Through its ongoing relationship with Voluntary Action Islington, The BIG Alliance runs a series of hour-long one-to-one surgery sessions for community organisations on a range of topics, including communications, writing a business plan, social media and staff contracts.
There is always a lot of demand for the communications sessions, when organisations are given the chance to look at the way they interact with their audience groups.
Hannah Lazell, Corporate Affairs Officer at City of London has lent her experience to two such sessions and explains why she gets involved:
‘From my current role at the City of London Corporation, and from working in Parliament, I understand the key role communications plays in helping organisations get their messages across to build success. But for many communications can seem very daunting, especially when they don’t have a dedicated member of staff with relevant experience.
I really enjoy delivering the surgery sessions as they are a great way for me to share my knowledge and experience and help those just starting to embrace communications.
The hour-long sessions, supported by the materials we receive from each organisation in advance enable us to really dissect the challenges the organisations are facing and give them some action points to go away with.
Whether it is looking at their current website or advising on how to develop one, explaining how best to use a newsletter to communicate to supporters or advising them on relevant bodies/government officials/think tanks to connect up to, it uses the full breadth of my experience.
Working with the Islington Tenants Association was a great example. With their really strong stories that are relevant to the rental market in London, I was able to suggest links to other organisations and media contacts to raise their profile.
I get so much out of being involved. As well as the satisfaction from being able to offer meaningful help, putting my experience to the test outside of my usual environment, and working with a range of different people, has really boosted my confidence and made me even surer of my skills and ability.