I have been lucky to learn a lot along the way, and I have been glad to pass it on. Initially this was in the form of developing those who reported to me, but I enjoyed it so much that I diversified into further fields.
I can mentor, lecture, train, assist and otherwise develop those who need my assistance, in a variety of forms and across a variety of subjects. Most of these centre on how best to tell a story, be it sentence construction, headline selection, topic definition, feature structure or tone of voice. But we must also be aware of social media, which can be a superb way to attract attention to our content, as long as we do it in the right way.
Having already been asked to train journalists at the BBC, Haymarket Media Group and a Premier League football club, I’m more than happy to discuss what you may need on a bespoke basis.
Here are some affadavits from those who’ve cocked an ear.
“Deeply knowledgeable… the first person I'd go to for advice. Has always taken time to give those like me opportunities to improve and develop. I could think of no better teacher.”
“Approachable, patient and trusting; he motivates everyone around him to be the very best they possibly can be and makes a conscious effort to encourage professional development.”
“A sharp editor with an eye for a good story, he helped me think more critically about my editorial vision.”
“A constant source of support, advice and creative inspiration.
Whether it was determining the best way to pitch a headline, structuring a sentence to maximise its impact, or clarifying whether it should be 'fulltime', 'full time' or 'full-time', Gary would always provide the answer, usually with an explanation so comprehensive yet straight-forward, he'd effectively have answered your next dozen questions too.”
“It can be hard to ask for help, but Gary is so friendly and approachable he immediately puts you at ease. He’s fun, knowledgable and patient. Writers are a sensitive bunch and we don’t take too kindly to someone chopping up our words. But whenever Gary edited my work I thought he’d made subtle but significant changes. Everything he did made sense and he was always keen to explain the reasoning behind it. He never made you feel stupid or like an inconvenience. Most importantly I trusted him. Asking for help makes you feel vulnerable and insecure, but Parky was someone I always felt I could go to and feel comfortable. Every time we worked together on a piece I felt I got better.”
“Firstly, Gary is one of the most talented writers you will find and a masterful storyteller in written and spoken word. Secondly, Gary is a fantastic nurturer of young talent and there are many people who have benefited from his guidance and tutelage over the years.”
“A superb writer - a terrific wit, insightful, knowledgeable on more subjects than I have fingers and adaptable in the type of journalism he can create. His articulate advice was spot on.”
“Whenever I was struggling with anything, whether that be navigating my way around the systems to finding the right turn of phrase, Gary was always on hand to help me out. He struck the balance between professionalism and striving for excellence with personal development and joyful enthusiasm to perfection. The man is brilliant and hilarious in equal measure - it’s a winning formula. I learnt so much and developed as both a journalist and a person.”
“He saw the potential in the story and worked patiently with me while I reported and wrote it, offering excellent advice and guidance. Any team of writers or digital content producers would benefit from Gary's editing skills, professionalism, approachability and ability to cultivate talent.”
“He demonstrated a deep care and understanding for the brand, as well as the kind of content and tone that its audience demanded. I feel my own professional development has benefitted hugely from his guidance.”