Media Trust’s Stronger Voices programme helped us make headlines
Lucy Jaffé is the Director of small London-based charity, Why me? Victims for Restorative Justice. She has just completed Media Trust’s Stronger Voices programme which, run in partnership with Equally Ours and City Bridge Trust, aims to strengthen the marketing and communications skills of equality organisations throughout the capital.
“I applied to take part in Stronger Voices last year as we wanted to refine our communications and maximise our impact,” says Lucy (pictured above with Will Riley, Founder of Why me? and Peter Woolf, Why me? ambassador.). “We have limited reach outside social justice circles and find it difficult to gain traction with the public.” Like many small charities, Why me? has no communications professionals in-house. Lucy felt both she and her team members would benefit from the training and mentoring the Stronger Voices programme offered.
Lucy was successful in securing one of the 15 places on the programme which consists of six one-day workshops on key areas of marketing and communications, followed by mentoring sessions and the opportunity to network with journalists.
“The training was excellent,” says Lucy, who split attending the sessions with a colleague. She continued: “There were some great ideas about what we can do for very little budget and with little time.”
After the workshops, each participant was paired with a mentor from the media and communications industry. Media Trust paired Lucy with PR expert Fergus Campbell, Head of Communications at Gumtree who, beyond the programme, is still working with Lucy and her team to develop a mission statement to underpin their communications strategy.
Lucy was also given the chance to put her newly-honed pitching skills to the test as programme participants were invited meet face-to-face with journalists at a Stronger Voices “Speedpitching” event. Lucy says: “It was great and gave me an opportunity to practise my pitch and get on the spot feedback from journalists.”
As a result of Stronger Voices we got coverage in the Metro and we also had an amazing piece in the Telegraph
Lucy Jaffé, Director, Why me?
Getting national coverage
After the event, Lucy’s story was picked up by not one but two journalists: “As a result of Stronger Voices we got coverage in the Metro and we also had an amazing piece in the Telegraph.” Lucy continued: “It was very exciting for us to get a piece in the Telegraph as it’s not our usual readership.”
“We had done some PR in the past but it’s been mainly reactive, responding to requests,” says Lucy, “What Stronger Voices did was it showed us where we could start to place articles and the importance of our relationships with journalists.”
As a result of taking part in the programme Lucy believes she will be able to improve Why me?’s reach with the very people the charity hopes to help: “I am now more aware of what we can achieve as a result of improved communications and have a better understanding of how to identify our audiences’ preferred communication channels, messages and the actions we want them to take.”
Lucy is now on Media Trust’s Stronger Voices Advisory Group, which is composed of senior experts from both the media and creative industry and third sector who offer their expertise and guidance to help shape the content and delivery of year two of the Stronger Voices programme.