I am not going to lie, when I thought about this visit I was like “hmm a bank?” Their communication team must be busy focusing on its own reputation. When I think of bank, I think of stuffy, snotty old men in suits lending wad loads of cash and causing the credit crunch. It’s either that or I am reminded of the big fat cash bonuses they get! Because we all know that bankers along with politicians are probably the most hated people on earth. You’re probably thinking oright Romana, bloody heck you have made your point. But there is a point for me creating this stereotyped picture because that is honestly what I thought walking into the EBRD. But I will gladly admit that I was sooooo wrong! This visit was a breath of fresh air and was totally different to what I expected.
To start off, Jonathan Charles (Director of communications) was so warm and friendly. He invited my team and I into his own office where he spoke about what the EBRD did and answered any of our queries. The session then went on to have the team and I go around the office and speak to different communications people who varied from developing profiles for donors, monitoring media and developing the digital and graphical content. It was so nice to have the department welcome us and be willing to give us an insight to their working lives.
What was so mind boggling was how by entering the really sophisticated building, we were actually no longer on UK soil. I can’t say I am surprised, the security was top notch! The employees there are diplomats because the EBRD works within an international realm and aims to strengthen and invest within the international community, thus they are not bound by national laws. Jonathan explained how it was for their own protection especially when they were travelling to different countries on a regular basis.
Compared to my other visits throughout the TBF training programme, it was nice to see the structure and working life of an in-house communications department.