Transcript of #CommsChat on charities and rebrands

This week's chat

Last week, we had a fantastic lineup of guests on #CommsChat, including: Jan Peters, MD of USP Creative, who oversaw the rebrand of Alder Hey Children’s Charity; Mark Scott, head of brand at The Donkey Sanctuary and Paul Middlebrook, MD of The Allotment.

For more info on the rebrands, read about Oli the Oliphant and The Donkey Sanctuary.

The chat ranged from design functionality of a third sector rebrand to ROI to communications strategies for charities. Some highlights are below, but take a look at the full transcript, you won’t want to miss out on the insight our guests shared this week.

@AllotmentBrand I think the key point here is that you never need to question the passion or purpose of the third sector – they believe totally.
@USPCreative  It is key to get the supporters and stakeholders on board, clearly communicate the reasoning behind the rebrand
@USPCreative social media is one of the most cost effective and powerful ways for charities to spread the word.
@FleurieFM Authenticity/ trustworthiness/ consistency and Charisma = branding essentials
@AllotmentBrand Design, in all its manifestations, underpins the ability of rebrand to create and maintain belief for new and existing supporters
@USPCreative final thought; enduring brands are built from the heart and this is what makes them last
  1. final thought; enduring brands are built from the heart and this is what makes them last

  2. Thanks to everyone who tweeted tonight. A transcript will be up tomorrow morning, as always signing off, g’night all.

  3. Thank you for joining in and for all your comments- we have really enjoyed it.

  4. Thank you Brittany for inviting us. And thanks to all that have shared their wisdom with us tonight.

  5. RT : brands should be built on credible truths and this should be clearly communicated during the rebrand.

  6. : Thank you for all your comments. This has been my 1st and I’m glad I joined ” every Monday at 9pm

  7. brands should be built on credible truths and this should be clearly communicated during the rebrand.

  8. thank you, I hope everyone has found it of interest

  9. Thanks to all who took part. All the best and good night The Allotment

  10. Thank you for all your comments. This has been my 1st and I’m glad I joined

  11. Design, in all its manifestations, underpins the ability of rebrand to create and maintain belief for new and existing supporters

  12. …for their insight and comments. I, for one, have learned a lot tonight. Any final thoughts on rebrands in the third sector?

  13. Charities sitting on their hands because of a sense that inaction saves money is short term and doomed to failure.

  14. likewise our work for Alder Hey has impacted more than I could ever imagine

  15. Well our hour is drawing to a close. I want to sincerely thank and Paul and Mark who tweeted from

  16. We all want charities to prosper but if they are invisible or unclear about the purpose they have then they will decline 🙁

  17. The TDS rebrand will touch all parts of the business, what we do and how we do it, it’s not just a shiny new logo on our DM

  18. @CommsCharity its also a project our staff can buy into and really get involved with due to the charity’s work.

  19. rebrands make good financial sense. A consistent brand message ensures donors are certain about the charity’s purpose

  20. Sometimes charities forget they are service – we are looking at how we can streamline and improve the delivery of service

  21. Well said. RT : ROI is the million dollar question but the answer will only make you 10 bucks

  22. ROI is the million dollar question but the answer will only make you 10 bucks

  23. That segues into our last topic of the night: What impact does design have on the rebrand and prevalence of a non-profit?

  24. The TDS rebrand has not only increased our external visibility, optimism has in some instance replaced complacency internally

  25. The other benefit of designers looking at charities is they can look beyond the identity to improve service design.

  26. It also empowers staff and reaffirms the charity’s mission

  27. I can imagine! Everyone seems to be talking about the rebrand

  28. and opening up new fundraising channels, most specifically merchandise 2/2

  29. In answer to T4 – huge. The benefits to the Donkey Sanctuary are amazing. Empowering their own people and their donors to believe

  30. for it was definitely about raising the profile of the charity to a national level and opening 1/2

  31. You’d think so, but it’s surprising how great a response we (TDS) get when we don’t ask for anything

  32. and yet such basics aren’t gauged by so many brands!! missing a trick

  33. How does “authentic purpose ” match with “reason for brand is get people to do what you want”

  34. I think it’s time to take a stab at T4 (the hour is flying by!): What benefits can a rebrand have for a non-profit organisation?

