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Hi Everyone.

Thanks for following the link I sent you via Compass. Sorry there’s quite a lot in this message, but I’d like to make sure that everyone is up to speed on our communications setup.

Communications has never been easy

Many of you know me as Media Development Manager, but for the moment I’m going to put my County Communications Manager hat on.

As a county, we’ve been using a pyramid system to communicate with you by email for a number of years, with mixed success. It relies on everyone in the pyramid being available to forward a mail. Things like holidays, work, internet issues and a hundred and one other niggles can add delays or even lose links in the chain.  If all goes to plan, maybe 300 people will receive a mail within a few days.

We’ve also been setting up webmail and website newsletter distribution systems. So far, we’ve only had about 100 people sign up for the newsletter, so we can’t use that as a reliable communications channel.

Our (closed) Appointed leaders Facebook page has 152 members. Our open page reaches 543 people, but that includes parents and members of the public. A number of groups and sections have their own Facebook pages too. Again, this is not a method guaranteed to reach everyone. Incidentally, it’d be great if you can make sure that a couple of District or County management (especially me) have access to your Facebook pages so we can see if there’s anything we can do to help you.

5 years or so back HQ introduced compass as a national database and communications system. Initial security problems meant that compass had to be shut down with a suitable fix to the database not appearing for a couple of years. I wasn’t aware that the messaging system was fully working until today.

New Communications System

This morning I tried the Compass messaging system with a message about Eklectica. Within minutes:

  • Every adult member of IW Scouts (including helpers and everyone who has been DBS’d) on compass received an alert on their compass message board (817 alerts were sent).
  • If you’ve signed up for email alerts then you’d have had an email (736 mails sent).
  • If you’ve signed up for SMS alerts then you’d have had a short message (374 messages sent).

So we can now reach more of you, more quickly.

A Massive Thanks to everyone who mailed me back: but 50 emails later I now know I should have said only mail me back if you can help 😊

Incidentally, you can send messages via compass too, but you will only be able to send to your immediate Section, Group and managers.

So we have quite a range of communication channels we can use. if we have a message for you we can use Compass for a short message, or we can send a link like this for a longer message. We’ll have to keep the mail pyramid for messages which are for appointed leaders only. And of course you can tell us what you’re up to via Facebook.

Events Diary

Changing tack slightly, one thing you can do is tell us about any major events you’re planning. Graham Salter is going to publish our 2019 diary soon, so he needs to know dates of any events at Group, District or County which you are planning. Graham Walmsley and I can be contacted as alternatives.. This year we published one edition of the diary then we loaded the dates onto the website events pages and since then we’ve been using those pages to keep you updated with what’s on. We’ll probably be doing the same next year, so make sure you keep me updated with your events. If an event is in the public domain we can use the website event page to keep you updated with information as plans develop, so keep checking the page.

County Communications Team and Wight Rovers Media Team

Changing tack one more time, we’ve enlarged the County Communications Team, adding Mandy Holloway, Ali Burt and Graham Walmsley to join Paul Savill, Victoria Lawton and website assistant Alan Tiller. We’ll be working on Comms and PR, and we’ll be working on developing the Wight Rovers Media Team Training to help you with your PR, giving you help and advice on running your own PR and recruiting events. Our training is based on a presentation which you can download from the Wight Rovers page on the website:  http://www.isleofwightscouts.org.uk/county/media/wight-rovers-media-team/ . As Media Development Manager I’ll be reworking parts of the presentation over the next few weeks. It’s quite a big presentation, but you don’t need to know it by heart: just pick the bits you need to know, you can use the rest as a handy reference for many aspects of branding and PR.

Thanks for your time, I hope this will help you understand what we’re trying to do.

 

MaC

Malcolm Cox

Media Development Manager & County Communications Manager

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