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I Can See Clearer Now

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Clear Europe is five this month. A time to celebrate. And reflect. To look back. But also forward.

I founded my company out of frustration with the quality of the information I got as a journalist. I was tired of press releases without news, quotes that were unquotable, turgid texts stuffed with jargon and dreary speeches that sent you to sleep.

So I set up Clear Europe with three goals in mind:

  1. To equip you with the concrete skills needed to communicate better – whether using Facebook like a pro or shooting and editing with smartphones.
  2. To bring greater clarity to the often opaque worlds of business and politics.
  3. To prove that complex issues can be simplified, dull but important topics can be made more interesting and communication can be fun.

Five years on, our mission remains the same. But our means have changed. We’re more convinced than ever that each workshop has to be customised for the client. Off-the-shelf courses simply don’t work.

We’re also more convinced that good media and communication training means constantly interacting with participants rather than torturing them with endless PowerPoints. Nobody has yet to complain about too many exercises. Or too many coffee breaks!

 

 

Since 2013, we have doubled the number of courses we offer. We now propose 20 – making us one of the largest providers of media and communication training in Europe.

Today our clients include international organisations like the United Nations, NATO and all the main EU bodies; corporate giants like Allianz, Qualcomm, MSD-Merck and Europ Assistance; and NGOs like Greenpeace and Save the Children.

But it hasn’t always been easy. When I started Clear Europe I had never run a company, thought USP was a delivery service and could boast that I’d never created a PowerPoint or Excel spreadsheet in my life. Doing business in Belgium, the second most taxed country in the world, has also made me lose what few hairs on my head I started the company with.

So why do it? It’s a question I often ask as I stare at yet another whopping tax bill or listen with envy to reporter friends’ tales.

Here are a few reasons:

  • We’ve helped our clients tell their stories better. Whether training the CEOs of Generali how to write and deliver stickier speeches or EU officials in the Balkans how to communicate with more clarity and conviction, we’ve brought storytelling to the heart of politics and business.
  • We love working with journalists – whether teaching the next generation of European and American reporters, training journalists in Vietnam, Albania and Cyprus or organising press trips to aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf.

 

 

In 2019, we’ll introduce new courses on persuasive writing. We’ll extend our team-building offer. We’ll rejig our communication coaching. And we’ll provide more training options for mid-career journalists.

But most importantly our team of experienced trainers will continue to help you tell more compelling stories, master new communication tools, speak with more confidence, write with more flair, work better with journalists and make our complex world a tiny bit clearer.

We look forward to working with you in 2019 – and beyond.

About Gareth Harding

Clear Europe Managing Director and head of Missouri School of Journalism's Brussels Programme. Former journalist and speechwriter.

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