Training for Leaders Old and New Comms with Chloë: write up Summary We thought briefly about other organisations’ straplines, some of which clearly indicated what the organisation did, and some of which were extremely vague. Then we explored how to promote Woodcraft Folk, including the various descriptions often used, and the materials available to help us promote our groups. People gave lots of different examples of how they promote their group, including local events, area websites and running a bike surgery. An impressive number of them were ways of actively involving the public in activities, rather than just handing out information. Lastly we divided into two groups, one group planning a new idea of creating a roadshow to take to local schools to engage them in Woodcraft Folk activities, the other discussing ways of using national resources and campaigns etc to improve promotional activity. Aims To explore how groups promote themselves to potential members, what resources are available to help them do this and how we can be more active in promoting our groups / what we might need to do this. Facilitated by Jack and Chloë 1. Organisations’ straplines Participants split into three groups and were given a pile of straplines to try and work out which organisations they belonged to. Then we came back together to compare answers. These were: Refusing to ignore people in crisis The Red Cross Be prepared Scouts Be the best The Army Never knowingly undersold John Lewis Here for you for life The Co-operative girls in the lead Girl Guiding UK We are ordinary people from around the world Amnesty International standing up for humanity and human rights We empower young people across the UK to have British Youth Council a say and be heard be inspired YHA …an independent global campaigning organisation Green Peace that acts to change attitudes and behaviour to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace time well spent National Trust live life big, drink a little beer The Little Beer Corporation student action on world poverty and the environment
Join us in the fight for economic justice and an end to global poverty
World Development Movement
2. Woodcraft Folk straplines We brainstormed all the descriptions Woodcraft Folk uses at the moment, which it was pointed out aren’t all strictly straplines, but include longer ways of describing Woodcraft Folk. We liked all of them, and use them in certain contexts, but didn’t settle on one that really communicates what we do to someone who has never heard of us. The longer description on the back of the hoodie was agreed to be useful where you had space for a longer description. ‘Co-operative youth movement’ was suggested to be a good summary. 3. Ways of promoting Woodcraft Folk People were flagging a bit by this time, and as it was a big group, once the activity involved individuals writing things down and sticking them on the sticky wall, others drifted off into other conversations. We still got a great list of promotional ideas, which we separated into showing / telling / involving categories but decided most could be divided between showing and involving: Showing: Bike surgery in a local market Assemblies in schools (could be involving depending on how you do it) Leaflets in schools Target random Facebook pages ‘About your area’ website Local press Harlow website Notice on local Mums Net site Posters across the local area Email local like-minded organisations Emphasise the brilliant experience we give children (added by discussion) Group page on national Woodcraft website Member who is a PR officer designed a leaflet – printed by Folk Leaflets through schools Any free website Involving: A to Z of Good Discussion Co-op events CVS day event Presence at local events eg Levellers Day Local fetes and festivals Annual town show Stall at local carnival Parachute march at Surbiton Festival
Running a crèche at a parents’ evening Events in a local park Float for carnival procession Made a video Craft fair stall Roadshow at local schools – run an event using a template / ready-made package (added by discussion) Chloë added in the various materials produced by national Woodcraft Folk that groups could use, including posters, leaflets, postcards, badges (which we gave out), cases studies of promotional activity and the Venturer video. 4. Planning future promotion We had intended to discuss some of these materials to get an idea of which people found most useful and which least useful / in need of improvement, but the workshop was running over and people were seeming a bit unfocussed so we moved straight on to discussing what action-planning groups we could split into. There were one or two leaders whose group was most in need of adult volunteers rather than children, but they opted not to talk about this now – instead they intended to catch up with each other later. In particular, Jackie offered to help Ross with ideas for establishing his new group, as Ross wanted to join the group planning his idea of a roadshow event for schools. The Recruitment Roadshow group went off immediately to plan: Leader availability is a problem – use already existing events (eg fetes) Foolproof pack within district (leaflets, game sheets, craft activities, parachutes etc) Flash mobbing games / songs Group specific contact details to give out (leaflets) Woodies should take information from people and contact them Parachute games* ‘Spontaneous events’ – gain interest Work out target audience o Elfins & Pioneers Schools Games o Venturers & DFs Political / flashmobbing *Make it District-centric Action: Create centrally available template ‘event pack’ that Districts can ‘make it their own’. Packs will increase confidence and make it easier for leaders to host an event. Child targeted publicity needed.
The other group didn’t have a particular area they wanted to take forward, and we decided to stay as one fairly large group to discuss communications supportively. Sharing of local methods continued, and questions about how other groups get parents involved were asked and answered. A few key comments came out: Woodchips is a good time to get parents involved, as they have to stick around and, if engaged, often become Elfin leaders as their kids grow up Aside from the general information leaflet available from Folk Office, there isn’t much information aimed at parents (although the welcome pack for new members offers lots of useful information for anyone thinking about becoming a member: Chloë to put on the website). Waltham Abbey Woodcraft have an info pack for parents which they’ll share with Chloë so she can put together a national template for other Districts Some groups get parents involved by having a rota that they encourage parents to get onto, with roles like signing people in / taking subs, so that parents have to turn up Older young people could run a Woodcraft activity night at a Students’ Union to recruit students (Liam and Ben tried this at Sheffield) Other ideas for national Woodcraft comms to take away: Make sure you can contact your local group via the website Offer interactive things eg games on the website to engage younger children Link with national campaigns to promote Woodcraft groups eg o National Trust o Britain on Foot
Actions Chloë / Woodcraft Folk staff Create a brief info pack for parents using Waltham Abbey’s pack Share guidance on editing your group’s page on the Woodcraft website Put child-friendly interactive activities on the list of website developments Gather info / advice for a template ‘event pack’ for groups to base school events on Woodcraft volunteers / leaders Let Folk Office know if you’d like more free publicity materials Check https://woodcraft.org.uk/resources/guide-editing-your-groups-page for advice on editing your group’s page. Whoever wants to do this should contact Chloë to be made Group Web Manager) Share any advice or info you have on how you do local events eg what activities you run, what materials you take, how many people you need, how you get the stall. Kinsfolk / DFs Take forward the idea of Woodcraft activity night at student unions?