Nathan has been working as VONNE’s Communications and Events Support Assistant since July. In his first role since graduating, there’s been a lot to learn about the VCSE sector in the North East and the part our communications work can play. In this blog, Nathan shares some of the key things he’s picked up around digital communications.
One of the best things about working at VONNE is the opportunity to witness the VCSE sector in the North East at its very best, working tirelessly to support communities across the region.
I am constantly inspired by the things organisations across the region get up to on a day-to-day basis. After all, who wouldn’t be? As a sector, we should be shouting about our work and proudly pitching ourselves to potential supporters and partners. However, when faced with the shifting world of digital communications, it can be difficult to know where to start.
Since I started as Communications Assistant, I’ve had to get to grips with lots of methods of communication, from email to social media. I certainly wouldn’t claim to be an expert at any of these – I’m learning new things every day – but it’s always rewarding to feel like you’re getting the hang of something new. With this in mind, I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve picked up over the last nine months about how to maximise the potential of digital communications.
1. Know your audience
Every charity has a particular audience it wants to target, and it’s up to you to work out what makes yours unique. Are you mainly trying to engage older or younger people? What goals and values do your audience share? Once you start thinking about these questions, you can begin to target your communications more effectively.
For example, the age and occupation of your target audience might affect the social media platforms you use. LinkedIn is great for connecting with professionals, but if you’re mainly interested in reaching young people, TikTok might be a better option.
2. Be consistent
Building a relationship with your audience is just like getting to know any other person – you have to be consistent.
In practice, this means choosing a set of communications channels to focus on and putting out regular content – whether that’s two tweets a day, or a weekly email newsletter. Whatever you share, posting content regularly is key to building an audience.
3. Be proactive
Now you know your audience and have started sharing content consistently, you need to be proactive in jumping on the back of different topics, trends and events. Is it Volunteer Recognition Day? Tweet about it! Is there a campaign coming up that’s relevant to your cause? Show your support! Keeping an eye out for these things and joining the conversation around them will help get your work noticed.
4. Invite action
Communicating with your audience is important, but this should always be a two-way process. Every time you encourage people to comment on a blog post or share an upcoming event, you’re helping to grow a passionate and engaged supporter base. If a supporter engages with you, try and respond to them too – this is a sure-fire way to build a lasting connection.
5. Be accessible
Following these tips will help give your communications a boost, but it’s important to make sure your content is accessible. This a big topic, but there are a couple of quick and simple places to start – check out our blog on the topic to find out more.
These tips are far from exhaustive, but they are good starting points to help your organisation promote its cause and reach a wider audience. Have any other tips to share? Be sure to let us know on Twitter @VONNENews.