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From 10 Downing Street to International Trade – my year in review

richard etienne filming former prime minister Theresa May

It's that time of year again where I have the honour of providing you with a brief update on my activities over the past 12 months that took me from eventful times at 10 Downing Street to a place of new horizons at the Department for International Trade.

It has been another busy year of film production as the senior videographer for the Cabinet Office and 10 Downing Street. In my 17-18 review article, I said that I would inform you of the details of that role once leaving it and now I can reveal that I was the official videographer to former Prime Minister Theresa May.

There were also new board and independent appointments with two charities close to my heart. Awards were won for my first feature film The iD Project and there was even time for a book publishing deal with an innovative publisher.

Here are just some of the key moments from the past 12 months in a little more detail:

Prime Minister May’s videographer

Throughout the winter and spring months, I produced video content for the Downing Street social media channels from events such as the G20 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the EU Council meetings in Brussels and Salzburg, Nordic Council in Oslo, Norway and the Lord Mayor’s Banquet at Guildhall, London.

Head of Leadership Communications at DIT

In May 2018, I was appointed in a new role at the Department of International Trade with a primary focus on leadership communications. Here I work closely with our Secretary of State, Elizabeth Truss MP, Permanent Secretary Antonia Romeo and Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioners and our cohort of directors.

Charity appointments

I was appointed a trustee of charity SarcoidosisUK and an independent steering group member of the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).

My father died from the effects of the auto-immune disease sarcoidosis in 2004, aged 51, so it’s an honour to use my marketing and comms experience to promote the diligent work of our charity and its pursuit for a cure.

Civil Service Live

In July, I had the pleasure of being invited to the University of Exeter and partake in the very important panel discussion on Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) within the Civil Service and speak on subtopics such as gender equality, race equity and accessibility.

Award-winning filmmaking

Picture of British Urban Film Festival winners

My debut feature-length documentary The iD Project won Best Documentary at the British Urban Film Festival awards and the Film Reel award at the Caribe Film Festival in Miami, Florida. Read the ★★★★ review by UK Film Review.

Before entering it into the festival circuit, I had the privilege of premiering the film for friends and family, which had added words of support from Sir Lenny Henry, BBC London presenter Eddie Nestor and Commonwealth Secretary-General Baroness Patricia Scotland.

Guardian Masterclass

My evening masterclass on introversion, held at the Guardian newspaper headquarters in London is going from strength-to-strength, with a large number of attendees now saying that they booked their place because it was recommended by a friend or colleague. You can sign up for my next class, happening on 08 July 2020 on the online platform BlueJeans.

From that masterclass, I was offered a book publishing deal with publishers Unbound, whose crowdfunding business model means that not a single page is printed until you, the people, have decided it's a project worth funding. Pledge for your copy of my book In:visible – unleashing the power of introverts today to ensure it sees the light of day and helps many others to lead successful careers as introvert professionals.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to sharing more positive updates with you in the New Year.


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