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Getting your trustees on board with digital comms

Headshot of Jade

9 November 2022

by Jade Staiano

Programme Manager at Media Trust.

Article

Article

Your trustees are already engaged with your organisation, now it's time to get them on board with your digital comms strategy. Here's four tips on how you can encourage them to to be ambassadors for your cause.

Your trustees can be a powerful tool in your digital comms strategy. They are already on board with your purpose as a charity – no pun intended – so why wouldn’t they want to share all the good work you’re doing on their social media?  

Perhaps they’re not sure how, perhaps it hasn’t even crossed their mind.   

Remember, communication starts with us. Instead of wishing our trustees would make a move, let’s give them the tools they need to be ambassadors for our cause. 

1. Get social media on the agenda 

When your trustees engage with the work you do on social media, it builds your charity’s credibility and improves your reach. You know this, but they might not.  

Get digital comms on your board’s agenda, and showcase the benefits. Share some of the ways their engagement can help build your charity. Did you know that on LinkedIn, posts by employees get 8x more engagement compared to the same posts shared by official brand accounts? (Social Media Today 

And that employees have 10x (on average) more followers then a brand’s account?  

It’s not just about increasing your reach, trustee (and employee and volunteer) engagement helps recruit top talent, improves the reputation of your charity, and helps set you apart as a dynamic and relevant force for good. 

Share this with your trustees so they can understand how important their contribution is.  

Once they’re convinced of the benefits of supporting your digital comms strategy, make it easy for them. Set your expectations and give them some simple suggestions on how they can get involved. 

You could share key annual events or dates where you really want their buy-in. Are you planning a campaign to recruit new volunteers or do you have a big fundraising push coming up? Make a plan, and let your trustees know how they can support you. You could try asking for their ideas too! 

Will you be emailing them once a month with some content ideas they can share? Would you like them to share content you’ve already published on your profiles, or create their own from text and images you will send them?  

Create a plan together and then stick to it! Consistency is key to embedding new behaviours.  

2. Give clear guidelines  

It’s likely your trustees have a sense of what is and isn’t appropriate for them to share or talk about on social media, but just to be on the safe side, share your social media policy with them. This will cover things like whether it’s okay to mention the company in profile bios and if yes, what disclaimers about content representing personal rather than corporate opinions are required. It will help everyone keep it professional and avoid any embarrassing (and highly public) incidents. Here’s an example social media policy template you could use from CharityComms. 

It’s also a good idea to outline how your trustees can support you in a crisis. Responses should come from your charity’s account, and can then be shared and amplified by trustees, employees and volunteers.   

3. Don’t make assumptions about digital skills 

Your trustees will likely be more familiar with one platform over another. Check where they like to engage and make sure they have all the tools they need to share your messages on that platform. 

For example, if LinkedIn is a popular platform, show your trustees how to link their own profile to the LinkedIn charity page, and add their trustee position to their experience section. Provide them with a short piece of text to make this even easier. This looks good for them on their profile, but it also means you can make use of the share button. Show them how it works, and what notifications they can expect.  

You can provide your trustees with your organisation’s social media links too, so they can follow you. And make sure they know how to tag you in a post! 

4. Encourage trustee content 

When a trustee does share something, be sure to thank them publicly. The same applies if they leave a comment or share a post. Trustees are often very busy, and we don’t want them to think their efforts have gone unnoticed or unappreciated.  

Make a habit of engaging with their content regularly, even if it isn’t related to your charity. Being a cheerleader for your trustees, and their career or business success, will build a mutually supportive relationship. You’ll both feel the benefit! 

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