Highlights this month: a lesson in crisis comms from RNLI, climate change comms, diversity in the sector, guide to wellbeing.
It’s overwhelming to try and keep up at the moment. Aside from UK and world news, this is a busy time of year for awareness days and campaign launches. Here’s a small snapshot of some of the best charity content and reads from this month and some from August too.
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- Alzheimer’s Research UK launched a new video starring Samuel L Jackson as part of their #ShareTheOrange campaign. It’s all over social and has been viewed over a million times on Twitter. No mention of it on their homepage now World Alzheimer’s Month has finished though. The campaign has now been running for five years. ARUK also shared a behind the scenes film from the shoot.
- Clic Sargent shared this video about the cost of travel to treatment, as part of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
- Peter Andre shared his experience of bullying at school as part of The Diana Award’s #Back2School campaign. More stories on the Back2School website.
- This one-minute film from Royal British Legion has powerful copywriting – They Still Go.
- The We Are Undefeatable campaign has been telling inspiring stories all month since it launched.
- Did you join in with Oxfam’s #SecondHandSeptember? They created some nice graphics and explainer content. Take the pledge.
- Guide Dogs shared this video of Ainsley Harriot to promote their My Guide Service.
- Dogs Trust shared this video (with very upsetting content) to mark 15 years of their Freedom Project, removing a barrier for families escaping from domestic abuse.
- ‘Choose your own adventure’-type Twitter thread from Trussell Trust to raise awareness about Universal Credit and drive signups to their #5WeeksTooLong campaign.
- Twitter game from The Tower of London – can you escape The Tower?
- Time to Change shared a Moment of what people want you to know about suicide, for #WorldSuicidePreventionDay. They have also been sharing illustrations of what it is like to have mental health problems. This showing physical symptoms is very powerful.
- I like these short videos from Dogs Trust sharing fun games to play with your dog.
- Emergency services around the world got their kit out as part of the #TetrisChallenge. See examples from Tower RNLI, St John Ambulance and West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.
- 8.1k views for this London Fashion Week video from London Fire Brigade.
- A few charities live-tweeted along with the documentary about Jade Goody. This thread by Cancer Research UK did well.
- Word on the Curb did their own version of chicken box comms to tackle knife crime.
- Have you seen people changing their profile image to colourful stripes (eg Help Refugees)? Take a look at the #ShowYourStripes campaign.
- Some charities used #WorldPhotographyDay to share images from their work.
- Cakes rated by Macmillan.
- Reactive Error 404 messages from political parties (as discovered by Will Cardy).
Celebrity endorsement of the month: The Hoff visits RNLI Penarth.
Did your organisation do anything to join in with the #GlobalClimateStrike either by joining a strike or sharing messages of solidarity or making statement about your own organisation’s commitment to addressing climate change? On a day where there was a global focus on the issues, it was good to see some (mostly environmental charities) pulling out all the stops. It was disappointing to see so many others saying nothing. Here are some examples of charities who joined in with the #GlobalClimateStrike.
It can be stressful and relentless being on the comms frontline. Your work is key to building and protecting your organisation’s reputation and impact, while also battling internal pressures. This month, Charity Comms launched A wellbeing guide for comms professionals authored by Kirsty Marrins with contributions from others sharing case studies and tips. It aims to help build resilience and look after mental health. Do have a read if you haven’t seen it already.
This month, RNLI faced a backlash then a rush of support, following a story profiling their overseas work. Their messaging on Twitter was an example of patience and warmth. The volume of incoming comments was relentless through the week. They responded by writing personal messages to thousands of people. Their initial tweet has been liked 44.8k times.
I wrote a short thread through the first day as the situation developed including tweets of support from other charities. Dan Slee blogged with more examples and UK Fundraising showed some of the ways people challenged the press story.
What was striking about RNLI’s response was that they took ownership of the situation and proudly communicated their values and mission. For example they changed the image on their homepage (see above) and shared beautiful images from their overseas projects on social media. They also did lots to connect with new and established supporters (see this tweet from Shappi Khorsandi, a thank you email and a thank you video from Dave at Poole Lifeboat Centre).
Would you be ready to respond to a crisis comms situation?
Also this month:
- Here’s a lesson in how to communicate a rebrand! Great blog post by Vicky Browning of ACEVO. We want to change the world but how?
- Other rebrands this month from National Children’s Bureau and The Vitiligo Society.
- Beyond the font – How to use your brand refresh for fundraising; simple tips from the British Heart Foundation – CharityNikki.
- Is your charity’s brand future-proof? – nfpSynergy.
- “We are no longer in need of financial donations” – The Red Box Project starts winding down its operations.
- A message to your #5YearOldSelfie – insights from the successful campaign from Shirin Zaid of Young Minds. Here’s the #5YearOldSelfie launch tweet.
- Thread from Aimee Vance about the danger of seeing social media as a quick fix solution.
- Update from The Brain Tumour Charity about the success of their campaign to raise awareness in teenagers – Our Snapchat symptom campaign success continues.
- Afternoon Tea with Breast Cancer Care – campaign insights from Torchbox.
- Great thread of ideas from Richard Berks about sharing research insights internally. Could also be used as part of any buy-in process or internal roadshow.
- How charities can reach new audiences by live-tweeting TV shows – five different ways to join in, also by Richard Berks.
- Do you follow Joseph Freeman’s weekly updates?
- How to create a social media approval process for your charity – Lightful.
- Facebook tips for small and medium charities – webinar from CAF.
- Content is not king – is content marketing just filler asks Andrew O’Keeffe.
