Highlights this month: designing comms for young people, housestyle / accessible writing, personas of offline users, February hashtags.
Although it was a short month, February was packed with great comms and good reads. Here’s some you might have missed.
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- Family Action launched the Family Monsters Project to start a national conversation about everyday pressures on family life to mark their 150th anniversary.
- Did you spot any good Valentine’s Day comms? This simple message from Time to Change had 40k views. Refuge released another of their powerful reversable poems.
- A few charities joined in with the spontaneous #ImproveYourLifeIn4Words – such as the National Trust, Charity Commission, Small Charities Coalition, Rainbow Trust and Shelter.
- Interesting to see charities joining in with other organisation’s awareness days showing that the event is bigger than the originator. Here are #TimeToTalk tweets from YoungMinds, The Ramblers and St John Ambulance. Time to Change of course ran a full-on day of comms. Here’s one of their flagship videos which got 133k views. And Time to Change’s Moment showing highlights from the day and Seb Baird’s highlights including 52,000 website visitors.
- Have you taken Friends of the Earth’s Drastic on Plastic challenge?
- London Fire Brigade’s new campaign #SprinklersHit – but is it a good hashtag?
- Excellent myth-busting Twitter thread from Leukaemia Care in response to a WWE wrestler in the news.
- Save the Children’s #PowerOfYourPen campaign urges people to call for peace in Yemen.
- Some of the highlights of #ReclaimSocial included this tweet from Help Refugees who said that their charity started with a hashtag, storytelling from The Connection and good news about ponds from Fresh Water Habitats. Here’s Lightful’s #ReclaimSocial Moment and their blog post which has more detail.
- Top social media marks to Doncaster Council who made this video to promote their appearance on Blue Peter.
Twitter takeover of the month: Fight Bladder Cancer took over MADLcharity’s Twitter account for three days to raise awareness and reach a new audience. It would be good to see a Moment of the takeover to preserve the messages and energy from the event, giving the takeover a longer shelf life.
- Young people: What you need to know about the channels they’re using in 2019 – 10 points from Ofcom data shared by Dan Slee.
- Nice examples of different types of content from YoungScot in their New Digs guide – how to make a dry subject fun with text with gifs, infographics and hot spots. Great example of content design for young people.
- Working with social influencers is a two way street, just ask our Boob Ninjas – CoppaFeel on working with influencers to connect with their young audience. (CharityComms).
Check your language:
- Do you write health information? NHS Digital have published an A to Z of words and phrases they use to make content about health and the NHS easy to understand. It includes some great tips (see the note about using ‘pee’ rather than ‘wee’ to avoid confusing people using screen readers) as well as useful notes about medical housestyle best practice. More about he guide in this blog post from Sara Wilcox.
- Do you over-formalise or use more complex words because you think it sounds more official? Take a look at this list of alternative words to help improve clarity (shared by @proCopywriters).
- I like this easy read manual to help spot things going wrong with a fridge. Useful for everyone.
- Why using plain English is about opening up not “dumbing down” Dawn Kofie explains the approach used on the new Scottish Parliament website.
- This year’s Social Media Exchange was as excellent as ever. Catch up with some of the learnings via the Wakelet from SMEX19. I went to sessions about building a movement and Jude’s session about people with lived experiences telling their own stories. The Digital Dunk held a live surgery – here’s the top talking points.
- Slides from Charity Comms’ storytelling conference as well as their top takeaways from the event.
- The Institute of Fundraising produced a nifty graphic for successful speakers to promote their #IoFFC sessions.
Comms news, tips and examples:
- Crafting stories that inspire action – how to write copy for activism by Krislyn Tan for JustGiving.
- Is your brand working for you? New tool from Spencer du Bois (via Charity Comms).
- ‘The more people who die, the less people care’ – findings from social scientist Paul Slovic.
- 230 new emojis coming soon in 2019 including guide dogs and wheelchair users.
- 12 habits of successful change-makers: looking at the bigger picture – Sue Tibballs on systems change for acevo.
- Why RNIB wants to transform public attitudes and what it’s doing – Sarah Lambert talks about how RNIB responded to a viral picture of a woman using a smart phone and a white cane.
- Meaningful social media campaigns: Braille Name Generator – Nathan Murray talks to acevo about the campaign in January.
- How to mark your charity’s anniversary. Some examples and tips if you have big one coming up.
Digital – strategy, design, culture
- Digital motivation: what, who and why? Tom French of the Good Things Foundation shares research about the specific reasons people in the UK give for being offline. Here’s the research and more detail about the four personas.
- Where charities are at with The Charity Digital Code of Practice – Zoe Amar shares data from the self-assessment tool gathered since the Code launched.
- You can be right, or you can make change happen – how to drive digital culture change by CRUK’s Giulia Merlo.
- Small Charities Coalition launched a new tool to help people setting up charities. It was developed with help from CAST and in response to the high volume of enquiries they get about this topic (40%+ of support line questions).
- 8 digital tools that will change your life – super useful post from NSPCC’s DigitalDunk.
- Ask a content strategist: will written content be obsolete by next year? Joe Lazauskas.
- Content strategy or content design? CRUK’s Chris Flood ponders job titles and roles.
- Prototypes and guerilla testing — how NCVO started exploring unmet user needs by Megan Griffith Gray.
- Barnado’s are on the look-out for 100 incredible people to help redesign social care for children. Read about #FutureBarnados.
- Monthly accessibility tip: how to increase the relative font sizes of a Word document without having to do it manually. (Impress your friends too!) See also Vision Australia’s Document Accessibility Toolbar.
- Self-care strategies for community managers at charities – Good Community.
- How do you make your fundraising challenges stand out? Dan Papworth Smyth recorded the British Heart Foundation’s Facebook ad for the London to Brighton bike ride. Cool stuff! (See also this about the Ramblers’ Facebook Instant Experiences.)
- Samples from Diabetes UK’s legacy giving journey.
- A Taste of Home is Hospice UK’s new fundraising campaign.
- Small consistent efforts can change the world – Claire Colvin looks back at her early experiences of mass collective action.
- Sometimes the best thing we donors can do to advance social justice is to just write the check and get out of the way – Nonprofit AF on ‘cheque book activism’ and trusting that people working in organisations know their stuff.
People, teams and culture
- The six characteristics of resilient charities by CAF’s Beth Clarke for acevo.
- What will charities look like in the future? James Plunkett.
- A “golden triangle” for impact and trust? Martin Brookes looks at how to solve the overheads / impact messaging problem.
- How to love your team more than your donors – Blakely talk about team culture.
- You don’t have to be rich to do good — but it helps. How middle class guilt locks talent out of the social entrepreneurship world by Jack Graham.
- Finding joy at work in the NHS – how involving service users changed behaviour by Henry Stewart.
- I like these tips from Darren Caveney for continuous learning.
- If you have some time, why not pass on your knowledge (and get some new knowledge too) by signing up as an advisor for FSI’s big advice day as part of Small Charity Week in June? You can do it by phone or Skype if you are not in London or can only spare half a day. There are regional events too.
- Watch this beautiful CBBC programme about Jonathan as part of the My Life series. Available until 9 March or watch a short clip.
- Recursion painting.
- Take the British-Irish dialect quiz.
What did you read, watch or launch this month? Please add your links in the comments.
Can I help you?
Get in touch if I can help you with content planning, training or strategy. I work with charities of all shapes and sizes. I can help give your comms or digital processes a healthcheck and ideas injection.
Did you miss January’s round-up? Catch up with more good reads!