Comms delivery group meeting report 3 June 2014
By Ed Mitchell 11th June 2014
Agreed the group’s purpose
Agreed what types of decision the group makes
Agreed a decision making process
Agreed next steps for Story project
Reviewed the editorial plan and agreed to work on the whole process around it
Reviewed this meeting with lots of great suggestions
Did not discuss July’s theme so need to pick that up
Tuesday 8th July 11:00 – 13:15 with a 10 minute break (Ben’s birthday)
Goto meeting link: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/227873429
To include new agenda structure (tbd), and review of the agenda structure, with space for Tactics section (to cover how tactics is downgraded, so where should it go?), stats section focused on highlights only, one of the group process pieces (membership?), review of the monthly rhythm changes.
Next newsletters and deadlines:
July newsletter: Friday 04/07/14 (deadline: Wednesday 02/07/14)
August newsletter: Friday 08/08/14 (deadline: Wednesday 06/08/14)
MikeG to circulate the stats before next meet
Ed and MikeG (and Sam) agree a place to store the stats: done
Ed & Rob with Sarah support: produce proposal to consider the policy and process to work on the editorial plan – include sophy’s suggestions – bring back to comms group next meeting
Ed start a comms group terms of reference document, which outlines the decisions that are being made: done
Sarah start a Story project workgroup (SM, SB, RH, MT, BB) to take this project forward including starting to draft copy for the Story ‘blocks’
Sarah arrange a doodle for the whole comms group to reserve date to develop draft work done by Story project group
ALL: look at PIDS and comment before the board meeting 6th June.
Ed brief Rob on this comms meeting: done
Ed add meeting suggestions to review section: done
Ed: add newsletter dates to staff calendar: done
Ed review the standing agenda and adjust to adapt to feedback and discussions about process – share with group before next meet
● Fi: Y
● Rob: N: out filming
● MikeT: Y
● MikeG: Y
● Sophy: Y
● Naresh: N
● Ben: Y
● Sarah: Y
● Sam Y
● Ed: Y
Communications Group meeting
15 mins: Introduction and check-in, agenda check
25 mins: monthly rhythm updates and discussion (significantly shortened)
25 mins: Group Purpose and Structure:
25 mins: Strategy
25 mins: Tactics (Naresh and Sam)
5 mins: Meeting Review
1. 15 mins: Introduction and check-in, agenda check
· Note: it took 15 minutes to get the meeting underway before this
2. 25 mins: monthly rhythm updates and discussion (significantly shortened)
a. updates: 15 mins
i. newsletter highlights – top stories and gender balance
a. Highlights: 26% open more than 24% average
b. Click rate bit down 4.4%
ii. big stories we produced on TN.org and social media
a. Robs digest
d. Just below, transition coop store, my friend climate defeatist etc.
e. Gender balance 8 male 4 female
f. Social media: facebook: most popular article from incredible edible, video clip story of stuff, Dave pollard article, In transition 2 film, transition coop article, what would bbc look like with realistic climate change. Articles from other more popular than out content.
g. Twitter: 134 times we were mentioned by others. Made 200 tweets. Going okay. Some of the NHS articles did well on twitter.
h. In terms of website, robs blogs drives most traffic or through the homepage, then go to support (4th most visited page) and initiatives. Facebook and twitter sent 800 people each to the website.
iii. newsletter dates
a. Wednesday lunchtime 04/06/14
b. Wednesday Lunchtime 02/07/14
c. Wednesday Lunchtime 06/08/14
Discussion: 15 mins
iv. monthly theme: June: Politics: See editorial plan here:
Editorial plan discussion
Followed big discussion about the content of the plan, and policy and process around the editorial plan.
Plan was felt to be a useful part of two things we need to work on:
· a process for the comms group to collaboratively plan and deliver our communications as we
o discuss the themes
o discuss our ‘intention’ with the themes (key questions for it)
o plan our individual input into the editorial
o plan what other content we would use
o review the themes past (not discussed by group but here as it’s obvious)
· a policy around what we are communicating and how
o (Ed to follow up with Sarah to clarify – sounded good!)
So we need to
· use the plan for forthcoming months and tweak it suitably
· re-consider how the monthly rhythm works
· work on the policy of how we are working
SR: Good to think about scheduling stuff to get maximum impact.
Setting up a schedule plan. Is there enough flexibility for us to respond to ‘news’ topical items?
What decision making process should we use to look at editorial plan.
MT: Raised concerns about UKIP being given a platform on TN website.
SM: Plan looks great and it offers a space to give feedback on editorial within the Comms group.
SB: Good to see layout in advance. Question is what is the point of this months blogpost, how does it support the month’s story, what is our intention what do we want.
How does SB blog feed into.
Encourages more development of this, so more detail about the articles is given.
Could aim for 10 or 15 internal pieces and leave space for more, or from other sources.
SM: Suggestion for how to take this forward:
AP: Give Rob feedback and work with him to propose how this could develop.
Test 2 pieces of feedback.
● Should UKIP article go up.
● How do we broaden it to bring in more news from the group and outside. How do we support Rob to produce the monthly content, in terms of questions to ask people, suggestions for content etc.
