NatWest SE100 and RBS were the sparkling hosts of Good Stories, the marketing and communications conference for social enterprises and business leaders, which took place in central London on September 6th, produced by Pioneers Post.
The conference looked at ways in which organisations could harness the power of storytelling to build their social enterprises, as well as using PR, branding and marketing more effectively to sell products and services.
Angela Robson, Director of Pearl Works, spoke on a panel alongside journalist Vibeka Mair and communications expert Jamie Veitch in a session which explored creative ways delegates could forge stronger relationships with journalists and secure media coverage for their stories.
So how should social enterprises get the word out? Here are some of the best tips from the day’s speakers from a blog produced by Pioneers Post.
- Communication is about messages, audiences and channels/tools, said Matter&Co founder Tim West. It’s tempting to jump to the tools but be strategic, and spend time on the first two. Invest time in getting your brand right.
- Understand what makes a story. Watch crowdfunding videos for lessons in telling a powerful story in a few minutes, advised consultant Jamie Veitch. Find and pull out themes of tension and conflict.
- Talk about your people — or let them do the talking themselves, advised Fiona Young from Social Enterprise UK. Larger organisations in particular can be great at the big picture overview with lots of stats but often forget to hone in on the individual stories. Both perspectives are needed.
- Choose your social media platform(s) according to where your audience is. Don’t just create an account on Snapchat/Instagram because that’s what everyone else is doing. Even if you have multiple audiences, it’s still possible to cater to each of them via one platform.
- Get to know how to work with journalists: be persistent, build relationships , send targeted and clear press releases.
- Emma Worley, co-founder of the Philosophy Foundation, advises getting out there and writing yourself. If you read something you disagree with, don’t just ignore it: publish your own take on the issue. LinkedIn or Medium are good platforms if you can’t get a letter or opinion piece published in the press.
The NatWest SE100 Index lists and ranks more than 1,000 social businesses, with powerful data on their growth, profitability and impact. In September, Pioneers Post together with WISE100 (Women in Social Enterprise 100) will launch a list of 100 of the most inspiring and influential women in social enterprise, impact investment and social innovation.
A panel of leading industry figures, including Angela Robson from Pearl Works will judge the nominations and decide on a spotlight of the top 10, which will be announced at a special evening event on October 7th hosted by RIBS andNatWest SE100.