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REDgum Communications – Personal Brand, Media & Presenting

Creating Positive Presence

James Freemantle is the founder of REDgum Communications, empowering clients to achieve positive presence.

REDgum Communications combines inspirational facilitators, fresh perspectives and bold innovation. We offer interactive, stimulating development and conference workshops – as well as executive coaching – in personal brand, media and presenting.

Below is a selection of REDgum’s productions as well as James on camera – he’s a better presenter than singer…

Cambodia and Thailand with the Entrust Foundation

For 8 days in March, I travelled with Richard Beaumont, CEO of the Entrust Foundation, filming enabling projects in the slums and border communities of Cambodia and Thailand. This is a pro-bono project for Redgum Communications which will be the subject of further posts, as the work being done by Richard and Entrust is making huge changes to the lives of some of the world’s poorest people.

We visited the ‘Genocide Centre’ near Phnom Penh – original site of Pol Pot’s ‘Killing Fields’, and gained a sense of the pain of the people who lost a generation of educated, intelligent humans to brutal, mindless inhumanity.

On the up side, we visited the ‘school on the mat’, where teachers take a tarpaulin to a village, put it on the ground and teach whichever children are there. We saw children rescued from trafficking, boys learning to repair motor-bikes so that they can start their own businesses with a microfinance loan provided. We met Graham Taylor, a New Zealander who decided he needed to go from being ‘successful’ at home in NZ to being ‘significant’ in Cambodia. Graham’s mission is to create sustainable employment, improve the health of Cambodians and support local farmers; and he’s achieving all of the above with his ‘So! Nutritious’ fortified soy milk, fortified corn snacks, powdered spirulina (an amazingly nutritious blue-green algae) and ‘So! Borbor Plus’ soy-rice blend porridge for children. Graham’s employing 35 local people, training them, providing free childcare for all employees and creating a self-supporting business that enriches the community in many ways. Graham’s contactable or +855 12 798 290, and is always happy for a chat.

We dined on deep-fried Tarantulas (yes, the very big spiders) and red fire ants at ‘Friends’, a restaurant staffed entirely by former street youth and their teachers (most of whom are former street youth as well).

At Poipet we saw the ‘no man’s land’ of 9 casinos between the borders of Thailand and Cambodia, and the merciless commerce that surrounds it. A vivid memory there is of a child-height, toy-like, fully functioning electronic gambling table for children. We saw young children hauling heavy wooden carts laden with goods for a few cents per 12-14 hour day.

In Bangkok we visited Poo’s Cooking School in the Klong Toey community – a shanty slum built on an open sewer near the centre of town. With seed funding from Entrust, and the inspiration of Australian woman Anji Barker – who with her husband Ash and two children have lived there (yes, in the slum) for 9 years – Poo has created a market-to-kitchen cooking experience for which tourists pay good US$, about which they rave, and which brings cultural awareness and relative prosperity to Klong Toey.

Great news! Entrust has committed to funding for an editor – Tony Dean – to help me put together a half-hour documentary from the footage I shot on this eye-opening journey. It will be a Redgum Communications production to highlight the work of this small but dynamic foundation that directs more than 100% of every dollar from its corporate partners to on-the-ground projects that empower local people.

Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation

How good was that? Chasing the dolphins down to King Island while on board ‘Fully n Pushing’, Andy Griffiths’ Sydney 38 racing yacht was amazing. Filming from the top of the mast (with the GoPro Hero) was a highlight, as were the King Island steak sandwiches when we arrived after 35 hours of light-to-no wind.

Andy, a gyneacologist and obstetrician, is planning to sail in the 2012 Sydney to Hobart yacht race, along the way raising money for the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation. Redgum Communications created the attached video – with Anthony Dean editing – as a contribution to the adventure. I shot most of the footage on a Panasonic HDC-HS700, which does surprisingly well for a small, top of the consumer range camcorder.

Creating a presence in no time at all!

Redgum Communications created a one-day workshop based on some of Malcolm Gladwell’s findings in ‘Blink – The Power of Thinking Without Thinking’. The workshop explores the idea that you can create a strong and lasting impression in the first 2 1/2 seconds of an interaction. It’s a great exercise in ‘instant personal branding’, and has been extremely popular in the corporate sector. Imagine 60 financial planners on a tropical island, each with 2 1/2 seconds in front of a camera to create a positive and lasting first impression! The compilation of their work is then played at the conference dinner – smartly edited and with titles and music – and it’s a competition to see who stands out and why!

We put this demonstration together to show how powerful an impact can be made in the thinnest of slices – a 2 1/2 second message. (Warning – there’s one swear word starting with F)