I’m Laura Shields, founder of Red Thread. Based in Brussels, Red Thread provides hands-on, concrete and constructive media, public speaking and message training throughout Europe and the Middle East.

Background

I started my career as a journalist. After graduating from Cambridge University in 2000, I worked at CNN and CNBC in London, were I covered European business news and US politics. I moved to the BBC in 2004 where I worked as the Economics and Business Analyst and then as a producer for Radio 4’s World at One and PM programmes. I reported for Reuters TV from all the major EU Summits and as a communications consultant I wrote for Open Democracy, Huffington Post, Communication Director and Outsource Magazines.

Clients

Through Red Thread, I now provide communications training to a wide roster of clients, including 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.

The Red Thread approach

How do you get your story heard? In a way people connect with? While staying close to your organisation’s goals? That’s where I help. My approach is no-nonsense, practical and energetic. I’ve been told I’m unsparing but spot on in my feedback. In the testimonials below, you can read how clients respond to my approach.

Oh, and why the name? Well, Red Thread comes from classical mythology. In the ancient Minoan civilisation, Ariadne helped Theseus escape the Minotaur’s complex labyrinth by giving him a simple ball of red thread to follow.

TESTIMONIALS

“Laura is the best media trainer in town, by a mile (or two). Laura’s mastery of storytelling and soundbites sets her apart from the crowd of message delivery coaches and media training people in Brussels.”

Nico Muzi, Europe Director, Mighty Earth

“All participants, both those new to being interviewed and those with extensive on-camera experience, made notable improvements over the course of the training and expressed appreciation for the insights offered.”

Andrew Kolb, Director of Communications, The German Marshall Fund

“I will never forget her advice to create “sizzle” in order to get a busy journalist’s attention. Be sure to ask her what sizzle means (beyond the sound of frying sausages) if you ever get the chance to meet her in person.”

Iskander de Bruycker, Assistant Professor in EU politics and policy at Maastricht University

“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

“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.”

Director, International NGO

“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.”

European Spokesperson, US Tech Giant

“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

“She is energetic, a good listener, asks pertinent questions, won’t give you the typical communications high level conceptual theories. What’s more she is fun to be around and has a great sense of humour.”

Head of Communications, EU agency