Free: Online Marketing Guide
Community Catalysts have published a clear and practical marketing guide. The booklet is aimed at people running small community enterprises and ventures that offer health, care and wellbeing services and supports to other people. Written in partnership with the University of Worcester the cost of producing the guide was funded by the prize money they gained from winning the Carnegie Trust’s Enabling State Challenge.
The 50 page booklet is available free of charge and contains information about things like setting up a website, using social media, how to link with public sector commissioners, getting your message right, the power of ‘word of mouth’ recommendations and ‘jargon busting’. View it here.
Developing Key Messages for Media Campaigns
Slides from the Speaker's Presentation at Bristol Charity Communications Professionals Network meeting (11 Feb 2016): Simon Russell, MD of Inside Media, on developing key messages for media campaigns. 11 Feb
Dealing with the Media
Often the public discourse on the kind of work that ACFA members do can attract criticism and biased coverage, so here a few things to bear in mind...
- Check your politics
Charities, should never be identified with any political party. Read Part 4 of Charity Commission Guidance 'Speaking Out: Guidance on Campaigning and Political Activity by Charities'.
Staff and trustees can have political affiliations, but they must be clear about these being outside of work and in a personal capacity.
- Keep campaigning relevant
Your organisation's Articles do not need to specifically allow you to campaign, but make sure that they do not forbid you to do so. See that your strategic/work/campaign plan clearly demonstrates that your campaigning and advocacy work is a reasonable way of furthering your charitable objectives - read Part 3 of Charity Commission Guidance 'Speaking Out: Guidance on Campaigning and Political Activity by Charities'.
- Don't feed the trolls
Do not give air to accusations by repeating them - this will also draw fire to you. If the attack is not directly on your organisation we would suggest that you do not draw attention to it, even in order to object to it. Bullies like the attention and are strengthened by it. If you would like to support partner charities affected, do so in private.
- Don't bother with rebuttals
'Hatchet-job' press pieces can be tendentious and riddled with lies, half-truths, inaccuracies and misleading presentation. Do not be tempted to counter these claims with facts and figures, legal arguments or myth-busting. These have no traction with people who have already made up their mind and are not looking to change it. Rebuttals and corrections also legitimise the pieces to which you are responding.
- Be prepared
in the current political atmosphere there is an increased risk that ACFA members may come under public criticism for what we do. Remember that even ill-founded accusations can cause damage. The Law Centres Network have a useful Guide to 'Handling the Media in a Crisis' which is worth reading so you can be proactive and respond effectively if something does come up.