  35. Rules don’t change. Sense of community and relevant timely content.

  36. MT : Brands based on an authentic purpose will always shine more than shallow logo. This is the starting point

  37. Authenticity/ trustworthiness/ consistency and Charisma = branding essentials

  38. RT Its key to include a call to action within social media messages and to engage w/ rather than talk at supporters

  39. yes, and social media should be considered a key communication channel and not an afterthought

  40. Brands based on an authentic purpose will always shine more than shallow logo. This is the starting point for all.

  41. Its key to include a call to action within social media messages and to engage with rather than talk at supporters

  42. The best brands are always built on credible truths

  43. When getting involved with any media channel the important thing is that your communications are brand consistent

  44. Totally believe in authenticity.. people trust other people before ‘corporate’ names

  45. How can charities put social media to better use? How do other sectors use social media to their benefit?

  46. Can anyone join this conversation ?

  47. yes- as with any work undertaken by a charity

  48. it depends on the reason, for Alder Hey there were a lot of reasons not least the need to step up fundraising.

  49. Social media v powerful for engaging with existing supporters. I was overwhelmed with offers for case studies from Facebook post

  50. Agree re. Social media – still very under used. Social media Is part of people’s lives as are charities

  51. If the rebrand is authentic, advocacy should provide the most effective PR

  52. certainly community fundraising strategies help, they allow the brand to develop by the people for the people

  53. RT : social media is one of the most cost effective and powerful ways for charities to spread the word.

  54. social media is one of the most cost effective and powerful ways for charities to spread the word.

  55. I think if charities PR their own rebrands the first question is how much i.e cost not value. Shame 🙁

  56. RT : by combining the reasons for rebrand with stories of the work the charity is doing.

  57. How do brand champions impact the immediate community and then the media/stakeholders/wider audience

  58. by combining the reasons for rebrand with stories of the work the charity is doing.

  59. Case studies key for media. Ideal for features but need to make sure org isn’t lost beneath great case study.

  60. Agreed ? MT : won a number of awards for the rebrand of the Donkey Sanctuary – great PR for all.

  61. these are the platforms where charities look to engage their advocates of the future, for most it’s in its infancy

  62. I agree, getting buy-in and creating brand champions is the best way forward

  63. How does an org. channel the support from individuals into broader media coverage? social media?

  64. As an example the allotment has won a number of awards for the rebrand of the Donkey Sanctuary – great PR for all.

  65. Design is huge. Poorly designed and ‘ugly’ websites perform worse. The same goes for e-mail, etc

  66. & let supporters echo support of charity. No one is better advocate for than the families they help.

  67. RT : It is key to get the supporters and stakeholders on board, clearly communicate the reasoning behind the rebrand

  68. I think Its better not to promote a rebrand but let others promote it for you. The key is not to sell but explain the change

  69. Charities usually have a lot more complex issues to deal with and less money

  70. MT : The Design Council has proven that every £ spent on design adds £20 back.

  71. It is key to get the supporters and stakeholders on board, clearly communicate the reasoning behind the rebrand 1/2

  72. I guess the most important bit for me is that the stress on emotions is lower.

  73. MT : The Design Council has proven that every £ spent on design adds £20 back.

  74. How well would you say the charity sector is utilising these ‘new’ channels?

  75. MT : charities exist in the real world and this is changing all the time. Charities ignore this at their peril

  76. I suppose it’s time for Topic 3, taking a turn toward : How can charities attract media coverage for a rebrand?

  77. Sorry Carol missed your earlier tweet. The Design Council has proven that every £ spent on design adds £20 back.

  78. Our corporate clients have the same issues, they are just communicated in a different way.

  79. Absolutely…a big idea to hold it all together. Also the channels have changed a lot since most charity brands were established

  80. RT : To continue – how many charities identities out there are more than 5 or 10 years old

  81. The point of brand is straightforward whether public or private sector, its about getting people to do what you want them do

