How can charities, community groups and other not for profit organisations best embrace and harness the full potential benefits that digital platforms, tools and content offer? We asked digital communications specialist Harry Reid to share his 10 top tips
1, Become informed – The core of ‘the digital thing’ is developing a sensibility about what each of the range of digital tools, when well deployed, can achieve. Make informed choices about which combination best serves your organisation’s aims.
2, Operate strategically – Consider which digital channels you have the resources, particularly in staff or volunteers’ time, to exploit well. Don’t, for example, start an organisational blog that ends up sounding like a forgotten relative invited only to funerals.
3, Think multimedia – Reflect on how you incorporate each still and video images, audio content and written text into your selected digital channels. Timetable the production and release of each and plan synergy between them.
4, Embed interactivity – digital channels offer so much more than a means to publish or broadcast your views, information and general content. To make effective use of such extraordinary opportunities, organisations must build interactivity into their digital communication planning and operational activity.
5, Design holistically – the sum of an organisation’s digital offerings must be developed strategically and designed in an integrated way to be effective. Too often digital communication channels are adopted by organisations in an ad hoc way, with no reference to each other.
6, Be human – nobody convinced anyone about anything by speaking in the drone-tone style of the policy wonk. Make sure your digital content reflects and is coloured by human experience and human faces that your readers and viewers can identify with.
7, Cultivate creativity – the greatest digital crime is being boring. Producing dull, turgid, yawn-inducing content is the route to digital oblivion. To be digitally effective, an organization must ensure that staff and volunteers are encouraged to put forward creative and innovative ideas.
8, Develop distinctiveness – An organization to be effective needs to develop a distinctive ‘voice’. Not-for-profit organisations that will thrive in the digital age will be those with clear visions, something valid to say and with the distinctive digital voice to say it.
9, Eschew gimmicks – There are constantly new possibilities popping up but organisations do not need to chase every digital hare that starts running.
10, Practice discrimination – Do not bombard your audiences with an avalanche of material. Remember less is more.
• Harry Reid’s forthcoming book ‘Digital Head, Human Heart : The Alchemy Of Fraternity, Storytelling & Empathy Based Communication’ will be published by the Kilby Press in e-book and print editions in June 2016. Harry is available to not for profit organisations on a consultancy basis (Tel 07717 582208 email firstname.lastname@example.org) and in the coming months will be tutoring a number of masterclasses on a range of digital themes.