The future of engagement: developing audience-centred strategies

25 April 2018
09.30 - 17.00
CharityComms organisational and individual members: £175+vat
Corporate Partners: £220+vat
Small charity (income up to £1m) and freelancers: £195+vat
Medium charity (income £1-5m): £245+vat
Large charity (income £5m - 10m): £280+vat
Super large charity (income £10m+): £310+vat
Corporate/Public sector: £395+vat

etc.venues (Prospero House)
241 Borough High Street

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The pace of change can feel especially daunting when your job is to communicate with the public about good causes. But the most successful charities really understand who they’re speaking to and continually evolve their engagement strategies to create great audience experiences.

This conference will explore insights, strategies and techniques to help your charity better get under the skin of its current and non-established audiences, helping you to produce effective, future-proofed communications strategies that drive engagement and real-world action.

Sponsored by

At this event we’ll explore:

  • Generational shifts – insights into engaging with emergent groups
  • Bursting the bubble – reaching beyond established audiences
  • New technologies – what audiences might expect today and in future
  • Generating audience insight – tips, tools and techniques
  • Segmentation projects – development and implementation
  • How to bring audience insight to life for colleagues
  • Using insight to inform UX and new modes of engagement
  • Creating the perfect agency brief for your audience projects
  • How to develop a clear, audience-focused communications strategy
  • A model for defining and prioritising your audiences for growth
  • Using insight to develop supporter journeys
  • The consumer trends you need to know about

Refreshments and snacks will be provided during the breaks and there’ll be a two-course networking lunch.

Have a question about the content? Please get in touch with Emma. Have a question about the event in general? Please get in touch with Harri.

On the agenda

09.30 – 10.00 Registration
10.00 – 10.05


Adeela Warley, CEO, CharityComms

10.05 – 10.30 Safeguarding trust with our audiences
The erosion of trust in the established order is a well-known story (we’re all versed in Trump’s populism and have probably engaged in some hand-wringing about Brexit, whatever side we’re on). However, when charities and screen heroes let us down, that’s a whole new level of disappointment. In this talk, we’ll be addressing the issue of trust across sectors and brands. We’ll explore some of the ways organisations are building trust today and deliver our recommendations on what can be done by charities to safeguard trust with audiences.
Rezina Chowdhury, insight and planning manager, marketing directorate, Public Health England     
Aliya Mirza, research manager, Ipsos MORI
10.30 – 10.55 The tech trends shaping the future of engagement
From Voice to IoT (no eye rolling please) and from AI to machine learning – we’ll be tackling the buzzwords head on. In this session, we’ll hear about the trends currently impacting on engagement and how organisations are responding to these. We’ll also look at what might come up in the future and what we need to know now to make the most of opportunities and safeguard against any potential threats.
Matt Haworth, co-founder, Reason Digital
10.55 – 11.05 Peer exchange
11.05 – 11.35 Refreshments and advice surgeries
11.35 – 12.15 Breakout session one

1a. Audience-centred strategy: why and how?
This session will open with a short presentation of the keynote report on audience-centred strategy, written by Eden Stanley for CharityComms. After this, Scope will share a case study, showing how they are putting audiences at the centre of their new strategy, Everyday Equality. The segmentation model at the heart of the strategy uncovered fresh insights on how ‘proximity to cause’ (disability) affects propensity to support, and how attitudinal and behavioural archetypes could drive their brand proposition and public engagement work.
Tracy Griffin, director of marketing, fundraising and communications, Scope
Joe Barrell, director, and Sarah Fitzgerald, consultant, Eden Stanley
Suitable for: directors and heads of departments


1b. Developing a channel plan – workshop (This session is fully booked)
To reach beyond established audiences, you need to use a mix of channels, coupled with insight about your audience. In this practical, facilitated workshop, Paul will guide you through developing a channel plan. The workshop will work through an example of a particular target segment, utilising information about this segment’s attitudes and behaviours, and then what channels would be the most effective to deliver reach. The workshop will be done in groups, with a chance for each group to present and get feedback on their plan.
Paul Gill, head of digital engagement, Oxfam
Suitable for: anyone responsible for their organisation’s channel plan. All charities could attend but would best suit medium to large budgets


