Small charities communications conference 2019

Conference
10 July 2019
09.30 - 16.30
CharityComms organisational and individual members: £85+vat
Non-member charities: £105+vat
Corporate/public sector: £160+vat

Exclusive to charities with a turnover below £2 million. If your turnover is over £2 million but you're the only comms person in your team you're very welcome to attend too.

Resource for London
356 Holloway Road
London
N7 6PA

Small charities often face very different challenges to larger organisations, which is why we run this dedicated annual event.

We’ll look at ways to make the most of limited resources, and how small size doesn’t need to mean small impact when it comes to communications.

The day will be a mix of expert sessions, peer discussions, workshops and case studies to give you practical take-home actions, inspiration and new contacts to continue the conversation with post-event.

Refreshments and snacks will be provided during the morning and afternoon breaks and there’ll be a buffet networking lunch.

Who is this for? 

This conference is exclusively for communications professionals working in small charities with a turnover below £2 million. If your turnover is over £2 million but you’re the only comms person in your team you’re very welcome to attend too. This conference is now fully booked. To be added to the waiting list, please email Lauren.

Have a question about the content? Please get in touch with Jess Day. Have a question about the event in general? Please get in touch with Sarah.

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Agenda

09.30 - 10.00
Registration

Exhibition Hall

10.00 - 10.05
Welcome

Conference Hall

Adeela Warley
CEO, CharityComms

10.05 - 10.50
Lightning talks: short case studies of small organisations doing great comms work with limited resources

Conference Hall

  • Aligning organisational strategy and comms strategy – Nicola Miller, founder, A Mile in Her Shoes
  • Welcome to Woodcraft Folk: volunteer recruitment with a £200 budget – Pippa Gardner, communications manager, Woodcraft Folk
  • The strategic power of ‘no thanks’ – Kimberly McIntosh, senior policy officer, Runnymede Trust
  • More than a rebrand – how Community Organisers engaged the whole membership in redefining the organisation – Nick Gardham, CEO, Community Organisers
  • Let’s talk maths! How we built a media presence from scratch without any budget – Rachel Malic, Communications and marketing manager, National Numeracy
10.55 - 11.40
Breakout session one
Effective media relations for your charity

Seminar Room 6

Get to grips with the media relations basics that every organisation needs to have in place. We’ll look at what journalists of all types (national/regional; broadcast/digital/print) need, what makes a story (and what doesn’t!), how to pitch a story with success, and what to do when you don’t have a constant flow of new things to say.

Becky Slack
founder and managing director, Slack Communications

Make it social

Seminar Room 2

We live in a rapidly moving digital age – social media channels are a vital part of your organisation’s communications toolset. In this session, we’ll look at the building blocks of your social media game plan – community, engagement and solicitation – and look at the strategic questions that will help your social media deliver more for your mission, and help you make the most of your time.

 

Angharad Francis
community manager, Social Misfits Media

Emily Boardman
community manager, Social Misfits Media

Clear comms strategy (repeated in breakout session two)

Seminar Room 3

To make the most of limited resources every organisation, whatever its size, can and should think strategically. A good communications strategy will help you set the right goals, focus on the audiences that matter, and deliver the messages that resonate. This session will take you step-by-step to strategic success, and send you away with a template and resources to get to grips with your own comms strategy.

Natasha Roe
founding director, Red Pencil

Behavioural science for communicators

Seminar Room 4

Much of charities’ work relies on getting people to do things: attend an event, donate their time or money or even just to read an e-mail. And many charities’ programme work aims to change behaviour, from healthier habits to changing the way we talk about sensitive topics. Shane will share insights from behavioural science that can help you predict how people will respond to information or requests, tips for designing and delivering more effective communications, and examples of where small targeted changes to engagement strategies have had powerful impacts.

 

Shane Donnellan
Senior behaviour change specialist, Changeworks

11.40 - 12.05
Refreshment break and advice surgeries

Exhibition Hall

12.05 - 12.50
Breakout session two
Time for a new website?

Seminar Room 6

Your organisation’s website is a vital shop window – could it be working harder for you, or taking up less of your time? In this session, we’ll look at how to tell when it’s time for a new site, the strengths, weaknesses and relative costs of different platforms, and the questions you need to ask yourself to make sure you come up with a brief that sets you, and your suppliers, up for success. Whether you’re about to launch a new website project, building the case for investment, or just want the tools to help you decide when it’s time to move on, this session will leave you ready to take control of your website’s future.

