Head of communications
An interview with Delyth Bowen
This week we spent five minutes with Del Bowen, head of communications, talking about her day-to-day work and her love of rugby and fancy dress!
What do you do on a typical working day?
There is no such thing as a typical day in communications, really, which is what makes it exciting and keeps me on my toes! Hannah Benjamin, our communications officer, and I work really closely together to put together comms for the entire organisation.
My day tends to start with a cuppa, a trawl of the newspapers and news websites to see what’s happening in the world and a chat about the latest political wrangling. Politics is a big part of our day, especially if it links to social integration and our mission.
Not all our work is reactive though – it’s really important that we plan ahead as much as possible. That’s why Fridays and Mondays tend to be our biggest days as it’s when we hit our deadlines – like sending out our internal e-newsletter and plan ahead for the next fortnight, deciding what stories will make the cut.
I might also be writing a communications strategy and plan for a particular topic, working with different departments to decide how best to share their news and messages or speaking with the NCS Trust’s PR team about sharing some excellent stories to the media.
See what I mean about there being no such thing as a typical day in comms?!
What do you find most challenging about your job?
I’m a storyteller and a content creator. My job is to raise the profile of The Challenge through these stories, to tell people what we do and why, and find ways to spread our message to the world.
Some stories and interviews lead to press releases and media coverage. Before a story is ready to go, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes to get it ready. Each story takes loads of planning and research before we can even put pen to paper. And, after all, the news isn’t news if it isn’t new! So sometimes the turnaround can be pretty quick. Of course, where it’s possible, it’s always best to plan in advance so we love nothing more than to be given notice about an event before it happens.
What do you get up to outside of work?
I am a massive sports fan so that’s a big part of my life – along with the fancy dress. I take up an opportunity to combine the two and I’m always looking for an excuse to add another costume to the collection!
I’ve been playing hockey since I was a kid and have been at the same club in south-west London for the past decade. Even though everything hurts for days afterwards, I love playing competitively every Saturday. I’m going to Japan later in the year for my fifth Rugby World Cup. As you might have guessed, rugby IS life.
I also love cycling and although I’ve only competed in one triathlon, I enjoyed it so much I’m planning on signing up for another this summer. You can often find me at comedy clubs, the theatre and art exhibitions, and I do a fair bit of fundraising for Breast Cancer Haven and Macmillan Cancer Support, which are both brilliant charities.
What did you do before you were at The Challenge?
I started my career as a newspaper journalist first in Exeter and then as a sports reporter in Grimsby. I then went into PR and communications working for a national housing association before moving to Hammersmith & Fulham Council, where I worked for nearly seven years on the communications team.
I then worked in Capita, doing media relations for a number of areas before working for a construction firm as PR manager in north London. It was lots of fun, especially when I got to put my hard hat on and work on national infrastructure projects.
If you were going to a desert island, which three things would you bring with you?
Ooh, that’s a very tough call… as a big Desert Island Discs fan, I’ve probably thought about this far too much and know that I’d have to forsake any luxuries, like a good bottle of red wine or crisps! I’d want a fully-loaded tool-kit so I could make a shelter and hunt, a pair of walking boots and a lighter so I could cook some food.
I’m not sure how good I’d be if I were on the island alone though – I reckon I’d have to make my very own ‘Wilson’ talk to, like Tom Hanks in Castaway! What can I say? I do work in comms, after all!