Simon Hall Communications

I'm a course leader, tutor, lecturer and coach in Communications and Business Skills at the University of Cambridge. I also run my own media, public relations and design consultancy, Creative Warehouse, work in government, and across the private and public sectors.
I can offer communications support in all areas, including:
Branding, reports, investment pitches, presentations and speech writing ~ Conventional and social media ~ Websites ~ Photography and videography ~ Public speaking ~ Crisis communications ~ Building your personal brand

Training provider for:

lc
Learning at Work Week 2018 trainer
Learning at Work Week 2019 trainer

An introduction to Simon Hall:

Simon Hall is a Course Leader in Communication Skills at the University of Cambridge, journalist and author. He was a broadcaster for twenty five years, mostly as a BBC Television, Radio and Online News Correspondent, covering some of the biggest stories Britain has seen.

Simon runs his own business communications agency, Creative Warehouse, and works as a consultant for a range of companies. He helps with strategy, branding, websites, reports, pitches, presentations, speech writing and crisis communications, along with enhancing organisations' media profiles, both conventional and social.

He also works with senior politicians and civil servants in preparing, polishing and presenting their messages. His books - the tvdetective series - are about a television reporter who covers crimes and gets so involved in the cases he helps the police to solve them. Seven have been published.

Simon has also contributed articles and short stories to a range of newspapers and magazines, written plays, and even a pantomime.

He is a tutor in media skills and creative writing, teaching at popular Writers’ Summer Schools such as Swanwick and Winchester, for the National Association of Writers’ Groups, at universities including Cambridge and Exeter, on cruise ships and overseas.

Simon has also become sought after as a speaker, appearing at a variety of prestigious literary festivals. His talks combine an insight into his writing work, along with some extraordinary anecdotes from the life of a television reporter, including the now notorious story of What to do when you really need a dead otter.

He is married to Jess, Director of Libraries at the University of Cambridge, and has an adopted daughter, Niamh. Simon lectures on careers in the media at Cambridge University, and is an aspiration champion in schools and colleges, often working with the Speakers for Schools charity. Amongst his proudest achievements, he includes the number of young people he has helped into leading universities and jobs in broadcasting, and aspiring writers into publication.

You can get a taste of Simon's teaching here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FH8egGYFjB0&t=4s


Products and services

BOOK - Accelerating Your Business Through Communication

Accelerating your Business through Communication provides everything you need to know to master your business messaging and help your company or organisation to prosper:

From core messages, to websites, social media, presentation skills. pitching for investment, and the art of securing media coverage, it's an easy and accessible one stop shop rundown at your fingertips. 

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The Winning Way

Session one

Establishing a business case including: the problem you’re addressing, how to summarise and solve it, the resources you’ll need, the risks and rewards, and how to construct your argument. 

 

Session two

Writing up a report with: a narrative which covers all the key points, the use of straightforward but persuasive language, the power of brevity, and laying out your case.

 

Session three

Presenting your pitch, including: compelling and memorable storytelling, the effective use of data, dealing with difficult questions, practice and preparation, and the dark arts which can make you more likely to succeed.

Building Your Personal Brand

The course takes you through all you need to know to become a face of your field, including:

Being clear on your mission and values, focusing your offering, polishing your online profile, writing blogs and articles that command attention, attracting media interest, using public speaking and appearances on panels to grow your audience, recording effective videos, and enhancing your community by creating powerful partnerships.

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Crystal Clear Communications

The course includes - 

Being clear on your core message, using no more than ten words.

Deciding on your narrative – the golden thread for all communications – and sticking to it. 

Structuring your report, presentation, speech or article, to make it attractive and appealing, and tips to add pace and impact.

Writing openings that demand attention, mid sections that give your argument strength, and endings that leave just the right impression.

How less is more – making the maximum impact, and minimising your workload, by saying what you want to say, no more and no less.

Tricks of the trade in making your words stand out by constructing clear, memorable and resonant messages and soundbites.

How an internal report can be adapted for external audiences – stakeholders and the public –and turned into presentations, speeches, and releases to attract the attention of the media. 

 

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Crisis Communications

1. Pre-crisis planning (one session)

Are you ready for a crisis? Do you have the necessary team in place to handle communications? Can you assemble them quickly? 

Who should be on the team? How senior? How many people?

And who’s dealing with what channels... conventional media, social media, partners, customers, stakeholders, staff, the general public?

Do you have the necessary infrastructure in place for the communications team to do its job?
And what about pre-prepared holding statements in this era of social media and instant judgements?

                                                                                        

2. The crisis itself (two sessions)
The difference between a predictable crisis, like laying off staff, and an unpredictable one, like a fire.

Recognising a crisis and ensuring it can be contained.
The key messages, including empathy, authority, openness and action, how to control the agenda and make your communications effective. 

The spokespeople you choose, their training, experience, and ability under fire.

Understanding how the emergency services deal with a crisis, the Gold Command system, so you can work closely together.

Monitoring the media, both social and conventional, and how to respond.

Releasing your own video messages. 

 

3. Post-crisis (one session)

After-care for those affected in a crisis.

Rebuilding your reputation, if that’s required. 

Reviewing the effectiveness of your crisis communications strategy.
The importance of updating and regularly rehearsing your plans.

 

Public Speaking, Presentations and Pitches

The course includes - 

Being clear on your story, by summing it up in just a handful of words. 

How to construct openings which grab the audience from your very first words, and endings which linger in their minds. 

The art of retaining an audience's interest, no matter how long your presentation. 

Making your key messages memorable through the use of soundbites. 

The importance of body language in a convincing presentation. 

All points are illustrated with practical exercises, so by the end of the course you will have a powerful presentation ready to deliver. 

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Media Training

The course provides a detailed understanding of how the media work, from TV and radio to newspapers, magazines and websites.  

The sessions focus on what the media want from a story, and how to ensure you get your message across.

All sections are based around practical exercises, from constructing your message and writing a press release, to composing soundbites, dealing with full length, hostile TV interviews, crisis management and social media.

Writing Blogs and Online Articles

Featuring - 

  • The importance of an intriguing opening in luring readers into your story.
  • How to weave a compelling narrative.
  • Ending your article on just the right note.
  • The impact of an appealing title.
  • Using soundbites to get your stories noticed.
  • The principles of writing for the web.
  • The distinctive voice of an online writer, and how to find yours.
  • The power of pictures, and how to take arresting images using only a smart phone.
  • How to build an audience for your work.

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