- What is your role?
I'm director of the Deborah Hutton Campaign, a peer-to-peer smoking prevention charity, and I work on our youth-focused project, Cut Films, an annual short film competition. I coordinate all PR, marketing and communications, along with governance and fundraising. Before this, I managed a team of six communications professionals. Now I don't have specialist team members, so I need to ensure that everything we do has the greatest possible impact.
- How important is communications to your charity?
Social media and stakeholder communications are vital to the success of our work. We engage with more than 2,000 young people through Cut Films, as well as commissioners and people in the tobacco control sector. We need to make sure our communications are appropriate for each.
- What campaigns are you working on?
We are running eight projects with the objective of getting young people to research smoking, then make short films for their friends, upload them to the Cut Films competition and share them through social media.
- What advice would you give someone who wants to work in comms in charities?
If you claim to be an expert on social media, be aware that most employers will search for you on the internet and see what you're doing. Think about your personal online brand and what it says about you.
- What will be big in comms this year?
Charities need to think about innovative ways of thanking their supporters - an app called Vine seems to be taking off as a vehicle for this. Use your CRM system to integrate with social media - it's a must. As charities become more business-minded, they might try to be more flexible because they will be missing key opportunities to engage online outside normal office hours. Google Barack Obama's digital campaign for a fantastic example of doing this.