Going backwards to move forwards

You often have to take a step back before you can make a meaningful and measurable step forward. This is the case here at NOS with regard to our digital strategy. Before I’ve even begun plotting our upward digital curve it’s clear that we have to take a good look at the state of our foundations before we start building on top.

The website is the foundation stone of digital communications. Since www.nos.org.uk was launched back in 2008 the earth has moved, the digital world has turned and the cracks are now showing. There’s now a clear consensus here at NOS that we need a new website. Here’s why:

  • It is out of date in style and function (and a lot of content).
  • It does not fulfil our growing needs in terms of design, functionality and interactivity.
  • It’s costly to run – there are cheaper alternatives
  • Administration rights are limited, only our website editor can use the CMS
  • There is a general feeling of despondency because of the backlog of issues
  • The website is the platform on which we will need to grow our digital communications, so it needs to be as good as it can be

So, my digital strategy journey has a different starting point – which is a bit further away from the finishing line than I originally thought. Luckily stamina is something I’ve got buckets of. So onwards we go…  

If you are reading this and you have expertise in resolving software and IT issues around NetCommunity and Raisers Edge, or have a proven track record in helping medium sized charities create fantastic websites then I’ll be happy to hear from you.

Connections are the key and content is king

I gained a lot of insight from my Digital Strategy workshop with Action Planning.

Trainer Bertie Bosredon shared some fascinating insights into how Breast Cancer Care started utilizing social media, enabling all its staff with personal twitter accounts to feed their area of work within the charity. BCC are quite similar in size and scope of service to NOS, so it was really useful to see how they have seperated the social media channels so that fundraising and support services do not clash in terms of content, launguage, tone, etc.

This is the way we are going, with our new bone rangers challenge facebook page and our general facebook profile. And bit by bit, staff are joining in by creating professional facebook and twitter accounts. The next step is a staff survey to find out who is already using social media and who would like to start doing it for work so we can get more staff talking about their work online.

Another valuable thing I took from the training day was the story of Bertie’s mother in law, who is in her 60s and lives in France, and her incredible journey of discovery of new technology (a computer, digital camera) and the internet (email, skype)rapidly followed by total engagement with social media (blog, picasa). This gave me hope in facing what I thought was one of our major challenges as a charity – the demographic of our following and their digital expertise/interest. It showed me that there are no limits on engagement and no barriers to connecting with our existing audience online – as long as we have content that they are interested in. Content is always king.