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Insights from the ACOSS Media and Communications Forum


29 March 2011 at 1:07 pm
Staff Reporter
The inaugural ACOSS Media and Communications Forum has kicked off the ACOSS 2011 National Conference in Melbourne - and twitter was the word of the day!


Staff Reporter | 29 March 2011 at 1:07 pm


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Insights from the ACOSS Media and Communications Forum
29 March 2011 at 1:07 pm

The inaugural ACOSS Media and Communications Forum has kicked off the ACOSS 2011 National Conference in Melbourne – and twitter was the word of the day!

The audience of over 100 communications professionals from across the Social and Community Sector demonstrated the usefulness of twitter to share highlights, insights, questions and links, with hundreds of tweets from the delegates during the forum.

In fact twitter was both the topic of discussion and the medium which facilitated it, as many of the presentations focused on the increasingly important role twitter and social media play in the communication strategies of Not for Profit organisations.

So many tweets came out of the forum that the #ACOSS2011 hashtag was picked up as one of the top twitter trends in Australia, according to Trends Map.

ACOSS Media Communications Officer and forum organiser Fernando de Freitas 

Opening the forum, ACOSS Media Communications Officer and forum organiser Fernando de Freitas says the true test of any society is how it treats its most disadvantaged.

He says amid increasing inequality in Australia, the sector has to fight for government contracts and is expected to do more with less. He says welfare, like multiculturalism, has become a dirty word for many – something to be expunged.

He says the aim of the forum was to look at how those engaged in media and communications in the sector can turn this around, to tell the stories of the disadvantaged and marginalised. He said they need to show that social and community services sector is the glue that keeps Australian society together.

All ten of the presentations were excellent, as shown by the conversation on twitter and post-presentation questions. So rather than give a run down on the presentations, here are some of the particularly interesting, short insights from the day:

NFPs need to think about the media habits of their audience, in the same way that politicans do. They need to go where the audience goes – if they are watching breakfast TV, then that is what organisations need to be looking at. – Dr Sally Young – Senior Lecturer, School of Social and Political Sciences, the Universtity of Melbourne

Social media is brilliant in terms of saving on your budget – but its important to remember that not everyone has access to it. Aileen Solowiej – Homelessness Australia

John Kelly – VCOSS Media and Communications Coordinator 

Using social media should be a must for most Not for Profit organisations. If your stuff is not online it has to be – its where people are going, its where people will look for it. John Kelly – VCOSS Media and Communications Coordinator

Don't give up on press releases, they are an invaluable tool and get picked up far and wide by editors needing to fill pages, and a huge amount of VCOSS releases are run verbatim. John Kelly – VCOSS Media and Communications Coordinator

Teaming up with other groups can make your voice stronger, and it is important to brief in other organisation that have a stake in the action you are undertaking. – Elise Davidson – Australian Communications Consumer Action Network

When advocating for reform, its important to be strategic, incorporate something new, use strong case studies, and engage friends with high profiles. And remember that journalists are in it for the greater good as well Elise Davidson – Australian Communications Consumer Action Network

Communications isn't just for people with communications in their jobs title, its about everyone in the organisation and every part of it needs to be strategic Greg Sam – Parker and Partners

Don't focus on the medium, the aim is to get around the medium and get to the target audience. NFPs need to think about which type of media works best for them – owned, earned or bought. Greg Sam – Parker and Partners

NFPs on Facebook need to have fun – just because we work with serious issues, doesnt mean we need to be serious all the time Briony Walker, Headspace

The transparency and openness provided by social media is perfect for the Not for Profit sector Kate Kendall – digital marketing consultant and organiser of Social Media Melbourne

Events and meetups are critical, the real connections come from creating a bond offline. It doesn't have to be fancy or expensive, its about talking with friends. Kate Kendall – digital marketing consultant and organiser of Social Media Melbourne

Pro Bono Australia is the official media partner of the 2011 ACOSS National Conference. Follow all the conference news here.

Follow the conversation on twitter via the #ACOSS2011 hashtag.

Melbourne based media company Grit Media filmed the forum, and footage will be available on the Grit Media website
 



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