  82. To continue – how many charities identities out there are more than 5 or 10 years old

  83. FleurieFM good point – charities exist in the real world and this is changing all the time. Charities ignore this at their peril

  84. Any corporate folk want to comment on if that’s different or the same in the private sector?

  85. yes definitely- its essential for any charity/marketing communication

  86. We used some standout case studies in the third sector that have clearly shown an ROI – MIND for instance

  87. So having a message and addressing it through the rebrand is key?

  88. With such £ squeeze at the moment I would have thought the proof without the pudding would be tricky?

  89. it is a difficult balance to strike but is key to success

  90. Can your current brand help to deliver the corporate objectives, if not you need to consider a rebrand

  91. Charities need to focus on their brand benefit. Its very competitive for charities. Animal charities receive approx £680m pa.

  92. As we said earlier, it’s about being able to communicate a clear message and show how & why funds are needed and spent

  93. Always a challenge between looking professional without looking as tho they are wasting money.

  94. Ditto this. LOTS of rebrands. LOTS of charities. Not as much money going around as before (sigh)

  95. With Mark’s support and drive we helped them to see the potential return from a rebrand

  96. The best results come when the audience fully understands where their money/donation will go & how they can make a difference

  97. I’d assume that’s true for many charities. And we’ve seen a LOT of 3rd sector rebrands this year.

  98. OK T2 – I think there is an economic need. Charities are suffereing from the squeeze. They need to stand out – be clear.

  99. With it was about being able to expand the charity’s fundraising efforts to a national level

  100. MT : many 3rd sector orgs get chunks of funding from public sector & other grants so stakeholder relations crucial

  101. Interesting, in what ways were you able to expand the brief?

  102. Clarity is key to any brand – if you do not know where you are heading there is not much chance of arriving there.

  103. Let’s segue into T2, which is all about the : What factors influence a charity’s decision to and process of rebranding?

  104. Don’t forget many 3rd sector orgs get chunks of funding from public sector & other grants so stakeholder relations crucial

  105. RT : Its all about the message, it has to be clear which in turn makes it easier to communicate with the audience.

  106. With need having to outstrip solution it is challenging to create an environment in which fundraising success can be celebrated

  107. It’s all about the message, it has to be clear which in turn makes it easier to communicate with the audience.

  108. Hi Fleurie – the brief was quite narrow when we started. We quickly realised their was a great opportunity to expand.

#CommsChat on third sector rebrands

This week's chat

Last week Communicate magazine’s Transform Awards celebrated the best in European rebranding. One of the programme’s strongest categories was the charity and non-profit sector. #CommsChat asked some of the winning organisations to be guests on Monday’s chat.

The Alder Hey Children’s Charity’s (@alderheycharity) bronze award-winning rebrand was carried out by USP Creative (@USPCreative), who will both join in on the chat. Paul Middlebrook from The Allotment (@AllotmentBrand) oversaw The Donkey Sanctuary’s gold award-winning rebrand.

The topics we’ll cover include:

  • Within the third sector, how do communications vary depending on the type of organisation?
  • What factors influence a charity’s decision to and process of rebranding?
  • How can charities attract media coverage for a rebrand?
  • What benefits does a rebrand have on a non-profit organisation?
  • What impact does design have on the rebrand and subsequent prevalence of a non-profit?

Join us! We tweet from @CommsChat and #CommsChat takes place from 8-9pm UK time – for worldwide times, go here. Anyone can take part in the discussion – simply follow the hashtag here or on Twitter. If you can’t make the chat or would like to revisit it, a transcript will go up on Tuesday morning.

We’d love to hear your suggestions for future topics for #CommsChat – get in touch with Brittany by email or Twitter if you’ve got ideas.

 

Transcript of #CommsChat on employee engagement

This week's chat

Last week, we were joined by Katie Hadgraft (@KatieHadgraft), head of employee communications and engagement at the Essex County Council. Hadgraft’s team oversaw an internal engagement programme that recently took home the CIPR Inside award for best employee engagement.

