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About

At di:ga we believe in the power of language to change the world. We offer a range of services to do just that.

We are a small team of dedicated strategists and communicators, who feel privileged and excited to work with organisations that have something important to say. Our vision is a fairer, safer, more just world, where everyone has the chance to be heard. And our values include truth, simplicity, justice, integrity, and equality. Among the things we believe in are the sanctity of grammar, the power of simple, direct and clear prose, and the importance of finding an author’s (or an organisation’s) voice.

How we work

We work diligently, intelligently, strategically and questioningly. We will always defend clarity of expression and interrogate the purpose of a piece of communication. We listen, learn, reflect and help to transform. We love helping others to win the arguments we think are worth winning. We are humble about what we don’t know; respectful of the knowledge and expertise of others; and assertive about what we do know.

Who we work for

We work for causes we believe in, with the potential to be transformed by better communication.

A note on our name...

di:ga is the imperative form of "to speak" in Spanish. We use the phonetic spelling - the colon slows you down, so you don't say digger, which would be weird, and have nothing to do with communication.

Team

Amy Barry, Director

Amy is a former national newspaper journalist turned international development professional with over 15 years’ experience in media and strategic communications. Self-motivated, intelligent and able to lead and inspire others, Amy has proven management and policy skills, outstanding writing ability and comprehensive knowledge of and contacts in the national and international media. She is an experienced media trainer.

Amy is familiar with all areas of development policy, particularly international economic relations, agriculture, aid effectiveness, and climate change. Before setting up di:ga in 2011, she was Director of Communications at Global Witness and Head of News at Oxfam.

Amy started her career as a journalist working for The Times and The Mail on Sunday. She has a First in English Literature from Oxford and a Postgraduate Diploma in Economics from Birkbeck. She speaks Spanish and Portuguese, and in her spare time she does yoga, rides horses, and swims at the Parliament Hill Lido.

Oliver Courtney, Associate Director

Oliver has spent 10 years delivering first-class communications for charities and media organisations. His main areas of expertise include strategy development, writing and editing, media relations and project management. He has a particular interest in how digital tools can be used to drive effective campaigns and advocacy.

Before joining di:ga Oliver was Head of News at Global Witness, where he consistently used strategic thinking and storytelling to trigger significant policy changes. In 2015, he oversaw the redesign of Global Witness’ current website, which saw a three-fold increase in web traffic in its first year and continues to open up new opportunities for innovative communications.

Before Global Witness, Oliver worked as Media Manager at Save the Children, where he led the organisation’s communications on UK child poverty, and in media publishing. Oliver has a First in English Literature from Oxford and an MSc in Politics and Communication from the LSE. He speaks French and loves reading, running and riding his bike.

Karen Deignan, Senior Associate

Karen specialises in developing and delivering strategic communications. Over the last fifteen years she has supported many organisations across the UK, Europe and the US to communicate on sustainability, human rights and corporate responsibility. She has worked with adidas, De Beers, Philips, Thomson Reuters, M&S and Sky, as well as local authorities, government departments and the NHS. She helps bring focus, clarity and conviction, and creates stories that inspire change.

Karen started her career at the Carbon Trust in 2002, where she developed programmes to help UK businesses meet their responsibilities and seize new opportunities related to climate change. She then worked with two sustainability start-ups, before moving agency-side in 2008, working with leading sustainability communications agencies Corporate Culture and Salterbaxter MSLGroup.

In 2016, after moving to Bristol, she began working as a freelance consultant. She enjoys yoga and has recently been rediscovering her passion for playing piano.

Tara Burke

Tara Burke, Associate

Tara specialises in writing, editing, media work and digital content management. An excellent project manager with great interpersonal and team building skills, she delivers clear and effective communications on social and environmental issues. She started her career as a news reporter with a focus on court reporting before working for CAFOD in London and East Africa.

Since 2008, Tara has been freelancing for clients include National Trust, Oxfam, Bond, Development Initiatives and Bath & North East Somerset Council. She led di:ga's work for the Science Based Targets initiative, which involved coordinating a team from four partner organistions and developing and implementing a succesful communications strategy. She enjoys walking and cycling in the countryside with her family and dog.

Claudia Elliot, Associate

Claudia joined di:ga in 2017, before which she was Communications Manager at The Young Foundation and Animas Centre for Coaching, and Campaigns Communications Manager at CAFOD. She has spent 8 years developing impactful communication strategies and campaigns resulting in policy change, supporter recruitment and engagement, and increased profile for organisations working for social justice.

Claudia’s approach to communication is strategic and streamlined. She focuses on supporting the goals of an organisation, as opposed to creating more output or activity for the sake of it.  She places emphasis on purpose and impact, and always considers the intended audience to ensure communications are as relevant, accessible, and engaging as they can be.

Claudia has a degree in Social Anthropology from the London School of Economics, and is an experienced coach: helping people find purpose and fulfilment, and working with social changemakers to increase their wellbeing and impact. She enjoys yoga, cycling, and cooking, and hopes that one day the last line of her bio will (truthfully) say that she can speak another language.

Jonathan Hughes

Jonathan Hughes, Associate

Jon has 20 years' experience working in broadcast news and current affairs for the BBC, CTV and APTN among others. He has covered major stories such as the conflicts in Syria, Libya, Iraq, Ukraine and Georgia, as well as humanitarian emergencies such as the Haiti earthquake, Japanese Tsunami and the recent migrant crisis. Jon has lived and worked in Russia and Mexico and has covered stories in more than 50 countries.

As well as breaking news, Jon has filmed, edited and produced longer documentaries and films for BBC World and BBC Newsnight. He is a former Head of Visual Content for ActionAid UK, and has substantial experience of training spokespeople in broadcast interview techniques. Since going independent in 2014, Jon has completed projects for the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development and The GSMA among others. When he isn’t taking images he can be found go-karting, drone flying or on his boat.

Katie Ward, Associate

Katie has worked in international development for seven years with positions in India, Zambia and the UK. She has a strategic and creative approach, and is experienced in using digital communications, events, PR, and media relations to have maximum influence on target audiences. Katie is committed to working with organisations that change lives for the better.

After studying for an Undergraduate Degree at Bristol and a Masters in Environment and Sustainable Development at UCL, Katie joined BRAC – one of the world’s largest NGOs. Originating in Bangladesh, BRAC is known for its successful work with the ‘ultra-poor’ and its ability to integrate business approaches into development. After BRAC, Katie became di:ga's first full time Associate.

Katie loves riding her bike and swimming. She is interested in emotional intelligence and enjoys collaborating on meaningful projects.