VSO to appoint BAAF’s Dhingra as media chief

International development charity VSO (formerly Voluntary Service Overseas) is set to appoint British Association for Adopting and Fostering (BAAF) media manager Neera Dhingra as its head of media relations.

The move comes a week after the charity published research showing that factual TV coverage of the developing world is at the lowest level ever recorded.

The charity is calling for more ‘imaginative coverage telling stories that show how other people’s worlds and lives are relevant to our own, wherever they are around the globe’.

VSO’s current PR campaign aims to encourage professionals in areas such as financial management, fundraising and marketing to volunteer their skills to services in Third World countries.

It is using results of a survey which suggest that a third of Britons are bored at work to publicise its cause by suggesting that volunteering can address the professional development needs of those with management experience.

Dhingra will be responsible for the charity’s media and crisis management campaigns, reporting to VSO head of marketing Glyn Williams. She replaces Selina Fox, who decided to quit the organisation after having gone on maternity leave at the end of last year. Susan Harvey has held the role in the interim as a freelance consultant.

Recent reports indicate the age of VSO volunteers is changing – while the organisation used to be most popular with young adults during their gap years, the average VSO volunteer is now in their late 30s.

VSO is currently seeking one full-time and one part-time marketing adviser.

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