural gravitation towards this type of interview, and the reason it really worked was because Jane was able to buy into the Head of Communications’ outlook.
“Hearing the human voice does something to our emotions that print media just doesn’t manage”
It is Jane’s passionate outlook of always wanting to capture what’s really real in a story, that earned her the four SONY awards she’s received (wow!)
Now, Jane is Artistic Director for the Whickers World Foundation and has developed her own vision –
“to empower curiosity and professionalism in documentary making”
Jane’s advice was insightful, inspiring and meaningful, and here’s my summary of everything that we learnt, so you can take it all away too!
- Talking about intimate subjects can be difficult and this needs to be approached in an open, honest way.
- When things are too deep for words, something to hold as a memento is easier to talk to, than an individual face to face.
- You have to have real content that’s going to interest real people.
“Trust your instincts… Use the company’s vision to create watchwords for yourself, and look at their values…Play these back to them”