Charity Comms – audience strategy conference

This event was attended by Hayley Richardson-Roberts, these are her notes:

Listening to your audiences – Viki Cooke, BritainThinks

  • There is a loss of public trust in charities – not just media hype
  • What’s happening with money – how much is being wasted?
  • People the most angry are supporters of charities
  • What’s more, people are getting annoyed at materials arriving that they don’t want – waste of money
  • Media are amplifying what the public are thinking
  • Charities need to reconnect with supporters before it’s too late
  • They need to find out what they want, trust them to express what they want and act on it
  • Transparency is key
  • Audiences want real stories that they can connect to
  • Active listening should be implemented to find out how audience think and feel and what they want from us. Really think about how you listen to supporters
  • Case study
  • DFS
  • Recognised that they weren’t doing anything to tell the DFS story
  • Hidden behind shouty comms
  • BritainThinks wanted to explore how DFS could tell their story so they worked with customers to walk through their journey from thinking about buying a sofa to it actually believed delivered and used this to inform brand story

How to build stronger relationships with your supporters:

  • Go beyond the data – hear from supporters directly
  • Start where they are, not where you are or where you wish they were
  • Put them at the heart of decision-making. If they lose confidence it will be very hard to get them back
  • Communicate impact not people, jobs and titles – the increasing corporate nature of charities turns supporters off

Engaging audiences in the new world – Misfit Foundation and Lessons for Life Foundation

  • According to the Misfit Foundation, supporter engagement is low across the board
  • We need to understand our audience and turn that into proper engagement – better engagement increases loyalty
  • Interaction is key
  • Broadcast mode of comms is not effective any more
  • We need to create something that actually looks like a relationship but how do we achieve that?
  • We need to:
  • Tell more compelling stories
  • Embed digital technology
  • Ask for feedback and LISTEN to it!
  • Invest in supporter care
  • This doesn’t mean processes in place to answer letters and calls, it’s about really understanding supporters. What’s important to them?
  • Get supporters to tell YOUR story – much more effective
  • Create opportunities to ask – clear cta to find more effective way of asking
  • Teams need joined up strategies to improve engagement
  • We need to work together. Don’t work in silos
  • Good examples:
  • Global giving – allowing donors to give directly to on the ground projects and giving them feedback straight from those projects. Cutting out the middleman
  • Soi Dog Foundation – more followers on FB than all UK animal charities put together
  • Brilliant at using FB to engage people
  • Recruit 12k regular givers from FB per year
  • $3m per year just from FB
  • Case study on storytelling from Lessons for Life:
  • Children’s charity that focuses on education in Africa. Run since 2007.
  • The charity identified the need for good stories but didn’t really have processes in place to get them and find out where they are. Projects on the ground didn’t recognise the importance of stories and information never came through on time. When it did it was in project speak and took time to unpack the information. The charity also didn’t get anywhere near enough photos or videos and stories weren’t a priority for project staff
  • How do you overcome these challenges?
  • Technology doesn’t work as people don’t use it
  • Training has to be appropriate. Sending comms people to projects doesn’t really change anything as things go back to normal once they’ve left
  • Adding forms just adds to project worker’s workload
  • Need to have integration so projects understand why we need stories
  • Solution: LfL developed an app called Snap Story that allowed projects to do storytelling for them. It removed the barriers between us and them. It showed impact in real time. It works by staff downloading the app and recording basic data (demographic and also some qualitative data) but also collects richer data and more detail in terms of impact of project
  • All data goes into one database and is available in real time
  • The information can then be used by all staff
  • App wasn’t only helpful for marketing but also for project staff as it cuts the amount of time they spend gathering beneficiary data for evaluation purposes
  • Much more integrated for whole organisation
  • Data protection needs to be considered with the app
  • Can build consent into the app

Session: Audience mapping – International Institute for Environment and Development (thinktank)