1c. The science of social: how to be relevant to a sceptical audience
In a world of fake news, where each person sees an average of 4000 adverts daily, how can a campaign cut through? Our audiences are constantly evaluating our comms and content online – with scepticism or mistrust often preventing them from developing our message into an action. How can we use some basic laws of social attraction to disarm this and get people to believe the truth in our call to action? Attendees will come away with a good understanding of what it takes to build an effective engagement strategy and how to apply this to both content creation and distribution online.
Ellie Moore, senior engagement strategist, Don’t Panic
Suitable for: anyone responsible for creating or implementing online campaigns, for small to large budgets


1d. Putting young people at the heart of marketing campaigns
Childline has existed for over 30 years and with more than 295,000 counselling sessions a year online or over the phone. This gives us a wealth of data on the issues facing young people in the UK, from Google Analytics, focus groups, social listening tools, contact insights and search tools. We use these insights to develop campaign creative, marketing plans and self-help content including our recent campaigns on racial discrimination and male suicide. Join this session to take away useful tips on how to involve service users in your comms plans.

Marnie Winter-Burke, senior digital marketing officer and James Barker, associate head, digital engagement, NSPCC

Suitable for: medium to large budgets and for all staff

12.25 – 13.05 Breakout session two  

2a. If it’s broken – let’s fix it: finding new ways to engage
While trust in the charity sector dwindles, people are increasingly looking to business, rather than charities, to fix the world’s problems. Let’s stop assuming we deserve trust and support, and start earning it, by re-engaging people – on their terms. In this session, Reuben outlines why he thinks it’s time to renew the fundraising model, culture and sector and what new models for engagement might look like. He’ll explore case studies from across the sectors showing how we can move beyond funnels and journeys to be more creative, challenging, engaging and enriching.
Reuben Turner, creative partner, Good Agency
Suitable for: senior marketing and comms professionals interested in the latest thinking around engagement


2b. Using insight to inform UX and new modes of engagement
The internet is full of enticing content, all competing for our attention. In this session, Alicia will outline how her organisation is generating and using audience insight to inform UX and create digital products that people want to engage with. She will share the inside story of how WaterAid’s new mobile-first, supporter-led website was developed using audience insight and UX design principles. You’ll also get to hear about how the organisation is engaging people online using personalised, curiosity-piquing and universally relevant insight about the user through digital products such as its Height Calculator and the ‘Talk to Sellu’ chatbot.   
Daniel Gray, digital engagement manager, WaterAid
Suitable for: anyone interested in using insight to improve digital UX and engagement. Would best suit medium to large budgets


2c. Bursting the bubble – reaching beyond established audiences
The British Lung Foundation (BLF) faced a challenge: how do you get people to seek medical advice when they don’t know they have a problem? This was the conundrum it faced when developing Listen to your lungs, a national campaign to raise awareness of breathlessness as a symptom of lung disease. Michael and George from the BLF’s digital and marketing team tell us how they used big data and social advertising to target people beyond existing audiences with phenomenal results. You’ll find out how the team used a web app, Facebook advertising, animations, blogging and online PR to influence new audiences. You’ll learn how to use demographic data effectively to build audience profiles and reach out to new people.
Michael Laffan, digital and marketing manager and George Gurr marketing executive, British Lung Foundation

Suitable for: campaign planners, senior digital and marketing professionals who want to use data and digital strategically


2d. Warm up cold audiences online
In this workshop, we’ll be discussing how to produce content that warms up cold audiences online. Matt will explore why it matters, and the common mistakes charities make. Following this, there will be the opportunity to work in groups to co-create content to warm up your cold audiences.
Matt Collins, managing director, Platypus Digital

Suitable for: all budgets and all levels, particularly if your role involves acquisition or reaching new audiences

13.05 – 13.55 Lunch
13.55 – 14.35 Breakout session three

3a. Push or pull
Prostate Cancer UK has been enormously successful, with double digit income growth from pushing out activities people seemed to respond to. But they know that more people will join them in the fight against prostate cancer if they allow themselves to be pulled towards their needs and interests. Join Tracey as she shares a framework for putting audiences at the heart of your decision making and thoughts on how to bridge the gap between supporters and beneficiaries.
Tracey Pritchard, executive director of engagement, Prostate Cancer UK
Suitable for: directors and heads of departments from medium to large charities


