Being a CharityComms member has helped Kat Lloyd grow more confident in her role as the small charity she works for has developed.
The project and communications officer at the Population and Sustainability Network shares what she has learnt from her membership, and the impact this has had.
“I’m the sole communicator in a team of four so I wear a lot of hats in my role, working on everything from social media to funding applications. I don’t have a background in communications and felt a bit lost when I started my job. Being a member of CharityComms makes me feel less alone in my role. It has helped me communicate with our network better and, as a result, is increasing my organisation’s impact.
I became a CharityComms member in October 2013 as I wanted advice about writing messaging, how to benefit from social media and how to use my time wisely as a sole communicator. An international development colleague recommended CharityComms and the organisation seemed to have lots of information about how to do the best job with limited resources.
I went along to a sole communicators’ event when I was working on redeveloping our website and had no idea where to begin. Talking to people there, keeping up to date with the CharityComms blog and reading the best practice guides, gave me the confidence to put forward new ideas for the website in board meetings. I could say ‘I’ve been given this advice through CharityComms, a respected organisation, and it has been tried and tested by other charities’. That gave my ideas more clout with senior management.
Reading Make it matter made me realise that my charity needed a communications strategy as we are growing. We raise awareness of and support for sexual and reproductive health and rights programmes in international development, making the connection between people, their health and the ecosystems on which they depend. So we have quite a complex message. The book helped me to think about how I can articulate our messages on social media and use our website to bring the organisations we support together to collaborate.
Now we’re writing our organisation’s strategic plan and our communications strategy will be part of it. It will make our message more focused and it easier to talk to our different audiences which include, advocacy networks, sexual and reproductive health charities and government.
I had a mentor through CharityComms for six months, which was incredible and helped change my attitude to communications. I’ve also found the seminars really helpful and have signed up for a conference about how to engage with different audiences. If I wasn’t a member, I think the communications element of my job could feel like a huge burden. If you’re a sole communicator like me, it’s good to feel like you’ve got a team around you, sharing ideas and learning, even though you don’t.”
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