I like the latest phase of Prostate Cancer UK's push to tackle the men-only disease: the campaign Keeping Friendships Alive. The charity aims to create a men's movement to engage blokes with the cause. Its chief executive, Owen Sharp, says: "Our biggest enemy is apathy, so engagement means we become the charity of choice for more and more men." The charity's comms director, Vivienne Francis, says it is going beyond last year's successful awareness-raising drive to use social and experiential means to bring about lasting engagement.
Engagement is a key ambition for a lot of charities, it seems – witness the prevalence of the word in sector job titles. This is being driven by the availability of digital channels, which in turn influences the way charities' comms teams are structured. Team Talk, the latest report by CharityComms, analyses nearly 60 comms team organograms (a plan of an organisation's structure with names and job titles). It explores how, as the media landscape fragments and opportunities for greater engagement appear, comms leads can resource their teams to maintain a high level of quality communication.
The middle-aged curmudgeon in me sees Twitter virals as just the latest incarnation of the chain letter, but evidence suggests they resonate strongly with young people. Research from Mintel shows that social media selfie campaigns have boosted charities' appeal to young people. Age UK's #NotByMySelfie is a good example of a campaign that bridges the age divide to tackle the issue of loneliness in older people.
Vicky Browning is director of CharityComms