Some tweets that caught our eye:

@Engagingbrand Its not the big messages that is so hard, it is the informal chatter than creates the emotional engagement
@PeterMBarrett Always think the best #internalcomms people have one eye on the survey, & both ears on the corridor chat. Simplified, but agree?
@adamrubins communication (and structure) is a fundamental tool of day to day business management no matter which sector
@KatieHadgraft action planning is team driven (as well as a corporate action plan) so results are at a local level
And the full trancript
  1. Thanks a lot for organising and to everyone else. Informative and fun as usual!

  2. That’s – really enjoyed my first . – until next time!!

  3. a big thanks to Thanks so much for joining us tonight,

  4. Agree! We have Board level engagement plan & then local leaders have autonomy 2 pursue their own.

  5. but really happy to continue the conversation with anyone offline on another day!

  6. you mean are we doing it now? It’s three way now! 😉

  7. afraid I also have to go now, my dog is getting restless! thanks for being so welcoming for my first comms chat!

  8. I guess it is a two-way comms. I think we are doing it, plse tell me if we are not.

  9. As always, a full transcript will be up on the CommsChat site tomorrow. We’ll be back next Monday.

  10. wow, that hour went quickly – the big hand’s at 9, which is the time I bow out. But if you’re enjoying the chat, please carry on

  11. but that’s also fair enough- at least you’re communicating it and acknowledging that you’ve considered it.

  12. mind you, sometimes we also have to be honest and say, you said and we didn’t because xyz

  13. yes we don’t see it as particularly risky – quite good fun to demonstrate progress at grass root level

  14. Good idea RT: we also run a ‘you said, we did’ campaign across the year to demonstrate action following our survey

  15. online channels will play part-heard of companies encouraging staff to log on in own time if don’t have access at work

  16. not risky if you are actually demonstrating action is it?

  17. I they are already here. I have used a Facebook like platform in a previous role

  18. but we do have Lync and video via laptop – big step forward!

  19. like anything else I imagine there will be less of a personal touch

  20. RT : we also have a private Facebook feed to share best practice and internal news

  21. you’re lucky – we can’t access Facebook!!

  22. we also have a private Facebook feed to share best practice and internal news

  23. yes they can-though as you say, it’s hard to reach all.Online channels encourage interaction too which is gd

  24. action planning is team driven (as well as a corporate action plan) so results are at a local level

  25. digital platforms will certainly come into play. We use Lync and Skype to communicate as well as email

  26. All sounds amazing – no wonder you won. Can we speak offline at some point soon. Would love to cover yr activities

  27. That is risky, but I guess it’s also a good source of information.

  28. love this idea- empowers employees… Creates engagement!

  29. Post survey advice MT@sophiemgrant: – follow up workshops -great idea. Acting on the information you receive encourages employees

  30. The fault in surveys is -emps don’t believe change will follow.Following up&engaging f2f sounds old-but it’s crucial!

  31. Topic5 What will the future look like for internal communications?

  32. and with only nine mins to go lets move on. Our last topic for the night…

  33. that is positive but need to encourage staff to take control

  34. SNAP Katie! Board Member presence a bonus!Also our Embassies do PulseSurveys regularly 2 check progress.

  35. we also run a ‘you said, we did’ campaign across the year to demonstrate action following our survey

  36. w/ 10 mins left a word from sponsors, Communicate mag. March issue on ipad now has a live CommsChat feed

  37. – follow up workshops -great idea. Acting on the information you greceive encourages employees

  38. our Your Voice Engagement Day was a follow up to the survey but allowed us to heat map engagement too

  39. online channels can provide really insightful measurement-as long as everyone has access!

  40. Regular conversations with them, if they come to me with ideas.

  41. with much advance in management of metrics & measurement, are surveys the best we can do in measuring engagement?

