Help is at hand for charities needing free expert support to improve their digital communications and marketing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Media and marketing experts are offering their time and expertise for free to help charities meet the digital communications challenges they are facing during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The support is being offered trough the Media Trust’s Volunteer Platform, which matches communications experts with charities in need of help.
The Media Trust has also made a digital resource hub available to offer further help.
Charities are being urged to register for the volunteer platform and begin logging in the details of the support they need.
Experts across media, creative and technology industries are also being asked to sign up to offer their help. The Media Trust has also produced a guide to volunteering to help those in the media and creative industry learn more about employer supported skills based volunteering initiatives.
Have you been trying to improve your charity’s digital comms ever since the lockdown? Post a #volunteering opportunity request on Media Trust’s Volunteer Platform today to get matched with a skilled comms volunteer who can help 👉 t.co/pDvqxaUFkv #COVIDCommsResponse pic.twitter.com/WQY5925h18— Media Trust (@Media_Trust)>
Have you been trying to improve your charity’s digital comms ever since the lockdown? Post a #volunteering opportunity request on Media Trust's Volunteer Platform today to get matched with a skilled comms volunteer who can help \uD83D\uDC49 https://t.co/pDvqxaUFkv #COVIDCommsResponse pic.twitter.com/WQY5925h18— Media Trust (@Media_Trust) May 12, 2020
At the time of writing there were 291 volunteer opportunities available on the platform.
Among the most recent to post on the platform is Together for Mental Wellbeing, which is looking for a communications professional to give up time to help develop its COVID-19 communications strategy and update its crisis communications policy.
Another is Yorkshire Cat Rescue, which is already active on social media. It is looking for help to create and edit short videos for Facebook.
“This position could either be a one off opportunity to assist us with creating a compelling video for our advert or could be someone that is able to give us ongoing support with our social media content,” says Yorkshire Cat Rescue.
Meanwhile, Rites for Girls is looking for a “social media whizz” to help improve its digital connections with families. It’s call for support states: “We need someone who’s able to hang out in Facebook land, on Insta and happy to tweet away on our behalf. Our voice is a very particular one, empowering girls and strengthening and supporting parents.”
Also looking for help is Salusbury World, which supports refugee and migrant families and children in London. They need support to update content for its Word Press website. This opportunity could also involve offering sustainable help to train staff members in regularly updating the website with content, photos and videos.
The volunteer platform has already proved popular with communications experts looking to support charities for free. There was an 80 per cent increase in experts signing up during April.
The Media Trust’s resource hub offers additional help for charities with their marketing and communications, such as webinars, practical guides and strategy templates.
Included in the resource hub is the Media Trust’s Digital Marketing Strategy Webinar series. This involves three modules to help charities to promote their work online, grow and engage audiences, as well as increase their visibility. This covers the basics of digital marketing strategy, tactics, using content and digital marketing channels, looking at social media, emails, blogs and web content. Each module is accessible via downloadable links and is pre-recorded.
Almost all (97 per cent) of the 219 charities surveyed said they would like to access pro-bono or volunteer communications support.
This found that email is the most favoured communications channel they are using. Websites is another highly popular area of communication among charities. The survey also revealed Facebook and Twitter are their most commonly used social media communication channels.
But there are gaps in knowledge where media and communication expert support is urgently needed.
Around two thirds of charities need help in setting up and using Facebook Groups to engage with supporters. Also, currently there is limited use of channels such as What’s App and Snapchat by charities.
Video content support is another area where support from experts is welcome. Only around a quarter of charities are using this platform, according to Media Trust and Charity Comms research.
“COVID-19 has meant a forced acceleration of the digitisation path they were already on,” says Media Trust Chief Executive Office Su-Mei Thompson on the communication challenges charities are facing.
She adds that charities “told us they need support with digital fundraising and creating digital content, with one charity saying, ‘we need help creating relevant content for digital channels to free up our helpline for urgent enquiries’.
“Another charity said they are worried about the glut of online content saying, ‘we need help identifying what is going to cut through’.”
The Media Trust’s volunteer platform looks to be an ideal way for charities to access urgently needed expertise to ramp up their digital communications.