AGM 2011 Media Report

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The Media Working Group [1]lacks leadership (my fault) and nationally operates on a fairly knee jerk level due to the limited skills set and variable availability of our volunteer base. This is not a criticism as such but a statement of fact. I am hopeless at doing regular media reports through the year so this this AGM Report is a little too long –sorry about that.

In General - Nationally

I do a lot of behind the scenes stuff -building connections and making sure the face of Freegle is friendly, helpful and sometimes passionate (when appropriate). So what do I do?

  • I respond to emails and phone enquiries, follow up leads for news features, TV shows, radio debates, website inclusions, online mentions etc etc;
  • provide data, information, suggestions and evidence to researchers (academic, govt. and media);
  • use twitter and Facebook to ‘shout’ about community, volunteering, reuse, recycling and so on;
  • attend conferences and workshops (in London and Brighton) which empowers me with knowledge and improves our relationships across all sectors (Public, Private and Civil Society (that means community and voluntary organisations);
  • try to influence govt. policy and institutional attitudes; attend award ceremonies;
  • liaise with other similar or relevant community and voluntary organisations, businesses, umbrella organisations, charities and the public sector;
  • write and distribute project proposals, press releases, award submissions and grant applications.

So while it is difficult to measure the impact of these activities it is seems like it would be foolish to not do them on some level. All the networking and constant exploration of promotional opportunities does *not* always achieve concrete results (alas) but on the whole I am sure that it does help to get Freegle embedded into the consciousness of relevant people, plans and organisations nationally which will hopefully (eventually) filter down to some of you locally. At the end of this report there is a list of organisations and people we have at least had a conversation with, some of which have developed into relationships.

In General - Locally

Local promotion is generally done by local group moderators. This is best for a few reasons but means it doesn’t always get done.
Why should you do your own publicity?

  • It is more meaningful; you are better connected in your own geographical area;
  • there are only a few media skilled people nationally and they are already stretched;
  • groups are autonomous and are better placed to do research and know what would work for them and how they’d like to be perceived locally.

But I realise that for a lot of you to do this, you need more inspiration, tools and support.

Some groups have had some real triumphs with local publicity due to the drive or enthusiasm of some individuals; It would be great if more local group volunteers posted to Central about what they are doing and what works for them. But on the whole I have failed to properly provide tools for you all to use-although it has been discussed for 2 years. A ‘media kit’ which is simple to use and adapt and would make it easier for you to make that phone call to your local council or get that poster printed for the local church hall or whatever. Hassle me so I do this!

In General

I often ask for assistance with a specific task or idea and usually have nice moral support and offers of help from a few people. Thank you for those that have helped out. It would help us all if we could have a bit more ‘crowd sourcing’ to get tasks done. The one lagging task that we need to get done is a list of all the awards we could enter locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.
So if you do nothing else after reading this, please do some research in your local area and see what award opportunities there are and let us know about them.

There is a media strategy plan which was presented at Reps meeting in April 2011. For most options to have a true impact we would really need to employ someone, receive charitable media input and support or find funding for me. I have been unsuccessful thus far in finding any funding for myself though I will continue to pursue this. We have approached several organisations for help with media matters, most offers of help thus far involve me going to workshops in London which is not helpful.

We have contributed to a report into ‘online reuse and recycling’ commissioned by WRAP (national waste reduction body) this is due to be published in Nov. 2011 and will attempt to measure impact of what we (and others) do. I will be attending the WRAP AGM on 15th November “Relearning to Reuse” in London and will report back.

We entered the following Awards during 2011 :The Scottish Green , Tech4Good, Observer Ethical , Venture Candy, 3R , IT Volunteer of the year, Digital Champions, Environmental Awards for Excellence, Community Champions, Social Media 2011, Sheffield Telegraph Environmental Award for Recycling, Green Hall of Fame, National Recycling , Lets Recycle National , Energy and Environment, The Green Apple (for StevenageFreegle 14th Nov announcement pending!)….and more.

