3 things I learnt from volunteering with Media Trust

Posted 8 December 2022

During a 20-year career including broadcasting, media relations, PR and marketing, Louise Chandler lives by the phrase ‘Pay it forward’. Why? For Louise, volunteering is a chance to upskill and empower others with knowledge, insight, and creative ideas. This year Louise has volunteered at Media Trust events, including Women’s Voices and Digital Summer School. In this blog, she explains the three things she has learnt as a volunteer...

Volunteering really does make you feel good – releasing good vibes and a good mood to know you’re helping others. During my career I have benefitted from wise, patient and kind mentors who have shared their perspectives and experiences to help me progress my career. So, I’d like to pass on my good fortune to others. I really enjoy volunteering with Media Trust to support charities improve their marketing, media, and communications. In fact, I like to think of myself as a cheerleader, giving encouraging words and practical guidance. This includes sharing ideas about communications strategies, planning, social media, and digital marketing techniques. It’s great to see when those I’m supporting have a ‘lightbulb’ moment to understand something complicated, and it’s a pleasure to be part of that journey.

My time mentoring different social action organisations and charities has taught me the following:

1. It’s important to understand the charity’s aims and objectives

You may only have a few hours, a limited budget and a small team but work with what you have. Ask yourself ‘what are you trying to achieve?’ Objectives are measurable goals that outline what the end results should be, giving you a chance to ensure you can achieve it. For example, if you want to increase brand awareness you could decide to target a new audience. For this objective, success can be measured in the number of impressions on your social media, by comparing audience brand awareness before and after the campaign. Make a plan and decide how you want to deliver it. 

2. Understand who the charity are trying to reach

What do you know about their users or audiences? Age, gender, occupation, education, and income are some of the key indicators to learn more about your target market – what they like and dislike. Watch and listen, even create focus groups and surveys to help you understand more.  Once you have created a profile of their ideal person, you will understand what information is needed. Think of creative ways to share information that is useful and engaging. 

3. What content and platforms will the charity use?

What will they share and where will they share it? It’s important to spend time planning and considering the charity’s content so you know what you want to say. Then, they can decide where you want to say it. Perhaps they want to launch your presence on new platforms or post more content to existing channels to stimulate conversations and interaction. Always remember to keep it simple, concise, and visually appealing so you can catch the attention of people. 

I look forward to mentoring more charities to offer my experiences and expertise to help solve new challenges and queries.

The last thing I’ll say… marketing and communications evolves and changes, frequently. Congratulate yourself on things you do well so you can prepare, plan to improve to consistently engage with the charity’s audiences!

You see, I truly believe that mentoring injects a good feeling to share, learn and ‘pay it forward’. There’s also lots of opportunities to enhance your learning and meet new people. Giving a little bit to time to convey knowledge, to meet your peers and to make a difference is such a satisfying experience, I would encourage anyone to give it a go and I’m sure you’ll be smiling once the session is complete!

Find out about the PR and marketing creative inspiration toolkit aimed at organisations, charities and freelancers. Written and created by Louise, with templates and worksheets, you can learn how to use PR and marketing to promote your work and services.  

Keep in touch with Louise 

Website: www.find-your-stride.co.uk/  

Insta: @findyourstridetoolkituk  

Facebook: @FYSbusinesstoolkit 

Twitter: @Chandlerlou 

Linked In: www.linkedin.com/in/louise-chandlermediapr/  

Volunteer with us

If you have any questions or want to get involved with volunteering, please get in touch with us at [email protected].

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