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Reaching out on a shoestring

28 September 2012

In this blog,  BIG’s Catherine Kimberley explains how funded projects in the East of England came together for a day of networking and skills-sharing. From interview skills to creative writing sessions, there really was something for everyone.

Workshop delegates

Delegates came from far and wide for the advice session

Our ‘Tell your story: PR on a Shoestring’ outreach session came to be following the results of a survey sent to grantholders in the East of England region. We wanted to know what level of support our projects needed to be able to tell their story successfully – not just at the time of launch, but in the weeks and months that follow.

They told us they needed tips on interview techniques, advice on how to use social media more effectively, and finally, they welcomed the chance to meet other projects.

So earlier this week, together with Funding Officers Richard Drape and Michelle Drummond, we gathered in a sunny church hall in Cambridge to start sharing.

Following an overview of the support BIG’s regional team can give, delegates were treated to an interactive presentation from Rik Martin of Norfolk Rural Community Council. Using handheld keypads, Rik tested their knowledge of the global impact of social media and some of the results were quite surprising. Did you know, for example, that Russia is currently the fastest-growing country to use LinkedIn and that with 29 million Twitter followers, Lady Gaga has 9 million more than Barack Obama?

Closer to home, we heard from David Newborn, Actor and Producer of Red Rose Chain – an independent film and theatre company supporting vulnerable people. David’s endorsement of using Twitter to both attract new audiences and increase ticket sales was truly inspirational.

All was catered for thanks to the work of BIG staff

All was catered for thanks to the work of BIG staff

To keep our storytelling theme going, we split everyone into literary pairs and, once Cathy found her Heathcliffe, sent them off to enjoy a round of workshops.

Those in attendance explored the use of audio with Keith Ricketts of Sound Delivery, and creative writing and regional media with BIG’s Miranda McCoy and Helen Harch.

They also picked up  TV interview skills from ITV Anglia’s Martin Stew and had an opportunity to ask any in-grant questions of Richard and Michelle from BIG’s funding team.

Sage advice on the ways to engage with stakeholders and promote the work of projects wasn’t the only thing on offer during the day. Colleagues Catherine and Rina were also happy to muck in and provided a delightful spread of food for everybody! A good day all round!

View presentation slides from the event and hear an Audioboo recorded on the day:

BIG presentations from BigLotteryFund
Using technology to reach your audience from BigLotteryFund

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