Our Digital Future

Apologies for the gap in my blogging activity. I’ve had my head down concentrating on our forthcoming BBC Lifeline Appeal, which the BBC are filming next week. I’m looking forward to meeting Craig Revel Horwood – he’s presenting the TV appeal for us, so I’m going to pop along and get some photos and video that I can use to start getting the word out about for the appeal, which will be televised on Sunday July 15 at about 4pm.

I’ve also been tied up dealing with a backlog of website issues that we have to get sorted before we can proceed with the more exciting task of building a new one. The planning of that is in the early stages, and I’m about to convene a working group here at NOS so that we can start to map out the process and engage some external expertise.

My ongoing development of a Digital Strategy is in train. I’m planning a session with a key stakeholder group at next week’s Volunteer and Members Committee meeting in London. This committee reflects the traditional NOS supporter in terms of demographic but a survey monkey I have sent out in advance about their communication habits reveals a real mix of digital know-how. I’m intending to take the opportunity to get them all fired up about the power of social media. By the end of the meeting I want them all to be signed up to facebook and twitter so that they can lead the revolution out in the field.

Will keep you all posted.


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.