Budget no barrier to communication

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Working with a small budget and volunteers is no barrier to PR success, and two examples of this close to my heart show this .

Now, it might seem like a bit of self promotion, but I can assure you I’m awarding a hit this week not for my role in the training, but for the attitude and approach of my colleagues in the Army Cadet Force, who, as volunteers with no previous PR experience are adapting and adopting techniques which just a few years ago would have been way beyond the budget of not for profit organisations.

First I’d like to highlight the work of a delegate on a recent training weekend who started with no video experience at all. A day and a half later this short film, now up on You tube is what she was able to create. It goes to show what can be achieved in a very short space of time with a little guidance (credit to my ACF PR Training team colleague Tony Lloyd) and a willingness to learn.

Where this then heads is my next PR Hit – Cleveland ACF. Their PR Officer, who recently attended our Social Media training weekend, has just placed a video of the cadets from his county achieving success at  athletics on Facebook . In just 24 hours the video had got more than 1000 views.

Together these successes show how easy it is now for volunteers to gain the basic skills and how significant free tools can be in giving not for profit organisations the reach traditionally associated with commercial concerns with big budgets.



Army Cadets get thanked on Radio

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Third Party Endorsement – is the Holy Grail of PR.

We are expected to say good things about ourselves (in the words of Christine Keeler “He would say that wouldn’t he!”), but people listen when someone neutral says something good about an individual or organisation.

There was a fascinating programme on Radio Four on Friday about Britain’s Turkish community, in the middle of which was a moving interview with a young man who was explaining how easy it is for a community to create barriers which can alienate young people from wider society.

His experience in London had led him to getting involved in petty crime and delinquency, but he spoke most movingly about how joining the Army Cadet Force had turned his life around – giving him a new circle of friends, self belief, pride in himself and his background and skills around which he built his future.

It was a fantastic piece of endorsement for the organisation and what it can do for young people – yet it happened totally without prompting from anyone in the ACF.

Proof that PR and operational sucess are totally interlinked.