Kerry Hopkins, a former BBC and ITV news journalist, who has moved to Newark, has worked with David Beckham, Zara Phillips and the Queen's granddaughter
Former BBC and ITV news journalist Kerry Hopkins is a recent arrival in Newark whose high-flying career has also seen her working on international PR assignments with David Beckham and Zara Phillips, the Queen’s granddaughter.
Kerry is the founder of Broadcast Ready, a PR agency specialising in broadcast communications and media training. The company also runs a database used by television companies to locate experts, academics and expert women who have been trained in how to handle interviews and how to convey their ideas with clarity and authority.
Before spotting a gap in the market for such a service, Kerry was head of broadcast at a PR firm in the City of London and had handled many prominent PR campaigns.
“I’ve worked with a lot of famous people over the years but the two who stand out are David Beckham and Zara Phillips,” she said.
Kerry said both opportunities came about because she was entrusted with the global PR for Samsung when they sponsored the torch relay of the 2012 London Olympics. Her tasks included interviewing David Beckham in front of an audience at the Savoy Hotel in London, and organising a press conference with the footballer and Zara Phillips (now Zara Tindall) in Los Angeles for 250 journalists and 26 television crews from around the world.
“David was very respectful to everyone at the Savoy. He spoke to everybody from the managing director of Samsung to the cameraman, the sound man and the waiters — he would shake hands and say hello. He’s a people person. And his clothes are extremely well-tailored. His suit just hung on him and looked perfect. Working with him in LA was very exciting,” Kerry said.
“I was taken aback by how breathtakingly beautiful and how extremely physically fit Zara was. Her body was like a bronze sculpture. She was so dedicated to her sport. You could see why she was in the Olympics.”
So with such a glittering career to enjoy, what prompted Kerry to risk everything and start her own business?
“I set the company up using my own finances, so it was quite a large financial investment,” admitted Kerry, but she had spotted a need that was not being met.
Media databases already existed but were aimed at providing experts for newspapers, not providing TV- and radio-savvy experts to broadcasters. She also realised that the voices of expert women were simply not being heard:
“My former university tutor launched a campaign called Expert Women because experts in the news were usually men. She went on to Radio 4’s Today programme and there were three men talking about pregnancy. It was getting ridiculous.”
Kerry’s new database struck a chord immediately.
“All my contacts just jumped on it and wanted to be a part of it. It was something really useful to them. I was so busy I got entrepreneur burn-out, but it was exciting,” she said.
Prominent anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller, who successfully sued the government over its authority to implement Brexit without gaining approval from Parliament, was one of her first clients.
So why the move to Newark?
“I wanted to move out of London and have a different lifestyle. I like the slower pace of life here and I particularly like the historic buildings and how well the town has been preserved. And people have been really friendly.” she said.
It was also a return to her native East Midlands as Kerry grew up just outside Scunthorpe.
Kerry is now looking for a freelance PR to work in-house with her and also a personal chef.
Anyone interested can contact her on kerry@broadcast ready.co.uk