Richard Bunting

Communications & Campaigns International

Richard Bunting

Communications & Campaigns International

Since early 2003, Richard has managed his public affairs consultancy, Communications and Campaigns International, which specialises in environmental and social issues.

This includes three periods as interim Media and Audio-visual Director at Amnesty International's International Secretariat and coordinating the media messaging for the organisation’s annual report each year since 2004; media relations on the Disaster Emergency Committee’s Indian Ocean tsunami appeal, which raised over UK£392 million; and major projects for UNICEF, Red Cross and World Health Organization.

He has written articles for leading newspapers around the world, including the New York Times / International Herald Tribune (USA), Guardian (UK), El Pais (Spain), Washington Times (USA), Jakarta Post (Indonesia), La Libre (Belgium), L’orient-Le Jour (Lebanon), Hindustan Times (India), Il Sore 24 Ore (Italy) and Libération (Morocco). He has also written for major news websites such as GlobalPost and Inter Press Service.

Richard is former Director of Communications at Amnesty International UK (2001-2003). Part of the senior management team, he ran a department of over 30 people responsible for media, public information, website and publishing. He was previously Amnesty UK's Head of Press (1997-2001) and Press Officer (1991-1997) at both Amnesty's UK and International Secretariat offices in London.

He regularly featured in international and national media, giving hundreds of print and broadcast interviews, from BBC 2's Newsnight to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. He managed liaison with numerous television series and documentaries, including the BBC series 'Prisoners of Conscience' and 'Human Rights, Human Wrongs'. He led media activity on issues from the groundbreaking Pinochet case to international crises including Kosovo, Sierra Leone and Iraq.

Some highlights of his time at Amnesty International:

Overseeing a huge rise in Amnesty UK's media coverage. By 2002 monthly average was 100 broadcast and 300 print mentions.

Project managing Amnesty's 40th anniversary campaign (2001). Coverage included a special edition of The Observer's Life supplement and dozens of stories on music and comedy event We Know Where You Live. Live! – hosted by Eddie Izzard at Wembley Arena and continuing the legacy of the Secret Policeman's Balls.

Organising the presentation of a lifetime achievement award to Amnesty's founder Peter Benenson at The Mirror's Pride of Britain awards (2001). The presentation by Cherie Blair and Bono from U2, accompanied by a short film on Amnesty's work, was televised on ITV to over 9 million people.

Managing the prestigious Amnesty International UK Media Awards. This included chairing judging panels of leading journalists, broadcasters and commentators.

Ensuring human rights dominated coverage of the Chinese president's 1999 state visit to the UK. A BBC 2 Newsnight feature contrasted Richard's day campaigning with that of the Chinese president. Chosen as an example of using the news agenda to communicate effectively in PR Power (Virgin Business Guides, 2002).

Leading UK media work on the Pinochet case (1998-2000). Saturation coverage included front-page quotes in Times, Guardian, Independent, Daily Telegraph and Financial Times. Used as an example of effective news management in The Campaigning Handbook (Directory of Social Change, 2000).

Managing the media campaign on the 50th anniversary of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1998). This included a high-level delegation to UK Prime Minister Tony Blair at Downing Street, and the successful campaign for an International Criminal Court.

Coordinating a team of 20 international media officers at the 1993 UN World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna.

Between 1984-1991, Richard worked as journalist and news editor on a range of newspapers and magazines. He continues to work as a freelance journalist.

He has served on the national council of Amnesty International UK (1991-1993), and the board of International Broadcasting Trust (1993-1996), a partnership of over 70 non-governmental organisations producing television programmes on human rights, the environment and development.

Richard also runs award-winning Little Green Space. Since 2008, this environmental project has – through its own work and by inspiring others – been creating a network of healthy spaces to benefit people, wildlife and the environment, and encouraging sustainable living. The project regularly features in national and regional media.

Richard Bunting