- Here’s what’s wrong with Content Marketing World (and what’s right for your content strategy) – wise words from Kristina Halvorson.
- Understanding 10 types of fake news – really useful post from Social Simulator.
Digital – strategy, design, culture
- Don’t Feed The Trolls – new report and advice.
- Listen to this Radio 4 programme about digital skills and the social divide created by the digital world. Dr Josie Barnard explores reasons why 22% of the population are being left behind. Digital Future: the new underclass.
- Lessons from the Charity Digital Code of Practice – Principle 4: Strategy – Zoe Amar for Charity Digital News.
- 7 cultures that digital needs to survive – Platypus Digital.
- 6 big questions charity digital leaders need to ask – Ross McCulloch for Charity Digital News.
- The Digital Practice work-stream’s first output: de-fragmenting digital maturity – The Catalyst.
- The best UK charities at digital service delivery – Charity Digital News.
- Five UK charities making the most of digital communications in 2019 – Charity Digital News.
- Monthly accessibility tip: Designing for accessibility – part 1 and designing for accessibility – part 2, useful tips about web design both from GOSS.
- How Virtual Reality is helping bridge the communication divide for people with autism – Charity Digital News.
- How charities can gather images ethically? – Rachel Erskine for Great Charity Speakers.
- Joe Freeman blogged: ‘I’m so bored of hearing about digital‘ on Charity Connect.
- Amazing work from suicide prevention organisations who have managed to influence so many digital platforms to automatically share content about prevention in response to keyword searches. This tweet from Ben Bowdler-Thomas shares some screenshots from Twitter, Facebook etc.
- Age UK partner with Cadbury in #DonateYourWords. 30p from every special Dairy Milk bar will be donated to Age UK.
- Paddington’s Postcards – subscription scheme from Unicef UK.
- 5 fundraising campaigns built on social media – Lightful.
- How reward and recognition schemes can motivate your fundraisers – JustGiving blog.
- Remember a Charity Week was 10 years old this year. Here are some examples of how charities joined in on social media. Legacy fundraising on social media.
- Time for action! Why we have to invest in sustainable legacy fundraising – 101 Fundraising. “Build inspiring legacy fundraising communication creating connection and trust. Do not get lost in technical or legal advice at the expense of inspiration.”
- How St Mungo’s used Pinterest to reach potential legators at the right time – Civil Society. Hayley Creasey shares their journey into online marketing for legacy fundraising.
- TOP 10 list of design mistakes I see in direct response over and over again – John Lepp for Agents of Good.
- The Blurt Foundation smashed their £35k crowdfunding target. Their long-read plea to help save Blurt was a great example in transparent and authentic comms. They did the same in a Twitter thread.
- Putting the story straight about Olive Cooke. Radio 4 programme Olive the Poppy Seller.
- Have you seen the IoF’s public perceptions of the fundraising profession report?
- New website and manifesto from #NonGraduatesWelcome.
- Donation boxes in museums – guide from Association of Independent Museums.
- The Tudor Trust mapped their grants against the UK areas of deprivation. [See the latest figures – English indices of deprivation 2019.]
- Get ready for #GivingTuesday (3 December) with these PDF toolkit guides.
- And don’t forget to say thank you on #YouMadeItHappen day next week – 11 October.
People and organisations
There has been lots shared this month about representation in the sector. Here’s a selection of useful reads and resources
- It’s time for us to recognise the barriers that BAME people face in the charity sector – Sushi Juggapah for Charity Digital News.
- HuffPost – charity workers share shocking incidents of racism.
- 70 per cent of CEOs at largest 100 charities are men – Civil Society
- #CharitySoWhite launched on Twitter.
- Practical steps towards a more diverse team – great post by Krislyn Tan for JustGiving.
- Inclusive recruitment toolkit – Snook.
- Salary and Organisational Culture Report – new report from Charity Comms based on 668 survey responses. Includes data about pay, diversity, career paths and attitudes towards comms staff. The report links to useful guides and includes a list of actions for staff, leaders and recruiters.
Also this month:
- Recruitment tips: from a candidate who’s been there – really useful insights for recruiters from Lara Burns.
- JRF’s new start for new starters — a user’s perspective – Hannah McCulloch. How does your induction process measure up?
- 5 excuses for not having young trustees – OSCR.
- Planning for tomorrow’s workforce – report from NCVO.
- Speaking up: How to manage introverts in your team – Matt Chittock for Charity Comms.
- Radio 4 programme about managing volunteers.
- NCVO launched the Trusted Charity Essentials Tool, a new online diagnostic toolkit for small charities to judge how well they are working and how to improve.
- Why our organisation is closing for an entire week – Simon Blake on MHFA England’s August shutdown.
- Did you see this year’s Independent’s Happy List 2019 which was released in August? And this response by Kirsty Marrins for The Independent – Here’s to all the small charities you’ve never heard of.
Well done for getting to the end! Here’s some fun stuff.
- 2mins44sec video of Sandi Toksvig giving hugs on QI.
- Bored at your desk? Take a 10 second trip on the Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway.
- Or watch a Viennetta being made.
- Want a random page from 80s pop mag Smash Hits to pop up on your timeline?
- Joyful Soviet soldiers dancing to MC Hammer.
- Naughty goats have to wear pool noodles. Who knew?
Your recommendations and feedback
What did you read, watch or launch this month? Please share your recommendations in the comments.
Could you also tell me if these round-ups are useful. It takes quite a long time to put them together. How do you use the round-ups? Please share any feedback. Thanks!
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 July’s round-up? Catch up with more good reads!