Laura Shields is the founder and Managing Director of Red Thread, a Brussels-based communications agency specialising in media, presentation and message training. A former journalist who graduated from Cambridge University in 2000, Laura started her career at CNN and CNBC in London, specialising in European business news and US politics. She moved to the BBC in 2004 where she initially worked as the Economics and Business Analyst and then as a producer for Radio 4's World at One and PM programmes.

Laura now works as a communications trainer and panel moderator in Brussels. As a media trainer she opened the Brussels office of The Media Coach in 2008 before establishing Red Thread in July 2017. As a journalist she reported for Reuters TV from all the major EU Summits and as a communications consultant she has also written for Open Democracy, Huffington Post, Communication Director and Outsource Magazines.

Laura’s clients include European Commissioners and senior managers, EU and US Ambassadors, European government ministers, MEPs, Fortune 500 and FTSE 100 companies, trade associations, NGOs, thinktanks, scientists and philanthropic organisations.



Every organisation’s got a story to tell. But making it stand out and connect in today’s noisy communications landscape is hard.

In classical mythology Ariadne helped Theseus escape the Minotaur’s Labyrinth by giving him a ball of red thread. But red threads aren’t just about finding your way through out of trouble. In European culture, they are the unifying ideas or stories that link an organisation or work together.

We help you find and apply yours to organisational messages, media interviews and presentations.


‘Laura Shields's vast knowledge and experience as both a journalist and trainer helped us all to get a much clearer understanding of how to develop messages that 'sold' our work to a wider audience without diminishing it, and gave everyone the confidence to step away from the comfort zone of 'jargon!'. Everyone left their sessions with a much clearer understanding of not just media, how it works, and how to work with them, but also how their (newly formed) communications department could help them. Laura's professionalism and passion for her work rubbed off on us all, and today we are all working from the same page where 'jargon' has become a dirty word at IDMC!’

Clare Spurrell Head of Communications. Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre

‘Laura delivered a fantastic and helpful session without any of the ‘fluff’ that can sometimes characterise such exercises. (It was) very straightforward and concise and concrete in terms of considerations, feedback and examples. Well delivered training that could be recommended without hesitation’.

European Spokesperson, US Tech Giant

‘We were very pleased with Laura’s coaching. She provided a great overview of how a story comes together and how to influence one: from the production cycle to the basic structure to the key things that journalists look for. Laura effectively broke down message building, anticipating questions, and controlling the interview in a way that was easy to understand and easy to implement. Her mock interviews were both realistic and challenging, and our staff walked away with tips and tricks that they could immediately put into action.’

Senior Communications Manager, private philanthropy organisation.

‘We have hired Laura on several occasions to deliver communications training and she has consistently done an outstanding job. Laura has an impressive ability to assimilate information quickly and understand an organisation in order to tailor a course accordingly. Her style is fresh, fun, thought-provoking and engaging, putting people at ease and giving loads of great insight and practical tips – in particular helping us to improve our messaging and confidence in working with the media.’

Nikki Johnston, Senior Communication Officer, EEA and Norway Grants

‘I can’t recommend Laura highly enough. Quite apart from her detailed knowledge of the tricks of the trade, what impressed was the energy, enthusiasm and empathy that she brought to our topic. She found a good balance between criticism and encouragement, and each of us came through with our confidence enhanced. I would say that the success of our press conference and subsequent media campaign was in no small measure down to her coaching. It was like having an extra member of the team.’

Director, International NGO

‘Laura is a consummate professional who has run a number of messaging workshops with us. In doing so she has challenged expert communicators to think about the language we use, to cut out the jargon and refine our messaging so that it resonates with audiences and importantly, differentiates us from other companies in the same line of business.
Laura facilitated the message development sessions with the right level of gravitas, command and just as importantly, humour. She is incredibly easy to work with, being personable and highly professional’.

Tina Batchelor, Head of Corporate Affairs, Roche UK

‘Laura has worked with us on 1:1 media coaching for me, as well as larger messaging and storytelling workshops for our Lib Dem parliamentary candidates, councillors and EU Referendum campaigners. The feedback across the board is always excellent.
Laura's approach is professional, positive and practical and she always gets the best out of her trainees’ existing competences while helping them develop new skills. Her considerable experience as a journalist and trainer is reflected in her broad insight into the needs of interviewee and interviewer alike.
Most importantly, she’s very nice to work with and her sessions are always great fun – a good aid to learning!’

Catherine Bearder, Liberal Democrat (UK) MEP

‘We knew Laura was the media coach we wanted even before finishing our first interview. She understands our needs and has the perfect combination oftenacity and amiability to get her messages across. Her sessions were enjoyable and eye opening for our team. We highly recommend her!’

Media Officer, Think Tank