Niall Couper, head of media, PR and supporter communications for Amnesty International UK, on the PRmoment podcast

This week, in the latest PRmoment Podcast, we’ve got a change of format from normal.

In anticipation of the PRmoment Awards 2020 I thought it would be interesting to hear from some of the winners from the PRmoment Awards 2019.

So today I’m talking to Niall Couper who is head of media, PR and supporter communications for Amnesty International UK.

The Amnesty International UK comms team won the in-house team of the year award at the PRmoment Awards this year.

Here’s a flavour of what Niall and I discuss:

[00:01:27] How Amnesty's comms function is split between reactive and proactive teams.

[00:02:19] Niall talks us through Amnesty’s journalism engagement programme.

[00:02:34] How a lack of budget is Amnesty's biggest challenge. 

[00:03:56] How the in-house team at Amnesty retains its creative edge.

[00:08:25] Why Amnesty's work in London "is massively influential for the whole movement."

[00:08:59] The tension behind Amnesty's PR stunts – they have to be fun to get people talking, but they're very serious at the same time. 

[00:12:14] How Amnesty works? It has a list of about 15 different projects that it works on at any one time. 

[00:14:22] Amnesty’s duty of care to the people it talks about in campaigns 

[00:16:06] What are the biggest challenges for in-house charity comms teams at the moment? 

[00:18:00] Is there a certain type of person who thrives working for Amnesty>

[00:19:50] Why Niall reckons you have to be absolutely at the top of your game to be able to work for Amnesty.

[00:20:40] Why Amnesty's daily media breifing focuses on "what's shit in the world". 

[00:21:30] Why Niall is very wary of emotional fatigue amongst his team.

[00:23:41] Which skills does Niall prioritise within his team?

[00:25:531] Why being part of the new agenda is crucial to keeping Amnesty visible.

[00:27:00] How closely aligned the comms team is to contributing to Amnesty's organisation's objectives – either that be people changing behaviour or by trying to raise donations. 

[00:30:17] How Niall has overseen a period of cultural change within the comms team at Amnesty. 

[00:30:26] Niall talks about the change in Amnesty's PR team – from moving from a press office to a media and PR team.

[00:34:02] Why Niall would love agencies to approach Amnesty for pro bono work. 

[00:35:51] What's holding Amnesty back from a PR perspective? 

[00:38:07] Has the rise of cause related marketing made it easier or more difficult for Amnesty to get media cut through?

[00:39:15] Why brands entering cause related marketing must do it with legitimacy.

PRmoment Awards 2020