  •  We want people to come to us at the beginning of research projects so we can help them to think about their audiences and impact they want to have
  • Once you’ve developed audience mapping systems you don’t have to start from scratch each time you work on a new project
  • Case study:
  • Urban 2016 – wanted to raise awareness of IIED’s new programme. To do this they:
  • Sat down with teams to understand who their stakeholders are
  • Map out audience – message – method of communicating that message
  • Helping to build up comms strategy
  • This map helps to plan engagement with existing audience but also gain new audiences as well
  • Also helps to pull together messages that are useful, timely and effective
  • Finally, it allows you to avoid audiences who are disinterested – waste of resources
  • Way of developing audience map – really knowing who the audiences are:
  • Create a long list of stakeholders, thinking about different factors that mean they’re included on the list. Make sure they’re all relevant.
  • Need to be specific, don’t do the long list of everyone that knows the organiation. Make sure you’re thinking with an external focus and don’t end up with an internal list
  • Constantly review the audience maps, things change
  • Analyse the list and prioritise – can we influence these groups? Can we use one audience to influence another?
  • Share and review – are there any gaps. Bring in other teams to see if you’ve missed anyone
  • Power/interest matrix (interest of audiences vs power/influence of audience
  • Energy/commitment matrix (how likely are they to take action?)
  • Don’t have to use both matrix, decide which one is most appropriate. The energy/commitment works best when you are trying to speak to very warm stakeholders
  • What happens next:
  • Think about audiences in detail and how they get their communication
  • Understand more about information requirements (formats, time to consume info, when do they meet?)
  • Build a communications framework to reach audiences
  • Audience development continuity – effectively manage audiences, build relationships and trust, provide them with the information they want, measure what works and what doesn’t and share what you learn
  • Give audiences feedback so they can share what is happening

Session: Prostate Cancer – getting to where men are

  • Launched Jeff Sterling’s Men United Walk as a fundraiser
  • Worked with Jeff, Sky Sports presenter, and his good friend Russ who is chief exec of Hartlepool football club
  • An earlier brand positioning exercise (before this campaign launch) meant that Prostrate Cancer now put the ‘man’ at the centre of everything they do. This was after research found that the brand wasn’t engaging for men – it wasn’t very direct and single minded
  • Key partnerships for the campaign:
  • TalkSport
  • Spirit Pub Company – 750 pubs rebranded themselves for the charity
  • European Senior Tour – Golf
  • Rugby League carers
  • Poker Stars
  • Rock n House Power
  • Biggest and most successful charity partnership is The Football League. Football appeals to a lot of men although Prostrate Cancer are mindful that this isn’t appealing to all men
  • PC were careful to not hammer home cancer messages. People don’t go to matches to be told they’re going to die
  • Learnt that if the brand fit between partners work then you’re allowed in – PC had to make their cause appeal and be a ‘real’ issue for men. Stories help you to do this. They identified fans of football clubs who had been affected by PC and partnered with individual clubs based on fans experiences. Millwall was a major partnership and offered presence at matches. Through the partnership a supporter also got on board to share his experiences which really resonated with other fans
  • Relationships with football clubs is key, however each club is very different and it takes time to build up that partnership. Each one needs to be managed individually
  • Influencers mobilised as part of the campaign:
  • Football league bloggers were key. Have paid these in the past.
  • Football writers were used to get messages out there (Michael Cox)
  • This piece of content was the most successful piece to do. Paid him to do this but it was worth it because of reach. He’s now doing free stuff
  • Ex pros – too hard to engage current players. Inc. football managers
  • Using influencers with the right reach that worked for the charity
  • League Managers Association – got managers to wear PC badges
  • Couldn’t get anything through footballers themselves but this association was an easier way in by far
  • Produced products and initiatives
  • Five aside football games although these didn’t work. Far too many of them
  • MPs football match
  • Cycle ride
  • Badge of a ‘man’ was on the back of the shirt of every Football League player
  • Need to play the long game with partnerships, they don’t happen overnight. The Football Leagues was originally charity partnership but this was extended after first year as everyone realised brand alignment potential
  • Digital impact of PC campaign
  • Key audiences – cold audiences that were just fans of Jeff; pre-existing supporters (mostly FB fans); marchers (fundraisers) and their networks; football clubs and influencers who PC wanted to amplify their content.
  • Worked out streams of content for the campaign:
  • Jeff/ Football communities
  • Content about the marchers
  • Raising the money – why we need it
  • Prostrate Cancer – emotional stories of people that have been affected.
  • Ideally, PC tried to find stories that could cover most of these bases and ranked content based on this
  • Used Trello platform. Really worked for content management
  • Had staff on marches delivering social media content. Had whats app groups to feed back this content to people based in London
  • Performance:
  • Content that did the best had fundraising milestones, included jeff, and used direct mentions of the football clubs
  • 283,000 impressions
  • 10,000 engagements
  • 5% engagement rate
  • Tagged Twitter handles in images of influencers that could give social posts a boost and would amplify the content
  • Used quick and simple branded infographics on social, which were really successful
  • 56 million people reached through social
  • Football clubs and influencers were key. Clubs had as much reach as media outlets
  • Top posts were those that included real life stories
  • Media team looked through replies on FB for new stories
  • The teams constantly evaluated the success of their digital comms throughout the march. In doing this they realised that they were missing the emotion from the march so they got someone on the ground to capture this and turn it into new content
  • Learnings:
  • Audiences are all different – know the difference and plan content appropriately
  • Prepare as much as possible in advance but be prepared to throw plans out of the window if something better comes in
  • Get content approved quickly
  • Review what you’ve done and see what you’re missing e.g. emotion mentioned above
  • Look for opportunities in every process to make it easier to acquire and manage content e.g. capturing info that makes good content – quotes on why people are getting involved

