Third Sector Digital Awards – Best in-house digital team: BFBS
Awarded to the in-house digital team that has helped a charity to achieve its mission using digital technology
What is the charity’s mission?
For more than 70 years, BFBS has provided entertainment and news for the UK armed forces and their families serving abroad and in the UK. The organisation focuses on providing digital and creative services, training and development opportunities and technical solutions that work in hard-to-reach and remote places: including in the aftermath of natural disasters or conflict. In 2019, supported by a £200,000 grant from the UK Armed Forces Covenant, the charity launched a free social media training course for military spouses to increase employment and career prospects amongst disadvantaged military communities.
What did the digital team do?
Social Media Spouses is a free course that teaches trainees how to plan and execute creative social media campaigns. The BFBS training team launched the course by creating a dedicated community on facebook for military spouses, then began running regular livestreamed coaching sessions for small cohorts of trainees.
A custom built professional e-learning platform supported trainees to complete weekly tasks across the 11-week training programme, covering the workings of social media algorithms for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, as well as what makes an effective social media marketing campaign.
By the end of the programme, trainees gain the necessary skills to find flexible employment in social media roles, start their own freelance social media managing career, or upscale their already-successful businesses.
Why did they win?
More than 1,500 people applied for Social Media Spouses in the first week following its launch. The programme has since trained more than 100 people, with the online community of military spouses and partners growing to 1400 globally. In Mid-May, a commercial version of the training programme was launched, to ensure the programme remained sustainable for the military spouses BFBS continues to support.
What did the judges say?
“The team has identified a unique challenge for military families and set out a practical solution to help overcome it,” the judges said.
“The initial grant helped, but by scaling the programme commercially they are able to sustain the work and reach even more people, both in and outside the primary target group.”