EM & RH with SM support: produce proposal to consider the policy and process to work on the editorial plan – bring back to comms steering next meeting
MG to circulate the stats beforehand. EM and MG will create a place to store the stats.
v. monthly theme: July: to be discussed NOT Discussed: Rob away and we ran out of time!
3. 25 mins: Group Purpose and Structure:
AGREED to focus on one or two issues of the group structure:
Comms Group Purpose statement:
1. Design, develop, deliver and evaluate TN’s comms in accordance with the Comms strategy, acknowledging that comms is a two way process which should include lashings of engagement.
2. Develop the Comms group to be healthier
3. Horizon scan – update ourselves on the wider world, and look beyond at what we don’t know / aren’t good at.. to enquire and learn
AGREED: the Comms Group Purpose Statement as a working acceptable outline
Horizon scanning a bit too vague for some – could be larger than just the comms group.
Comms Group process and development:
● Monthly output – the existing standing agenda, shortened radically
● Group development and process
● Strategy development
● Tactical questions
● 2 hours + 15 minute break
This was discussed as part of the meeting review and although not actioned, Ed will adjust the meeting agenda to a new experimental structure to take the points into account.
Comms Group Membership:
● Carry on with existing membership as is for now and keep this on a future agenda
● What roles are we in
○ formal (e.g. international, inner, etc)
○ informal (holding history, gender balance. Process awareness)
● How do we make decisions
● What are our connections with others?
○ Who do we consult with
○ Who do we report to
○ How do we link with other groups – in TN staff, hubs, international comms.. how do we map to web, support, reconomy, training, inner etc
a. review and adopt “Purpose”
b. discuss membership and roles (including review of “meeting chair”)
c. prioritise other Qs/issues
d. get action plan to carry these forward
Membership not discussed at meeting
Different types of decisions :
● Looking ahead: what topics coming up (poss: longer term plan 6 months?)
● Detailed month planning, balance of planned and flexible.
● Policy: month’s intention
● Communications Strategy and Story project management
● Operational issues (e.g. specific items)
● Some decisions may need ‘external’ (outside of group) reference: Staff, Board, others
● Partnerships and alliances (sharing comms channels)
SB: The flow of how the comms group develops its processes and editorial plans, would mean that lots of issues would be addressed.
SM: Sociocracy could be used as a tool for some decision making, but it is a slow process.
BB: Consent could be used as a process for deciding on difficult decisions.
SB: Currently we don’t operate using the sociocracy process, we are using informal consensus, we could use sociocracy processes so that it is more clear what we are deciding.
EM: This is an organisation wide conversation.
SM: A little more formal clarity about proposals and consent (including where we are delegating to a sub-group/individual)
1. A proposal is put forward that is understood by everyone
2. Everyone consents with a ‘Y’
3. If someone has a reasoned and paramount objection, they put forward their argument to the group for discussion
Decision-making process agreed. Point 3 not explored for now!
AP: EM will start a terms of reference document, which outlines the decisions that are being made.
4. 25 mins: Strategy
a. review and discuss Comms strategy PID
b. review and discuss Transition Story Project PID
By now the meeting was running over time so we agreed to focus on the Story PID, and move the Tactics to the next comms group meeting.
Questions for both PIDs, mainly Story:
· Do we have the in-house skills and capacity to deliver these PIDs?
· How do we collaborate on this work?
· Can we develop pieces of work on the story to go out to consultation and how to link to theory of change work.
· What is the best way to take this forward?
o 2 full days working on it
o A series of meetings
o A small group gets together to develop this work further and then present to the Comms group at a workshop day.
SB: Hard to design a process for a large group of people to do this work. There needs to be a small group that comes together to design a process.
SM: The comms group will monitor and manage the project.
Next steps for Story project agreed:
1. A small group of people (SM, SB, RH, MT & BB) will take this project forward including starting to draft.
2. At same time we will reserve date in diary for the small group to come to the wider group for the day to further develop work – doodle needs to be setup.
SM to arrange the following.
● A small group of people (SM, SB, RH, MT & BB) will take this project forward including starting to draft.
● At same time we will reserve date in diary for the small group to come to the wider group for the day to further develop work – doodle needs to be setup.
AP: Can all people look at PIDS and comment before the board meeting 6th June.
5. 5-10 mins: Tactics (Naresh and Sam)
a. review of tactics mindmap
Agreed to look at this section in the next comms meeting
6. 5 mins: Meeting Review
This meeting felt very frustrating as we were trying to fit huge amounts of process and content at strategic, tactical and operational levels into one space. We ran over time and had to drop a section. However, as the first meeting of a new group based on an old group transforming to respond to a dynamic situation, it was always going to be crunchy!
Although not agreed as action point, it’s obvious we need to tweak the meeting structure so Ed will do that.
· Lots of information at the beginning: could be shared in advance and shortened to brief highlights at the meeting
· Hard to factor in ‘how long’ for the big items
· Need a separate ‘online facilitator’ role to support chair with technology
· Some of the points are really big things!
· Almost like two meetings merged into one: ops and strategy: needs longer?
· Feels like there is a lot of overhead
· Possibly break the meeting into (a) ops (b) tactics (c) strategy sections?
· Very challenging to chair as so much going on at different levelsß