Top tips for charity communications

dsclogoI recently went to the Directory of Social Change’Charity Communications training day, and good value it was too. I attended some very good seminars by ngo media and virtual construction (set up by a very nice chap called Matt Haworth I used to work with in Manchester!).  The sessions were practical, encouraged networking and were definitely thought provoking, I recommend DSC training days very much.

My top tips from the day are:

  1. Always ask for something – whether it’s just a signature or a donation, it never hurts to ask but do try to offer something for free in return!
  2. Keep active – good for SEO and client relationships and trust. Keep your content fresh.
  3. Personalise – when sending communications make sure it’s from a real person that your clients or supporters can interact with should they wish to.
  4. Plan – communications plans do take a LONG time! Never underestimate how many people will want to give you their input, and how hard it will be to get the input from the people you need it from!
  5. Evaluate – always try and track your communications, who they reach, who reads your stuff and what kind of impact it’s having on your business.

A steer for your volunteers

With the current levels of youth unemployment volunteering is becoming a neccessary way of gaining experience at work, particularly in the arts.   We’re getting more requests about good practice when it comes to working with volunteers, and definitely advise being prepared.   Anyone starting up or managing a scheme should take a look at the Management of Volunteers: National Occupational Standards 2008. Not the catchiest of titles but a great resource.  It’s a big document but is clearly divided into sections and provides great checklists on each theme, including managing projects, handling expenses, organsing events and perhaps most useful dealing with any problems along the way.  Anyone with a deeper interest can also attend management of volunteers training and qualifications, up to NVQ level 5.

And if you’ve got good examples of volunteer schemes in your organisation, and would be willing to share as a case study I’d love to hear them.

Top Ten Tips for E-marketing Success



Earlier this month I attended Stuart Nicolle from Purple Seven’s excellent training session called ‘Email Marketing: The Tools for Success’. I thought I’d just blog the Top Ten Tips I picked up to share with you here:


  1. The critical success measure for emails is your click-through rate.
  2. The critical success measure for your website is your email sign-up rate.
  3. Therefore, the relationship between your website and your e-marketing should be a virtuous circle.
  4. People subscribe to your email list to receive newsletters NOT for a hard sell.
  5. Know what’s normal but be prepared for the odd surprise occasionally!
  6. What you do today will affect your future e-marketing success.
  7. Segment and test!
  8. Know your prime real estate
  9. Avoid image rendering issues with three easy steps
  10. And finally – here’s an e-marketing strategy in a nutshell!

 Click here to read more about these top ten tips.

Back to School

In a return themed blog – I’m happy to announce I’m back and blogging after a months hiatus. I’d like to say I’ve been away experiencing new adormousend exciting things to bring back and blog to you but alas that’s not the case – instead it’s been more of a hibernation.

So to wake us all up, I’m bringing you free access to Open University management and leadership e-learning online short courses. They’re free for a limited time only so check out the site , register and start learning about, – The power of networking or – Managing human performance, don’t you just love the action hero style titles (any excuse to add a comic hero picture and quote ‘with great power comes great responsibility’) 440px-silver_surfer1

Training that Sticks in the mind

As the resident online media person (read: geek, I wear glasses and everything…) I’ve been immersing myself in all things digital, hunting out new tricks, tips and tools. So yesterday afternoon I found myself at the Media Trust’s seminar on Writing for the Web which was really rather good.

The session was hosted by Dan Fielder of Sticky Content. Not only is Dan a rather nice chap, Sticky Content are an interesting bunch, specialising in creating copy for online media. Although I’m sure they don’t come cheap why not check out their website to see if their training sessions would be of use to you or someone you work with? These guys know their stuff.

As well as a good range of seminars, Media Trust also have a great list of online resources relating to the subjects they dleiver training on. So I’ll leave you with this nugget of wisdom, Ten Blogging Tips…