• Countrywide

    Articles / Internal communications / Property / Training

    I’ve written and delivered dozens of writing training workshops over the years, but this was something different. This time, I was holding the workshop in a box overlooking Aston Villa FC’s pitch.

    I was there as part of an ‘Agents of Change’ internal communications teambuilding day for Countrywide, one of the UK’s largest estate agency groups.

    Harvey Thorneycroft Ltd, who organised the event, asked me to create and deliver a series of writing training sessions throughout the day. The challenge was to come up with some inspiring exercises that would encourage Countrywide people to source and write up good news stories from around the business. Crucially, the training material had to be relevant to people with little or no experience of writing this kind of article.

    After discussion with Countrywide and Harvey Thorneycroft, I suggested modules that covered:

    • What makes a good story – including attracting and keeping your reader’s attention and answering the classic journalist’s questions – who, what, when, where and why?
    • How to source your story – thinking about the people within the company who are mostly likely to supply good stories
    • Interview techniques – discussing and practising interview techniques
    • Putting pen to paper – how to get started, structure your story and keep your reader interested from start to finish.
  • The day was a great success and got participants buzzing about their new roles as ‘good news hounds’ for Countrywide.

    Following the event, I worked with Harvey Thorneycroft and the internal communications team and edited four editions of an ‘Agents of Change’ newsletter. This involved providing in-depth feedback on people’s story suggestions and helping them shape their raw material into compelling stories to share across the business.

    “It was a pleasure to work with Fiona again. She developed a writing skills training day for our client, Countrywide Agents of Change. She also presented at the event and facilitated workshop sessions. This followed through to editing a specially commissioned newsletter.”

    Jane Ward, Communications and Events Consultant at Harvey Thorneycroft Ltd