Case study: Charity Commission's 'Trustees Week' garners media hits and thousands of tweets

Social media has played a central role in communicating the benefits of being a trustee, in an annual campaign by the Charity Commission.

The Charity Commission's Trustees Week campaign received engagement across traditional and social media
The Charity Commission's Trustees Week campaign received engagement across traditional and social media

November 2016 marked the seventh year of the Trustees’ Week campaign and saw the charity watchdog hold a webinar for the first time, in an attempt to widen the reach of the campaign and increase engagement.

The awareness week was supported by a coalition including charities, umbrella organisations, and professional bodies, and focused on how good leadership makes for stronger charities.

Key messages revolved around celebrating the role and value of being a trustee, to encourage people to get involved with charities and make a difference.

As well as targeting potential trustees, the campaign also looked to raise awareness among existing charity trustees – to remind them of the support and training resources that are available to them.

Almost 100 events were held across the UK, and the Charity Commission ran its first ever webinar to reach those who were unable to attend events – with a live Q&A on Twitter about what it means to be a trustee.

The awareness week resulted in a wide range of national, local and charity sector press coverage, and several thousand tweets using the #TrusteesWeek hashtag.

The Evening Standard and The Guardian were among the media outlets that reported on the campaign, which was also supported by a number of high-profile individuals such as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Kate Bell, a press officer at the Charity Commission, told PRWeek: "As a regulator, much of our work focuses on situations where something has gone wrong in a charity – Trustees’ Week is where we celebrate and acknowledge the good, specifically the hard work, commitment and expertise of charity trustees."

She added: "Trustees’ Week is a joint campaign, involving a range of partners, who each use the campaign as a platform to reach audiences with specific messages."

The comms team targeted people who are eligible to serve as trustees, but who may not know about the role or what they have to offer in terms of skills and knowledge.

Previous years have seen a focus on demographics that are underrepresented on the boards of charities, such as younger people.

This year’s Trustees’ Week, in November, will see the Charity Commission make a more targeted effort at using the media to reach its target audiences rather than being centred on social media.

Bell commented: "Our aim will be to reach groups that are perhaps harder to reach through social media, especially those currently underrepresented on charity boards."

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