Communications Training for the VCS

Could your organisation benefit from communications training?

The Gloucestershire VCS Alliance has teamed up with Communications expert Alexandra Tilley Loughrey to offer a series of training courses tailored specifically for the voluntary sector – helping you to get the best out of your target audiences.

Alexandra has over 20 years of experience in communications, covering Public Relations (PR), marketing, copywriting, media training, key messaging, celebrity management, sponsorship and fundraising. She has worked with several national and international charities, from the Red Cross, to Whizz-Kidz, Friends of the Earth, Book Trust and Breast Cancer Care, as well as advising several UK government departments and creating & implementing communications strategies for big name brands from Coca-Cola, Shell, Nike and Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park.

To offer best value for your budget, courses can be run for up to 10 people from several organisations, but do get in touch if you’d like to discuss a more bespoke option.

Courses for summer 2018

All courses are run in a group, open style format, with practical exercises, to encourage plenty of discussion, ideas sharing and generation.

They are aimed at Press officers and Media relations managers, Press teams Marketing and Fundraising teams and individuals – and for smaller organisations, anyone responsible for communications work.

  1. An introduction to communications training

This is an ideal course for anyone responsible for managing any media relations activity in your organisation to help you reach your target audience:

  • Introduction to PR
  • Creating your PR strategy
  • What makes a good media story
  • Choosing good human interest stories/case studies
  • Why and how to write a press release which will grab a journalist’s attention
  • Grabbing the media’s attention via social media
  • Contacting the newsroom or journalists, to promote a story and how to follow up
  • Understanding the news cycle – good and bad times to contact the media
  • Managing incoming media enquiries, including handling media calls in a crisis
  • An introduction to crisis management – creating a simple plan which works
  • Different interview and engagement types
  • An introduction to media training – identifying and preparing your key spokespeople in good times and in crisis
  • The importance of messaging, bridging and impactful language
  1. An introduction to writing skills

A practical course for anyone who writes for your organisation, whether it’s an annual report, the website, brochures, press releases, social media posts or even a job advert:

  • What makes a good piece of writing
  • Projecting your organisation’s personality
  • Reaching your target audience
  • A focus on Plain English and basic grammar
  • Looking at your writing style
  • Writing punchy headlines
  • Use of case studies/statistics/quotations
  • Writing for the web
  • Feature writing – how to grab people’s attention
  • Creating effective marketing emails
  • Creating copy for newsletters and annual reports
  • Writing for different types of social media
  1. An introduction to content creation

A practical course for anyone starting to generate written or visual content for your organisation, from websites, brochures, use of still and moving images and social media accounts:

  • A content audit of your organisation
  • Creating a content calendar
  • What makes a good piece of content
  • Projecting your organisation’s personality
  • Using different platforms to engage with your target audiences
  • Having a peak at what are your competitors are up to
  • Looking at your writing style
  • Writing punchy headlines
  • Understanding social media algorithms
  • Use of case studies/statistics/quotations for effective content creation
  • Social media – which channel to choose
  • Using hash-tags and @ engagements
  • The benefits of re-purposing content
  1. An introduction to bagging a sponsor

Sponsorship can be anything from funding a one-off project, to an annual event or a long-term partnership, but with over 180,000 charities in the UK competition is fierce. This provides a vital introduction to any organisation wanting to engage with new sponsors.

  • Understanding what potential sponsors are looking for in a partnership
  • Appreciating and breaking through the competition
  • Doing your research
  • Looking at synergy
  • A shared ethos – impact and enhancing credibility
  • The different types of support you can seek
  • Making the first move – your approach
  • Who to contact
  • Protecting your reputation/ethical dilemmas
  • A real live case study – a speaker telling of their journey from first introduction to successful partnership

The cost will be dependent on the number of people who are interested, but we are looking at a maximum of £150 per person per course. To express your interest in attending one or more of the courses, please complete this short survey https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/NV7SJ5T.