Following the board approval to pursue a range of communications activities over April to June to support the launch of ‘The Power of Just Doing Stuff’, we have been working on all sorts of streams; some familiar, some totally new.
Things are now calming down and we are holding after action review meetings internally and with the PR agency Greenhouse to ensure that we make the most of the learnings from this phase, and embed as much of the practice into our operational and tactical communications activities as possible.s
- Book sales: Over 2,000 copies of The Power of Just Doing Stuff sold
- Website: busiest day of year following a Guardian article secured by PR team
- Subscriptions: 1,000 subscribers added to Transition Network subscribers, Facebook and Twitter gains in follows/likes
- Media profile: Long list of Transition focused articles in wide range of mainstream and ‘environmental’ media (see PR report)
- Enhancements: new site design and features introduced
- PR work
- Done by Greenhouse PR
- Very effective at raising profile in media.
- Full separate report supplied with evaluation and analysis (other blog to come)
- Excellent learning experience about doing PR
- Design and infographic work
- Great development of the Transition style within current brand
- Set new style for website and printed materials
- Infographic most popular newsletter item in July
- Request for translation into Spanish already received
- Feedback indicates it will be a great support resource – already seen being used at initiative events to communicate transition
- Also printed the infographic (now in TN office) and produced a set of postcards (snapped up by funders)
- Website work
- Cheerful and engaging new design well received by staff and users
- Big subscription move from Transition Culture to Transition Network
- Over budget owing to management cost of bringing new developers onboard (training on new system), and rather over-ambitious list of todos
- Balanced some of the cost with the design work’s under-budget
- Some work still to do to tidy the Transition Culture section
- Transition Thursdays proving very popular
- Short film production produced an uplifting film which went well, in budget, very effective use of existing media resources
Update since last board meeting
There has been much discussion around the Comms strategy since the last board meeting.
The unanimous agreement is that Transition Network’s strategy process is the natural starting point before we embark on a formal communications strategy. Meanwhile we need to press on with tactical and operational communications with ongoing processes and groups, while we re-frame the communications strategy within the development of the organisational strategy.
- We intend to frame this as a communications plan within the organisational strategy once we have it, rather than produce something that will need re-writing after it is done.Therefore we intend to start with a meeting (Sarah, Pete, Rob, Ed) to position the comms work and develop a ‘routemap’ of how it integrates with the strategy and what the tactics will be (e.g. ‘holding’ key messages)
- We originally proposed to hold a meeting of a ‘communications strategy group’ with staff, board, initiative representatives and external experts. Following our discussions around #1 above, we feel it is more suitable to wait for the organisational strategy
- Sarah and Ed have discussed and agreed that they would like Ed to continue managing this comms process, working with Sarah to produce the strategy, and manage the comms tactical activity.
We proposed a ‘comms delivery group’ at the last board meeting, made up of staff members actively communicating ‘Transition’. This would meet monthly to agree monthly themes, commissioning activity, and build a group identity and process which could expand to other members in due course.
The board approved this with a note that the group was largely male, and didn’t cover all the areas of communications activity related to Transition (e.g. Arts was not represented).
This group has formed and met three times very productively.
At the first meeting, the group discussed its purpose, process and boundaries. The group agreed that it was important to stay in its initial form (ie staff only) while it settled into its role and responsibilities and processes, particularly while Transition Network worked on its strategy. The group also agreed to observe and discuss the gender balance of the authorship of content (the output of the group rather than membership of it) as a recognition of this issue.
The group feels comfortable, effective and productive, and is finding its feet very constructively. It intends to reconvene in September with a theme of ‘Training’. Following the board meeting, Ed will update all the related communicators (TFP, Social Reporters, staff and others as suitable) about this process.
Amber, Rob, Ed and Anna Guyer from Greenhouse PR are meeting for an after action review from the PR work in order to extract lessons learnt from the work. Ed will then lead the work to try to embed as much of the good comms practice we have identified from the PR work into Transition Network.
Rob and Ed are working well together on the day to day editorial and other communications activities. We have a sense (and ambition) that it is all coming together suitably.