Earlier this month, Third Sector wrote a piece about how the double whammy of diminished resources and increased demand for their services means that times are tough right now for small charities.
Few grassroots charities can afford to recruit a PR or marketing professional to shout about the great work they’re doing, and this can lead to fewer people accessing their services and less money in donations. So that’s a vicious cycle and a double whammy.
Media Trust is a UK charity that ‘matches creative professionals from every kind of media with charities that need their skills and experience’. All you need in order to get involved is around two years professional experience and to want to do it.
I watched the brilliant Ken Loach film ‘I Daniel Blake’ (funny, tragic and hugely political, it won the 2016 Palme d’Or) a week or so after registering with the Media Trust and immediately offered to support a charity called Inspire Middleton who wanted help in developing a PR strategy.
Inspire Middleton is a local community charity that runs a food bank and also supports local people who need support with things like digital skills, careers advice, health and wellbeing support, community engagement and much more. A lot like the charity in I Daniel Blake.
Over the next couple of months I did plenty of reading around the issues, and put together a strategy based around story ideas and relationship building, to help them increase awareness of their service among local people who need support and others who might donate and volunteer. I got a brilliant response from them and we plan to touch base in a few weeks to discuss how they will implement it
Working with a charity through Media Trust was an interesting and rewarding experience and I’d recommend it to anyone. If you’re an in-house PR professional, like me, it’s great to get the opportunity to see things from a different angle by working with a different sort of organisation. It’s a bit like when footballers go out on loan. You learn a lot and then you bring it back to your day job.
The added bonus is that you get 20 points towards your CIPR CPD too!
To find out more about Media Trust visit their website.
Have you volunteered through Media Trust? Would you like to? Feel free to get in touch if you’d like more information.