3b. A user-centred design approach to creating insight-driven campaigns: the Movember experience
This interactive session will consider how to generate real audience insight, and crucially, feed that into campaigns. The Movember Foundation’s mission is to have an everlasting impact on the face of men’s health, and this session will discuss how Movember has worked to reach men and boys where they are, on areas including prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention.
Ellen O’Donoghue, director, health promotion, Movember Foundation
Suitable for: small to large budgets and for marketing, comms and digital folk looking for practical ideas for gathering and using audience insight in campaigns


3c. Developing a multichannel content strategy: lessons from BBC and Red Bull
Within six months of his role at The Air Ambulance Service, Michi significantly increased engagement and doubled digital donations. With a media and brand background in commercial organisations such as Red Bull and the BBC, here he talks about how he applied lessons from the commercial sector to set up a highly successful content publishing multichannel strategy at his charity. From intelligent automation to pragmatic and cost-free innovation, you can expect to leave this session with ideas for how to regularly publish content that will increase engagement.
Michi MacLennan, head of digital and innovation, The Air Ambulance
Suitable for: small to large budgets – anyone seeking practical ideas for improving or developing their charity’s multichannel content strategy


3d. Internal and external audiences: developing a strategy to engage hearts and minds
Internal engagement is prerequisite for external engagement. While often mentioned within leadership and people management contexts, engaging the hearts and minds of your internal audiences is equally important, yet often overlooked. Discover practical tips on how to develop an audience-focused communication strategy and to ensure it drives engagement, winning over your internal and external audiences to deliver impact for your charity’s cause and beneficiaries it exists to serve.
Alina O’Keeffe, engagement manager, Sands, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity
Suitable for: anyone responsible for leading and implementing organisation’s communications strategy; small to medium budgets

14.45 – 15.25 Breakout session four 

4a. Embedding and applying audience insight (This session is fully booked)
You’ve generated your audience insight, but how can you embed this within your comms team and across the wider organisation? In this session, you’ll get practical, applicable ideas for making the most of your audience insight. There will also be a chance to work in groups to generate ideas and co-create solutions to overcoming the challenges and making more of the opportunities that audience insight gives us.
Caroline Ledger, strategy and change communications lead, Macmillan Cancer Support
Selina Fox, director, Randall Fox
Ali Percy, research associate, Randall Fox
Suitable for: small to large budgets – anyone responsible for implementing audience insight projects


4b. Social, political and economic trends you need to know about
We have seen several truly dramatic years, both globally and in the UK. From Brexit to the rise of the far right and from generational shifts and economic uncertainty to the growth of disintermediation and ethical consumerism. In this session we will explore the most influential social, political and economic factors affecting your audiences. Providing you with insights to consider in your engagement strategies, Michele will also provide opportunities for peer-to-peer learning and discussion.
Michele Madden, managing director, nfpSynergy
Suitable for: small to large budgets – anyone interested in the environment charities are operating in to inform strategy


4c. GDPR – an opportunity for engagement and growth?

In today’s connected world, personal data is being collected at an incredible rate. Last year The Economist called personal data “the world’s most valuable resource” ahead of oil. It goes without saying that data is everything in marketing and communications. In this session, we’ll explore how the impending GDPR regulations may change the relationship between organisations and consumers. There will also be an opportunity to pose your GDPR challenges for discussion – so please come with your questions.

Kavya Kaushik, product manager, Sage Publishing

Daniel Fluskey, head of policy and external affairs, Institute of Fundraising

Suitable for: small to large budgets and for anyone responsible for handling data

15.25 – 15.55 Refreshments and advice surgeries
15.55 – 16.30

How will the heart of communications (the brand) need to change to engage audiences in the future?
Author and future gazer William Gibson wrote, “The future is here – it’s just not evenly distributed”. Max will dig into the charity, commercial and international sectors to look for the gems and the fool’s gold. Some things will be different, some very different. Some will stay the same. And some will even go backwards. 

Max du Bois, executive director, Spencer du Bois

16.30 – 17.00

Magic Matters

Engagement is emotional. It’s about how people feel about you and how this then determines how they behave. In this closing session, Roger will discuss the psychology of engagement, what creates loyalty and what deepens the emotional connection people have. In particular, he’ll share research and examples that show how a little bit of magic can create memories and grow long-term emotional engagement.

Roger Lawson, consultant, Roger Lawson Consulting

17.00 Close


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