Member Article

Voluntary groups in the spotlight

GOOD causes in Stockton have been learning to shout about their successes at a series of workshops.

Organisations from the town’s voluntary and community sector have been using the business, marketing and PR sessions to help raise their profile, improve their marketing and get social media savvy.

The workshops have been organised by Catalyst, which provides a voice and support for the town’s voluntary sector, in partnership with Stockton Borough Council.

Alison Agius, Chief Executive Officer of Catalyst Stockton, said: “Our voluntary and community sector does some great work but often they are too busy to let people know that.

“Often that’s down to a lack of resources, or not having access to people with specialist skills in marketing, PR or website development. But these workshops have been designed to give the groups handy skills and advice so they can reach out to their audiences with the right messages and make a real difference when raising their profile.”

The workshops cover several key subjects including marketing; writing press releases and dealing with the media; business planning; social media; e-commerce and website development.

They are being delivered by marketing company Xivvi, in partnership with public relations agency Publicity Seekers both of which are based in Hartlepool.

Groups which have taken part so far include Butterwick Hospice, The Eastern Ravens Trust, New Horizons and the St Ann’s Partnership.

Sue McCabe, of the Butterwick Hospice said: “We were particularly interested in promoting our new social enterprise through traditional print as well as social media so that we could find and connect with more of our target market. We have struggled with this in the past but the practical training we have received has taken us on a journey from confusion to clarity, from fear to confidence.

“The workshops have helped to put the theory into practice and it has helped us to engage with our audiences in new ways. They have also highlighted that building relationships online could potentially be a great way to facilitate business growth which is something we are very keen to achieve.”

Pamela Hargreaves, of Xivvi, added: “Both Xivvi and Publicity Seekers have extensive experience in the voluntary sector and are acutely aware of how tight finances are for the sector right now so we know how essential it is for these groups to raise their profile.”

Jonathan Ward of Publicity Seekers added: “It’s not just important for attracting new volunteers or service users, but to get on the radar of potential funders and other partners. In that way, we have been helping the groups develop their key messages and create the right channels for getting these in front of different audiences. It has been very worthwhile.”

Any organisations who wish to participate in the remaining workshops should contact Catalyst on 01642 733906.

Picture Caption (left to right) Read all about it -Tracey Hamilton, of Eastern Ravens Trust; James Hadman, of Catalyst; Sue McCabe, of Butterwick Hospice; Jonathan Ward, of Publicity Seekers; Pamela Hargreaves, of Xivvi; Marion Wilson, of New Horizons; Gemma Hegarty, of St Ann’s Partnership.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Publicity Seekers PR .

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