The start of the autumn term is usually fraught with anticipation and anxiety. This year, exhortations to return to school, university and work are charged with political and moral jeopardy.
Autumn traditionally sees charity communicators gear up campaigns, gird their loins for the party conference season and plan their Christmas appeals. How will they fare with so many new challenges added to their already long lists?
The latest Covid Tracker survey by Pro Bono Economics is sobering, with one in five charities already making staff redundant, and more expected when the furlough “job retention” scheme ends. The gap between supply and demand for charity services is set to increase.
The role – and skills – of professional communicators to craft compelling cases for support has never been more urgent. Talking about her new book Caste – The Origins of Our Discontents, the journalist Isabel Wilkerson highlights the role of language to accurately describe the world we experience.
“If you don’t see the problem then you can’t fix it,” she said.
The ability of charities to describe the issues and problems they exist to solve or relieve, to bring people closer to something they haven’t seen before, and connect with their humanity, is mission critical.
I felt for the social media team at the National Trust as they endeavoured to tell the stories that link the slave trade to some of the treasures they curate.
Their commitment to broadening the experience of their audiences was a brave and principled move, and should be applauded not condemned.
It’s time to nurture the passion and talent communicators bring to their cause.
Adeela Warley is chief executive of CharityComms