Resources and advice

Update 3 August 2013: some of the links are no longer available and have been deleted. There is a new section on media, with links to setting up a free website, blogging and social media (Facebook, Twitter).

My thanks go to all participating organisations and groups that have provided such valuable insight and ideas about what is needed. More information will be added to this page so keep looking!

Media Insights
UK is now texting more than talking - the latest report from OFCOM
Tips for charity PR on a small budget - Guardian 
Is a bad social media presence better than none at all? - Guardian

Media Tools

General Resources
There are a number of free resources on the internet which you might find helpful.
Sign up to Funding Central - http://www.fundingcentral.org.uk/

The Small Charities Coalition is free to join:
The coalition provides a trustee matching service
http://www.smallcharities.org.uk/trustee-matching/

A BIG Guide to soft outcomes - a Big Lottery presentation

Know How Non Profit - NCVO information portal

DIY Committee Guide

NCVO Advice and Support

Charity Commission

The Guardian Voluntary Sector Network hub

Trusteeworks

Voluntary Action Lewisham

Volunteer Centre Lewisham

EVOC Community Toolkit

Media Resources

This new section is about getting your message across through electronic media.

This could be a website, a blog, social networking like Facebook or micro-blogging like Twitter. There are many free resources available. They can add another string to your bow, along with posters and flyers, and word of mouth.




Downham and Whitefoot Interagency website with integrated Twitter feed
It's important to get your message across whether you're starting out with a new group or an existing organisation. There are a lot of free tools available if you have access to a computer, tablet or smartphone to keep in touch with your existing users or clients and connect with new ones. 

All require an investment in time, forethought about who you want to connect with and how much time you will be able to spend maintaining it. Be aware that you may need permission, particularly where children are concerned (NSPCC advice here) to use photos of them, and that there may be copyright issues.

Please read the section Hub Developments for insight from local organisations who were involved in the Hubbub Community Media Resource project in 2012.


Benefits
If you're looking to raise awareness of what you do, or tell others what you're proud of then electronic media is one way (or many) to do it! The choice can be bewildering as this graphic from The Conversation Prism - http://www.theconversationprism.com/demonstrates.


Please note the lists are not ordered in terms of (my) preferences and by no means cover all platforms. Whichever you choose you'll need to create an account and sign up with a valid email address, and password, so the more you use the more passwords you will have to remember.

However many sites permit you to sign in with your existing Facebook, Yahoo or Google account. I recommend setting up a webmail address (gmail, hotmail or yahoo) specifically to manage this, and a dedicated Facebook page if you want to use it, for the specific purpose of linking them together. Many of the other sites are part of internet giants like Google, Facebook and Twitter anyway.

A word of caution
As the recent 'Twitter storm' has demonstrated, some people will hide behind anonymity to post unpleasant, abusive, libellous and potentially criminal messages. If you have a strategy, even a very simple one, about what you are going to put out there and how you are going to respond you are less likely to engage with so-called internet 'trolls'.

Be aware that like spam emails, your account may be hijacked and messages posted on your behalf. Changing your password at intervals, and not clicking on links from unknown sources in eg Twitter messages will help. 

Which ones to choose?
There is not much between them. The website builders are pretty much the same, and as far as blogging goes WordPress has the steepest learning curve, but is more adaptable to serve as a website. More on the relative merits later.

Free websites
If you want to have your own domain name eg www.mycommunityproject.org.uk you will have to pay a fee, otherwise you can use eg www.mycommunityproject.wix.com for free. You can purchase and set up the domain name through your web hosting site (see Wix for example information) or buy it separately. Also if you need more sophisticated features, you will have to pay for a hosting service which is a renewable yearly fee, from £30 - £200 depending on how many extra services you need.

Most paid for services offer hosting of several websites, so why not collaborate with similar organisations to share the costs?

Most free website builders come with templates which you can adapt, and are fairly straightforward to learn.
Wix
Weebly
Webs
Moonfruit

Blogging
Blogger
Tumblr
WordPress

Social networks and micro-blogging
Social media is an immediate way of connecting with other people and organisations to show what you are doing at the moment.

Twitter gives you
only 140 characters to describe what you and your group is doing; you can include links to interesting information and your website or blog, or photos that you have taken.

Facebook
Twitter
Google+
LinkedIn
Instagram
Pinterest
MySpace

Video, photo and audio sharing
YouTube
Flickr
Vimeo
Audioboo

And for more advanced (linking them together)
Twitterfeed - links feeds to Twitter and Facebook
Tweetdeck - schedules Twitter in advance