Supporting local organisations to stay connected

Life is better when we’re better connected. Recently the team from Neighbourhood News Online ran our second joint event with Connect Sparkbrook Ageing Better to support local organisations to get the word out about their events and activities and encourage them to connect with others around them.

Websites, Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp and more… gone are the days when sharing news about what you are doing is solely dependent on word of mouth or a poster on a noticeboard. Whilst personal, face to face connections are still the most effective way of spreading the word about activities and events, it can be hard to reach out to a wider audience.

That’s why we have created this website – as a platform for anyone with news to share for residents in Balsall Heath and Sparkbrook to get the word out. It could be an event, a new initiative, volunteer opportunities or job advertisements. Just follow the links below to get started.

There was some good discussion about the logistics of managing Social Media platforms. Whilst it would be lovely for each organisation to have dedicated communications officers, many people are managing media alongside their other responsibilities. We explored using tools to schedule Social Media posts – HootSuite, Tweetdeck, Buffer and Planoly enable posts to be composed ready for posting at a later point.

Tommy from Change Kitchen explores Neighbourhood News Online

Many local groups are using WhatsApp groups to communicate with others. Not only can it be useful for sharing news, it’s also good for members of a group to get to know one another.

Pauline supporting B14 Screen and Balsall Heath City Farm with scheduling Tweets.

It’s also worth remembering that Social Media is supposed to be ‘social’. Rather than just broadcasting news, it’s about engaging in conversations, linking with other like minded people and organisations and sharing each other’s posts.

Thanks so much to the Active Wellbeing Society for funding the event, to Pauline Roche from Connect Sparkbrook for bringing her expertise to the session, The Mix Café for opening their doors to us and fuelling us with some delicious cakes and hot drinks and to The Muath Trust and ACP for supporting the initiative through the Ageing Better in Birmingham programme.

Sharing news and plans over a map.