 

Sepas Seraj
founder, Pixeled Eggs

Kris Samyui Adams
creative director, Pixeled Eggs

Audience insight

Seminar Room 4

To deliver truly effective communications and services, you need to really understand your audience; who they are, where they are, what they think and feel about your cause. But while large-scale insight and research programmes might seem out of reach, in a small organisation, you might find you know more than you realise. In this session, Sarah will share examples of small charities who’ve done great insight work on a shoestring, and look at cost-effective ways to gather intelligence from around your organisation, places to find useful data you can draw on, and ways to engage with your audiences to get the info you need.

Sarah Fitzgerald
director, Self Communications

Clear comms strategy (session repeated from breakout one)

Seminar Room 3

To make the most of limited resources every organisation, whatever its size, can and should think strategically. A good communications strategy will help you set the right goals, focus on the audiences that matter, and deliver the messages that resonate. This session will take you step-by-step to strategic success, and send you away with the tools you need to get to grips with your own comms strategy. 

Natasha Roe
founding director, Red Pencil

Doing digital better - making the most of your time online

Seminar Room 2

There are a million and one digital tools and toys to spend your time on. But in a small organisation, time is one thing you really don’t have. You need to make some tough strategic choices – to cut out the activities that just don’t pay off and feel the freedom it brings. Matt will lay out evidence and examples to help you prioritise the communications tools and channels that will deliver for you, and dig into how to make the most of the time you free up.

Matt Collins
managing director, Platypus Digital

12.50 - 13.25
Lunch and advice surgeries

Exhibition Hall

13.25 - 14.40
Breakout session three
Design and implement a realistic PR plan

Seminar Room 3

Your boss wants a slot on Radio 4’s Today programme to talk about how great your work is. You know that journalists want more than a good news story, plus you’ve never had much media coverage at all up to now. This workshop will take you through the tips and tricks you need to put in place to work up to national coverage (without the need for a scandal) and leave you with a basic plan to get you started on your journey to PR success.

Becky Slack
founder and managing director, Slack Communications

Making the case for comms in your organisation

Seminar Room 6

How is ‘communications’ perceived in your charity? And where does it sit in the organisational structure? Small charity leaders recognise the need for strong communications support, yet often identify a shortage of these skills in their organisations. In this interactive session Julie will draw on research and experience working with small charity leaders through the Pilotlight programme, to help you identify steps you can take to ensure the importance of comms is recognised in top-level decision-making, and that your comms skills are deployed by your charity as a strategic asset, rather than an on-demand service.

Julie Kangisser
director, Think Communications

Brand is as brand does

Seminar Room 4

What does building a brand identity from the inside-out really mean? In this interactive session we’ll look at people-focused, purpose-driven organisations and how they unite their culture and identity to achieve their ambitions. We’ll examine what joins up what they do with what they say, and offer tools and insights to help you inspire positive change in your own organisation.

Kelly Smith, lead strategist and writer, Neo

Laura Harrison, co-founder, The Human Change Agency

Creative Lab: a framework for great ideas

Seminar Room 2

Does everyone look to you for ideas, as ‘the comms person’? In this creative, fast and fun workshop session, Creative Concern will take you through a methodology for idea generation to harness the creativity of your colleagues, helping you work together to think through new and compelling ways of getting your message out. You’ll leave with tips and techniques you can use to re-energise your communications and create campaigns, brand messaging, fundraising propositions, social media campaigns, advertising concepts and more.

Chris Dessent
managing director, Creative Concern

Faith Bulleyment
business director, Creative Concern

14.45 - 15.30
Breakout session four: Peer-to-peer discussions

This session offers a chance to share challenges and solutions and successes and failures with peers. Come prepared to share your knowledge and experience, as well as hear how others deal with particular topics.
Topics will include:

  • Audience insight – do you know more than you think? Explore the different sources of information about your key stakeholders, and how you could be making more use of them.
  • Dealing with the media – managing and resourcing your media relationships
  • Working with agencies and consultants – making the most of supplier relationships. What works, and what should you look out for?
  • Social media – managing and resourcing social channels
  • Email – how do you use email with your different audiences, and how is it performing for you?
  • Measuring comms success – how do you judge the success of your activities, and how do you apply that knowledge?
15.30 - 15.50
Refreshment break and advice surgeries

Exhibition Hall

15.50 - 16.25
Innovation on a small budget

Conference Hall

Far from holding you back, small-scale can give organisations the close contact with their supporters and stakeholders, and the nimbleness and flexibility that can allow new ideas to appear and flourish: some of the biggest companies today started with a low-key, low-cost test of a great idea. Henry will share some inspiring stories of how great new ideas and products can grow from a clear understanding of audience needs, tested and developed through to success, and share some ways that you can promote an ‘innovation mindset’ in your organisation.

Henry Rowling
founder, Flying Cars

16.25 - 16.30
Close

Conference Hall

Adeela Warley
CEO, CharityComms