Today I joined over 100 others gathered for the CharityComms Social Media Conference (#CCsocmed on twitter). CharityComms, the membership body for charity communications professionals offered a great day of practical advice from communications professionals working in a number of high profile charities. The day left me feeling very inspired!
Image: British Heart Foundation.
Reflecting on today, I learnt:
- That your supporters (whoever they might be) should be a rich source of inspiration and creativity. These are the people that really “get you”, are you using them? Rob Blackie from Blue State Digital London gave the great example of a Obama supporter back in 2010 painting the campaign logo on their farm shed. This lead to a ‘Barns for Obama’ campaign which helped raise his profile with rural supporters.
- That investment in developing relations with journalists is more important than having a social media crisis plan. Hilary Cross from Macmillian talked about when Ed Miliband used their research in Prime Minister’s Question Time and the charity was accused of political bias. They took a pragmatic approach to assembling a PR Crisis team, but it was clear the Communciations team’s previous efforts of developing relationships with journalists played a key part in enabling them to achieve positive coverage during a time of crisis.
- That if you want to use your supporters/ambassadors you need to provide them with the resources. Sophie Jones from Cancer Research UK talked about how they use ambassadors to support their lobbying work. She talked about creating an easy way for them to engage (an online petition posted on their facebook page was an example), clarity of ‘ask’ and campaigning toolkits for those that you want to act on your behalf.
- That the new facebook page timeline is going to make a difference to charities. Learn now how to rearrange your page to ensure that you make the most of the new features. Find out how here.
- That adding a social element to your website (a like button, or a tweet this button) can help with your fundraising. There is correlation between sharing fundraising activity (eg posting on facebook after you have donated on a website) and income raised. Howard Lake gave lots of great examples of how you can make simple changes to your website to make it more engaging for your potential donors.
What can your charity learn from these findings?