There are more and better awards we could enter, it would be nice to get an ‘Awards data base’ done, so we can do that easier.

Plans for 2012

Spring into Reuse with Freegle - planned for March, April and May 2012 A national campaign to promote local reuse and free giving via Freegle groups. An awareness-raising exercise, and one that we will be inviting sector friends and associates to join in with.The aim is to raise the profile of reuse in general and to drive more people to our groups so they can easily start reusing things locally. This fits in with some national policy and strategies: Localism bill, Climate Change action plans, Low carbon energy projects, digital inclusion ambitions and dare I say the Big Society agenda to name a few. I would hope to engage govt. departments, Councils, businesses and other non-profit organisations locally and nationally to create some partnerships and collaborations, so the campaign is more effective. Next summer might be a good time for local groups to run sport equipment campaigns in the lead up to the London Olympics. I would welcome any other suggestions you may have or help you could offer.
A reminder that there are already a lot of resources you can use here: [2] You can have promotional graphics made for you, just email: graphics@iLoveFreegle

Who knows about Freegle?

This is *not* an exhaustive list but reflects our reach. Some national connections are by default London-centric and there are plenty that are Brighton-centric because that is where I am.

  • 10:10 [3]
  • 3Rs [4]
  • B and Q sustainability dept. [5]
  • BBC and other Radio and TV variety of producers and researchers
  • Best Foot Forward [6]
  • BHCVSF Brighton and Hove Community and Voluntary Sector Forum [7]
  • Bid and Borrow p]
  • Big Society Network [8]
  • BioRegional [9]
  • Bricks and Bread [10]
  • Brighton and Hove City Council [11]
  • BPEC Brighton Peace and Environment Centre [12]
  • BT Corporate Social Responsibility dept.
  • Carbon Trust [13]
  • Chambers of Commerce [14]
  • Civil Society [15]
  • CLG (Community and Local Govt.) [16]
  • Consumer Focus [17]
  • DECC Dept. Energy and Climate Change [18]
  • Defra Dept. Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs [19]
  • Digital Champion Network [20]
  • Ecomodo [21]
  • Emmaus [22]
  • Energy Saving Trust [23]
  • Environment Agency [24]
  • FareShare [25]
  • Feeding5K [26]
  • Friends of the Earth [27]
  • Furniture Now! [28]
  • Futerra Sustainability [29]
  • Govtoday [30]
  • Greater London Authority [31]
  • Green Alliance [32]
  • Just for the Love of it [33]
  • Lets Recycle [34]
  • Local Government Association [35]
  • LCRN London Community Resource Network [36]
  • London Lord Mayor’s Office [37]
  • London Recycling Officers Group [38]
  • Media Trust [39]
  • Metro [40]
  • MPs [41]
  • MEPs
  • National Newspapers all the broadsheets and freebies
  • New Economics Foundation [42]
  • Nexters [43]
  • Nominet Trust [44]
  • Political Parties Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, Labour and the Greens
  • Race Online 2012 [45]
  • Recycle for London [46]
  • Recycle Now [47]
  • Recyclebank UK [48]
  • Resource Futures [49]
  • Royal Society of Arts [50]
  • Start Festival [51]
  • Streetbank [52]
  • Sustainability Now! [53]
  • Tech4Good [54]
  • The Committee for Climate Change [55]
  • The Democratic Society [56]
  • The Guardian [57]
  • The People Who Share [58]
  • The Prime Minister’s Office [59]
  • The British Psychological Society [60]
  • [61]
  • Tyndall Centre [62]
  • UK Aware [63]
  • UK Online [64]
  • UKCeed [65]
  • University of Brighton [66]
  • University of Sussex [67]
  • Urban Forum [68]
  • Waste Management World [69]
  • Waste Watch [70]
  • Wrap Waste and Resources Action Programme [71]
  • WWF [72]
  • YMCA [73]
  • Zero Waste [74]

Cat Fletcher

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