  42. sounds a bit like us – it’s all in the post survey work and action planning

  43. Office use annual survey,but also supplement wiv follow up workshops which Board members attend to drill down.

  44. interestingly we’re at 47% for that question in our most recent survey

  45. RT : the obvious -surveys-but although useful in finding info on emp attitudes &behaviour, they don’t reach everyone

  46. Only 29%! Wow… I wonder if question explained clearly or they’re just unhappy or both.

  47. dont forget to use the hashtag on your responses – always better to share

  48. True RT : I hadn’t thought of ego, but you’re right there. Ego doesn’t have a place in biz.

  49. Agreed!Hope more individuals in businesses see it that way! There wouldn’t then be any serious issues

  50. RT : I hadnt thought of ego, but youre right there. Ego doesnt have a place in biz.

  51. I hadn’t thought of ego, but you’re right there. Ego doesn’t have a place in biz.

  52. Absolutely. You can only really improve by finding where the cracks are.

  53. There’re always stuff out there that we can learn from each other & if ego-free, boom! productivity!

  54. I often wonder it’s easier in biz than in personal life! Offtopic, sorry…

  55. Topic4 How do you measure employee engagement?

  56. hearing a lot of stats from – with talk of stats and measurement perhaps it’s time to move on to topic 4…

  57. Admitting to own mistakes is great as it needs courage but do something to improve needs commitment.

  58. I know. But, it’s key to hear what they say to learn from that and see if we can use it.

  59. yes, that vocational element is a really important engagement driver

  60. Another stat from that huge annual survey:just 29% feel change is managed well in their organisation.

  61. From my own perspective public sector want to make a difference to succeed despite challenges – own morale as better than service

  62. maybe but I guess the banks have suffered from the same sort of media bashing lately so lots of similarities too

  63. Our business likes to think this is how we work but are mistaken 9 times out of 10…

  64. I suppose I was meaning perception is drawn from papers writing on govt, hard to change internally?

  65. audience?Public sector can be more vocationial-nurses, teachers etc-more loyalty compared to private?

  66. Great! This is how orgs can ensure innovation & productivity; inclusion culture!

  67. because of less money, but also constant media & political bashing, is there a lower starting point in morale from public sector?

  68. well certainly for us there’s a bit political element to our work and Members have to be taken into account

  69. RT : I am actually doing just that, engaging other employees to get their experiences.

  70. Is one issue that Government controls the messaging in a way to public & therefore employees?

  71. I am actually doing just that, engaging other employees to get their experiences.

  72. RT : The 36% -frm 2012CivilService survey.So Empyee Voice is crucial to engagement,but thats assuming that trust exists

  73. we have lots of very long serving people who live for the customer – but can be change resistant

  74. communication (and structure) is a fundamental tool of day to day business management no matter which sector

  75. The 36% -from 2012CivilService survey.So Empyee Voice is crucial to engagement,but that is assuming that trust exists!

  76. I can imagine – I suppose it means you have to be more creative in the way you communicate!

  77. I guess budget is biggest difference in public and private sector. But budget aside, what are differences

  78. Maybe ideal to have all managers dealing with customers involved in defining strategy.

  79. Yep, just that. I thought you’d said that.

  80. Justifying it in terms of using funds in accordance with the public value. More scrutiny on all expenditure now.

  81. sorry, should have read are the obstacles in the public sector different to those in the private?

  82. Hi – I just posted on this, you read my mind. We make do and mend but it is not easy.

  83. are the obstacels in the public sector to those in the private?

  84. um, not that you can’t engage with no money (as we have shown) but – there is no money in the public sector!

  85. How much does a lack of budget impact your ability to engage public sector employees?

  86. yes, all employees invited, hosted by snr managers who were briefed etc, across whole county

  87. I think engagement is an outcome created thru leading through vision listening with passion and learning from everyone

  88. Topic3 What obstacles does the public sector face in engaging its employees?

  89. following comments on obstacles, makes it a great time to turn to topic 3….

  90. A “strategy” is defined by the business. A comms “plan”, including media used, delivers it. Who’s “us”?

  91. yes, constant prob – feedback/engagement typically comes from the already engaged. How reach unengaged…

  92. sounds really interesting! Would love to hear more. Did that involve all employees? 🙂

  93. So true! RT : new vehicle = shiny new toys. Bet you’ve had: “We need an app.”

  94. – indeed, just because its new doesn’t mean it’s necessarily needed or helpful.

  95. Hi this post may be of interest “The Year Our Business Went Social”

  96. No, I did mean strategy but I can see exactly where you’re coming from.

  97. yes, we have that challenge too – have tried hard to engage during massive change programme