New agency offering mix of news for radio and media consultancy

ONE of Scotland’s most experienced radio journalists has launched a new agency  that is part news provider and part consultancy.

Greg Russell – who has worked at BBC Radio Scotland and a host of independent stations – originally devised MediaNet Scotland as a news agency catering for the radio sector.

But Russell – one of the team who set up station, Radio Tay, in Dundee in 1980 – is widening the services the new company will offer to include communications and PR consultancy and media training workshops. MediaNet Scotland will also take on corporate work, including audio-visual projects, media response training and crisis management.

He’s teamed up with broadcaster, Laura Haldane, and expects to be working with a network of freelance broadcasters throughout Scotland.

He told “The idea’s been going through the development process over the past couple of years, and it’s only now that we’re ready to go to work properly.

“A Scottish radio agency has been talked about from my earliest days in broadcasting, with Radio Forth, but it never came to anything, largely because of the expenditure required to get it off the ground and to keep it running.

“Huge technological advances have been made over the years and that new technology makes it so much easier to record something in quality and broadcast it minutes later at a relatively low cost.”

Russell believes the agency is a first of its kind in Scotland. And it will be reporting from Holyrood during the run-up to next year’s referendum on Scotland’s constitutional future.

He said of the media training aspect to the business: “When I’m following up a media release, I’m often surprised that the principal quoted in the story is somewhat reluctant to be interviewed, for one reason or another. Sometimes it’s just the case that they’ve never done a recorded interview before and they’re terrified.

“But with the proliferation of media outlets these days more companies are realising the importance of having properly trained and briefed spokespeople. The services we’re offering will give clients the confidence to sit in front of a microphone or TV camera and talk coherently about their subject.”