Philippa Budgen

It can be daunting talking to journalists. Telling them about the causes and people that matter to you. Trying to convince others why they should care as much as you do. If you want to have an impact and make a difference, your public voice is so important for effectiveness and influence.

As a former BBC journalist I have deep knowledge of the press landscape and the criminal justice system. Through my network of media contacts in respected publications and broadcast media I help organisations to create a clear message and get their voices heard. I offer everything from media strategy to interview training and hands-on, continuing communications support.

My consultancy briefs range from court innovation; access to justice; forced marriage legislation; teenagers and the law. I work with lawyers, think tanks, charities and campaign groups. I particularly enjoy supporting organisations which are new – and sometimes wary – of press exposure.

How do I work? I take time to get under the skin of every organisation in order to build understanding and trust. To every project and client I bring integrity, straight-talking and an absolute commitment to communicate complex ideas effectively.

Philippa mastered her brief … to full effect. This successful campaign (legal aid access to justice) wouldn’t have made the mainstream media without her help and guidance.

Jonathan Black, past President of the London Criminal Courts Solicitors’ Association, partner BSB Solicitors

Philippa’s unique combination of journalistic know-how and mentoring has been invaluable in raising the Centre’s profile and our capability.

Phil Bowen, Director of Centre for Justice Innovationquote-close

How I can help:

Typically I offer:

  • Media strategy advice. So you know you need to raise your organisation’s profile? Here’s how you can do it. This blueprint establishes your overall media goal; what parts of your project or campaign are likely to work in the press, what won’t.
  • Media training. You have a couple of spokespeople who need to brush up on their interview skills prior to a launch.
  • Messaging workshops. Jargon-busting facilitated practice at making your message clear and effective for a wider audience.
  • On-going support: preparing a campaign, report or new project to be fit for the media- from idea through to press launch.
  • Broadcast content for websites.


  • It’s all bespoke. I tailor my support according to your needs. So if you think I can help but I haven’t mentioned your specific requirement, let’s talk.

About me:

I provide a bridge over a cultural gap – between the criminal justice sector and the journalistic world. Journalists are demanding. They want a story. They want a headline, they need a case study. And they want it NOW!

Those working in the criminal justice world don’t view their cause as a ‘story’, nor do they regard the people they support as ‘case studies’. Yet the two worlds can and must meet for an organisation to achieve a strong authentic voice and to influence opinion and policy. As an independent media consultant I guide criminal justice organisations through the media maze and help bridge the gap.

How am I qualified?

  • BBC reporter for more than 15 years. Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, You and Yours and documentaries. The World Service and Radio 5 Live.
I know from the inside how stories and journalists work. Much of my journalism covered prisons – both in the UK and abroad; families of people in prison; restorative justice and domestic violence programmes.
  • MA (Distinction) in Criminal Law and Criminal Justice. My dissertation researched the role of the victim in youth referral orders.
  • Prison visitor for more than ten years in a women’s jail.
  • Media training. Throughout my journalistic career I have media trained spokespeople from a variety of disciplines: legal and justice professionals; dentists, social scientists and academics.

The best way to find out how I can help… get in touch.

New Blog

This is my new blog. Come back soon as there will be many more posts to come…

Meet Oliver the Justice Dog

December 31st, 2018|Justice Dog|

Meet Oliver, Europe’s first ‘Justice Dog’ Oliver is no ordinary dog. For a start, he has a routine of two hours daily grooming, teeth cleaning and regular pedicures. Not to mention his intense job training. The routine hints at his special professional status. This doe-eyed black lab retriever is no pampered pooch, paraded by a rich celeb, he is in fact the country’s first Justice Dog. He doesn’t wear a cape or have super powers. He doesn’t sniff out drugs in a police raid. What he does do is help and comfort distressed people in the justice system. Oliver recently became a pioneering new recruit with Kent police as part [...]

Dead rats, collapsed ceilings, broken clocks: the metaphor of our decrepit courts

December 7th, 2018|Listening|

Crumbling courts, faltering justice Cases collapse in court. Not usually the courtroom itself. But that’s just what happened in a recent incident. The roof literally caved in, and effectively killed off one lawyer’s career. The courtroom was evacuated. Health and safety refused anyone entry back. A lawyer’s papers were buried under the debris. That was the day he decided to quit his job. Then there’s the dead rat at High Court, witnessed by the BBC’s Home Affairs Correspondent, the broken heating systems - it’s either boiling hot or freezing cold. Take your pick. Oh and what about the clocks telling the wrong time? All in a system we’re told is [...]

Listen. Listen hard …then act

October 26th, 2018|Listening|

Listen. Listen hard …then act 'Are you actually listening Mum - or just pretending?' Oh dear. My children know the trick - ask a question - how was school? Then eyes glaze over, ears close off and my mind switches to a distracting work deadline. Familiar? I can’t be the only one. We all could do with a speed lesson in honing our listening skills. That’s a clear unexpected takeaway message from Being the Story 2018. For those of you don’t know the event, it’s the third from storytelling house, Sounddelivery which gives people with firsthand experience of today’s pressing social issues the opportunity and platform to describe their lives [...]

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