A communicative refresh

Reinvigorating GSLN branding and communications strategy to increase audience engagement

A communicative refresh

Reinvigorating GSLN branding and communications strategy to increase audience engagement

Reaching Out -

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The issue

Communication is an essential tool for GSLN, given the vast size of the Greater Sydney Region and the hundreds of groups – and thousands of volunteers – we advocate for and represent. Our Facebook page together with newsletter and website has already been an outstanding success for years.

With a range of people working the communications role, there was a need to streamline and standardise the communication strategy. We identified the following challenges:

  • Inconsistent branding and communication style
  • Inconsistent timeframes for newsletter and Facebook engagement
  • Multiple online, newsletter and website voices, visuals and fonts

The solution

  • A single coordinator for media and communications to ensure consistency and efficiency
  • More consistent newsletters with standardised design and voice
  • Regular engagement with social media audience
  • Development of a standardised communication style guide
  • Reinvigoration of the GSLN Instagram page to engage U-35s 
  • Blog posts, news articles from local areas and abroad
  • Sharing of posts, use of hashtags (#) and symbols (@) to engage with and build online relationships with partner organisations, gain media traction, and help reinforce new and existing networks

The impact

Since revisiting our media and communications style and guidelines, we’ve obtained substantial, real-world results:

  • Increased click rate (8% to 12%) of newsletters
  • Increased engagement Facebook posts (articles written by LLCs gaining 77 unique views, shared news and resources gaining 40+ unique engagements)
  • Increased page likes, averaging 5 new likes per week
  • Increased audience engagement (Fig. 1)
  • More ‘shares’ on social media (average 5 per post)
  • More than 70 followers on Instagram through organic growth
  • Most popular network page in NSW, performance on par with Landcare NSW, high rate of growth (Fig. 2).

Learnings

There are plenty of free resources available to streamline and improve communications (Mailchimp, Canva to name just a few).

A comprehensive and clear style and communications guide makes it easy to consistently implement a GSLN voice across the organisation.

Social media (Facebook, Instagram) has grown

LLC-written articles are very popular, and readers prefer stories from their own backyard.

Feel-good shared articles are better received than doom-and-gloom stories.

Debates spark conversation, but you need to moderate.

Opinions and politics can be a tricky line to tread, and the distinction between acceptable and endorsement isn’t always clear.

Engagement is more important than audience growth. Whilst our newsletter subscriptions haven’t changed, the rate of click engagement indicates a more active audience base. Our most popular engagers are local groups and councils.  

Key facts

  • Our social media and communications revamp worked!
  • More engagement in newsletters, Facebook and Instagram.
  • More partnering opportunities with other networks, NGOs and government organisations.
  • Positioning of GSLN as a representative, clear and cohesive voice of the environmental volunteering community in Sydney improved.