Before social media, comms was traditionally done by a small team within an organisation. Could a charity challenge help to encourage your staff to use social media?
By GUEST EDITOR Dyfrig Williams
In September, the Staff Charity of the Wales Audit Office took on a mammoth task – to walk the entire coast of Wales in 24 hours. And we did it, all 870 miles of it. Whilst the undertaking of the task was an impressive feat in and of itself, I was also impressed by how our staff used social media to communicate their trials, tribulations and ultimately, their success.
Sign me up!
I may have been the other side of the country, but by following #audittrail15 I could see how staff were getting lessons on using Twitter. Encouraging people to use social media in a hectic work environment can be hard work, but the challenge provided a safe environment for people to try out new technology. The informal aspect also gave the opportunity to try out some different social media tools, like using Vine to share the sights of Ceredigion.
Having lots of people online is one thing, but encouraging them to take part and contribute was the next step. Having a dedicated Twitter account to help and respond to comments facilitated the tweeting. A big shout out to Matt Davies for this, who ran the Audit Trail account with aplomb from Anglesey – one of the most beautiful parts of Wales, but one that also has very patchy signal.
Under the influence
The fundraising aspect of the challenge encouraged staff to get in touch with influential people to raise awareness and some much needed funds, including Welsh weather God of the BBC, Derek the Weatherman. This approach ultimately led to Ena Lloyd appearing on Wynne Evans’ (a.k.a. that opera guy from the Go Compare ads) BBC Radio Wales show, and for Mike Palmer to appear on the Welsh language equivalent. And they were both incredible.
We all do this stakeholder analysis to publicise our work on a day to day basis, and it was great to watch staff do the same thing to raise as much money as possible.
A typical audit office?
The challenge really was a big informal learning opportunity, be it in using social media or reading a map in the back of beyond. Whilst our strength as an organisation may predominantly be around analysing figures and public service performance, the staff charity challenge gave a unique opportunity to show a different side of auditors.
More importantly than any of this, the challenge helped raise over £4000 for Mid and West Wales Crossroads Care, who provide a range of services to support unpaid carers throughout Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys. And it’s not too late for you to chip in to help make a real difference to people’s lives.
Dyfrig Williams is Good Practice Exchange Officer at the Wales Audit Office