GARETH JOHN COOK
I am a talented writer with a proven track record of producing high quality copy for a range of media in a wide variety of styles, a tone of voice specialist and an engaging and entertaining public speaker/presenter.
- Ability to write concise, engaging copy, working quickly and efficiently with minimal briefing or input. Experience of writing website content, e-newsletters, press releases, by-lined feature articles for online and print media, ghostwriting, video scripts, award entries and speeches for conferences.
- High quality editing and proofreading skills combined with over fifteen years’ experience of applying a plain English approach to writing.
- Excellent presentation skills honed over twenty years of public speaking, delivering training courses, presenting at conferences, doing performance poetry, stand-up comedy and preaching sermons.
- Strong interpersonal skills. Enthusiastic and motivated team-player, with a confident and proactive approach.
May 2011 – present
Creative Communications Consultant trading as Just the right words.
I am currently working as a freelance communications consultant and writer. Current clients include Nominet UK; The Client Voice; Saddington Baynes; UK Broadband; Oxford University NHS Trust; Tara Tripp Hearing Care; GP Residential;Viva. Projects undertaken have included writing content for employee benefits websites for Disney, Morgan Stanley and the National Grid; writing case studies for technology consultants for clients including Barclays, ING, Marks & Spencer, KNDL and KPMG; writing video scripts for fake BBC news bulletins and creating a fake Twitter stream for an Internet threat simulation day for Southampton University; website text for several small businesses; advertising copy and value propositions for two social media start-up businesses.
May 2001 – May 2011 Nominet UK, Oxford
I was responsible for writing all the company’s external communications including website, press releases, annual report, marketing brochures, news alerts, press releases, information leaflets and e-newsletters. I managed internal and external communications on a range of projects and worked closely with our public relations agency to grow the company’s reputation. I championed a plain English approach to all company communications and trained people in effective writing.
1999 – 2001 Kingdom Coffee International, Reading
Managed external and internal communications and handled customer orders for a small business that supplied coffee equipment and products to the catering trade. My plain English skills came to the fore when writing business proposals, website content and sales letters.
1997 – 1999 St Aldates Church, Oxford
Honed my presentation skills and creative writing skills in a role that combined running a weekly youth event on Saturday evening, teaching a Sunday School group on Sundays and facilitating a weekly 20s and 30s mid-week event. The role involved frequent drama presentations and other speaking opportunities in front of a congregation of around 600 people.
1989 – 1997 Hinckley and Rugby Building Society, Hinckley, Leicestershire
Training Officer (1994-1997)
Promoted to Training Officer and was responsible for delivering full day training courses on a wide variety of topics from Business Writing in Plain English to Mortgage Interview training including telephone and video role play for staff at all levels from cashiers to senior management. Designed and delivered induction programme for all new starters.
Technical Writer (1989-1994)
Rewrote all the Society’s policy and procedural manuals in plain English in order to support and champion a plain English approach to staff training and communications across the company. Wrote a clear and engaging ‘HomeMinder’ guide for consumers – this supported the Society’s new mortgage service.
1995 -1996 City & Guilds 730 Certificate in Adult and Further Education – Tile Hill College, Coventry
1985 – 1988 – BA Honours (2:2) in English and European Literature from Warwick University
1978-1985 – 4 ‘A’ levels (English Literature, History, French, General Studies); 9 ‘O’ levels (A-C grades): Coventry School Bablake, Coventry, West Midlands
REFERENCES: Available on request