DIARY: Territorial Army enlists EML's Fry to help media ops in the Oman desert

The ongoing international crisis is throwing up some unlikely PR

heroes. The Taliban ambassador to Pakistan, say, or White House press

secretary Ari Fleischer.

Add to that list the name Helen Fry, an account manager at Surrey-based

tech PR agency EML.

The newly hired PRO had been in post just days when she packed up her

bivouac and headed for the deserts of Oman, serving Queen and country as

a captain in the Territorial Army's media operations group.

A four-year TA veteran, Fry joined EML last month from Qinetiq, the

demerged part of the Government's Defence Evaluation and Research


As Qinetiq's float completed late in the summer, Fry decided it was time

to move on.

Her TA stint in Oman for the the media operations group - which she

joined three years ago when still a reporter at the Kent Messenger

newspaper - has now come to an end. But it provided the sort of

on-the-job training most PR consultants can only dream of, running

simulated press conferences to test army officers' spokesman qualities

and media training for the military's top brass.

EML director Geoff Boyes praised his new employee's bravery and pointed

to Fry's background in defence PR (the agency works for five major

defence firms) and journalism as being of special value.

Fry herself is less serious: 'It was demanding - my luxurious bathroom

was a hole in the ground, my boudoir was a tent, and my shower was a

water bottle.

'But I did have one home comfort - a sense of humour,' she adds.

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