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August 2014 – SchoolBOX attends Ottawa Media Group Communications Workshop

On Thursday July 24, 2014, the recently launched Ottawa Media Group held their first free Communications Workshop for Ottawa area charities.  SchoolBOX was in attendance along with representatives from several dozen charities.

Joan Weinman opened the plenary sessions by stressing the importance of having a Communications Strategy.  The ability to communicate branded, consistent messaging allows a charity to respond quickly to media enquiries, demonstrates purpose and helps to validate their presence in targeted donor markets.  You want potential donors to pay attention and take action!

Key elements in the approach to media, as highlighted by Kimothy Walker, included to do your homework; be creative; be brief; be prepared and stay on message! The need for a solid communications strategy was thus underlined!  Working with Barry Acton, Kimothy then demonstrated some dos and don’ts of on-camera interviews.  Barry also offered helpful tips on subtle messaging; being aware of both verbal and non-verbal opportunities.

The importance of protecting your brand was addressed by Heather Boyd.  Brand recognition and resonation is desirable in attracting and retaining donors so brand integrity is worthy of trademark registration.

Cultivating donor relationships is key to successful fundraising according to Sue Wilson.  It all starts with a conversation.  Personalisation and value fit with donor objectives are fundamental, along with gratitude and donor-appropriate recognition.

The plenary sessions were concluded by Eric Collard discussing how social media is both an effective research tool and a mechanism for building relationships.  The key message here being that it is important to be a part of the conversation!

SchoolBOX and other Ottawa charities benefited greatly from this training session by Ottawa Media Group, and will use the knowledge gained to ‘Make Education Possible’ for the children of Nicaragua.

Thank you to OMG for donating their time and expertise.

For more information on Ottawa Media Group, please click here

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The communications workshop was both fun and informative

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Kimothy Walker highlighted key approaches to the media during the session.