Hope for the Future is a climate charity which works to equip communities, groups and individuals across the country to communicate the urgency of climate change with their local politicians. We first came together in 2013 and formally developed into a charitable organisation in 2017.
As Communications Coordinator at Hope for the Future, my role is to ensure we reach our key audiences and encourage them to engage their MPs on climate action. To do this, it’s vital that I have a strong understanding of how, what, when and where to develop clear, strategic, and succinct messaging.
I applied for Media Trust’s Weston Communicating Climate programme as I hoped it would help me achieve this understanding, and I’m pleased to say that it absolutely did.
The workshops helped me to sharpen my ability to set out short and long-term priorities for the organisation’s communication strategy. I also felt more confident in developing strategic plans for utilising influencers and social media and was able to develop my filmmaking skills.
Standout sessions included ‘Using Social Media Strategically’, ‘Framing Climate Principles’ and ‘Getting into the Media’, which helped me to streamline our messaging and ensure it is both action-focused and uplifting, and to also better acknowledge the importance of press coverage. We’re extremely grateful to creative agency MG OMD, whose support really helped us think how we communicate our mission in a concise and engaging way to connect with different audiences. All of the speakers were genuinely interesting to listen to, and really seemed to care about helping the charities have a positive impact, which made the sessions feel all the more enjoyable and productive.
It was also so beneficial to be given the opportunity and space to engage and speak with similar-sized charities in similar situations to ours. That peer-to-peer learning is so valuable, and by shaping the programme in the way it did, Media Trust has really helped foster more collaboration on communications within the climate sector. And, as communications continues to present itself as one of the biggest challenges in combatting climate change, this couldn’t be more important than it is right now.
Already, we’re so much further ahead than we were before taking part in the programme. The media interview training helped our Director to feel confident in being our charity spokesperson, and she has since run internal sessions with the wider team which have helped them understand the importance of media interviews and what is involved in ensuring they’re successful.
Longer-term, we have so many ideas we can’t wait to start working on, from developing a library of inclusive visual content, to a strategy for how we can use influencers to reach target audiences. These are all areas we simply weren’t confident or knowledgeable enough in to implement, but now feel much more comfortable with.
I’m so excited to lead this work for Hope for the Future and can already see the impact it’s going to have on the future of our organisation and our ability to equip more communities, groups and individuals across the country with the tools to talk about climate change. I’m really grateful to Media Trust, the Garfield Weston Foundation and everybody we met while taking part in the programme for their support in making this possible for us.
Find out more about Weston Communicating Climate