Session: Preaching beyond the choir (reaching new audiences) – Beth Tegg

  • Case study: Share the love campaign – The Climate Coalition
  • Primarily about influencing policy. TCC recognised that they have to speak to a wider audience to gain traction. The TCC coalition represents around 15m people with combined membership across lots of charities. The aim is to achieve 100% clean energy within a generation. Needed to shift public discourse
  • Process TCC went through:
  • Audience segmentation workshop
  • Worked to refine these audiences
  • Developed four frames of communications and tested them
  • Developed creative concept brief
  • Audiences:
  • Active supporters of charities
  • People who have a global sense of justice
  • Community activists – willing to take action locally
  • People who are massively driven by security, stability
  • Frames tested:
  • Gambling and risk
  • This is something we all care about
  • Key insights found:
  • Everyone is passionate about something that’s linked to climate change
  • People liked lots of different voices sharing their concern
  • People hated environmentalists rhetoric and imagery – big switch off
  • We shouldn’t be afraid to alienate core audience if you explain your theory of change – be open about the aim of the campaign and the need to inspire a wider/colder audience
  • The story ended up being about love and loss – what we can lose because of climate change. TCC had a number of different losses that would appeal to all different audiences. Message was ‘For the love of…’ but ‘Show the love’ became the action TCC wanted people to take
  • Ended up with a green heart symbol which gave TCC the distraction as it launched around Valentines Day
  • How you speak to people who don’t want to listen:
  • Understand your audience – insights are so important. Just listen through networks
  • Sometimes you have to be prepared to do everything differently. This is really hard and sometimes it can be scary but totally necessary
  • Difficult conversations and certain outlets might not feel like an obvious fit. Convincing people internally can be really difficult e.g. talking to the Mail
  • Test and be prepared to make mistakes. ‘To change stuff you’ve got to make stuff.’ It might not work but it’s important to test things. Digital is a great way of testing
  • Take people (existing supporters) with you on your journey. Explain processes so they can be on board with the campaign
  • Be prepared for people to doubt you. Be brave. Trust comes from showing results – this comes back to doing stuff and testing it
  • So difficult to segment audiences now – everyone is one of a kind
  • Increasingly people want personalisation – people expect this now. Keep ideas as flexible as possible and enable people to interpret them in their own way to overcome this
  • Keep asking ‘so what?’ until you end up with something that really connects with people
  • Want audiences to hear about the campaign through their influencers. In next tranche of the campaign they’re targeting backbenchers by finding out what football clubs they support and reaching them that way
  • Always add value, don’t try to repeat what others are already doing well

Tips for developing an audience strategy – Anthony Nolan

  • Define audiences – not everyone wants to support charities. Focus on people’s interests to build audiences. Go beyond demographics
  • AN identified a new audience of young men but recognised that many different types of men fall within this bracket. Worked with the audience to unpick their life and lifestyle (who were they with their family vs in their social circles etc). Wanted to know about their beliefs and values, pleasures and fears. Also wanted to look at other brands they engage with – who do they inspire to be?
  • From this AN developed two distinct profiles
  • A consistent brand is so important across the board but definitely when engaging audiences
  • Talk and listen to your supporters e.g. by listening to audience AN realised that there was a myth that gay men couldn’t be a donor. Resulted in more targeted work with gay media
  • An are about to implement a social campaign to test ads on different audiences (want to see what works to acquire new audiences and what works to deepen engagement with current audiences)
  • Measure what you can change
  • Perform a comms audit – what’s going out, who’s it going to, how often is it going, when did it last go, is it any good, what do we need to different?
  • Need to deliver the right content at the right time. At AN they have dedicated audience stewards (not owners as the supporters belong to the whole org). Get stewards to be responsible for their comms and evaluate their success. Audience stewards have to be overseen to ensure there’s not info overload to the same people.
  • Twitch is a great tool to reach young men. Online gaming tool
  • Once new audiences are in, think about their journey to keep them in
  • Initially asked young men to sign up to emails but the journey they were taken on afterwards was all about encouraging them to join register and support the cause
Advertisements