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