A Monday morning chat with a colleague turned to commiseration about the work involved in organising a party nowadays. One of my team had spent the weekend simply trying to check who was coming to her five-year old’s party. RSVPs came by text, WhatsApp messages, emails, Facebook posts, phone calls, a note in a school bag and one good old-fashioned, in-person yes. The proliferation of communication channels has connected us and promised ease of use, but it sometimes feels as if it has made life more complex.
Are there any lessons here as we design and craft our engagement strategies to grab and hold attention in the busy lives of our audiences? How well do our plans understand our audiences? Do they mean we are better able to walk in their shoes and deliver our messages in relevant, meaningful and easy-to-action ways? Our strategies should help us to understand our audiences interests and motivations, their channel preferences and even the time of day they are most likely to be looking for help, entertainment or ways to share and act with others.
Technology can help us create personalised supporter journeys, and automation can save precious staff time. But organising this party takes collaboration and coordination across specialist teams with shared rather than competing objectives, where the supporter’s needs for a good time win out.
Investing in and liberating teams to navigate the communications ecosystem to best effect can ease the burden of organising and help the party feeling last until the next time audiences need to be reached, invited and asked to help.
Adeela Warley is chief executive of CharityComms