We want opinion formers, policy makers, politicians and others to understand and value and effectiveness our work. We also want to advocate on behalf of the people we support and encourage support from others.
Our goal is to keep a range of local, national and regional stakeholders informed and enthused about our work in a variety of different ways – on-line, through the media, in print and in person at events.
We continue to have a positive relationship with the traditional media and aim, where possible, to respond to requests and provide expert commentary on issues related to our work. In the 12 months to April 2017 we were mentioned nearly 400 times in the media – in print, on-line and in broadcast media.
This coverage would have cost well in excess of £250,000 to purchase. Our ability to communicate effectively was severely tested in November when we took the decision to cancel our annual Big Sleep Out fundraising event when faced with disruption by an activist group.
With the tools at our disposal we were able to clearly communicate our decision and also generate considerable additional public support for a subsequent fundraising campaign. We also greatly extended our use of social media platforms by establishing a network of hyper-local Facebook pages to be used directly by local services.
These pages share vital information in communities and provide a vital source of information to service users and an alternative point of contact. Our main organisational platforms, meanwhile, were more popular than ever.
Our Facebook content, for example, was seen on more than one million occasions. We also produced more videos than ever before, using internal skills to promote events, advertise vital services, celebrate fundraising efforts and tell powerful service user stories.