Today was my first day back after the Christmas break and I have to admit it was great! Few months ago I have signed up for a Fusion workshop, the university invited 3-4 different charities that came with a real life problem for us to solve. I always get ill when I move back to Cardiff and I spend a whole in my house yesterday so the thought of leaving my cosy, warm room wasn’t really appealing to me but I did sing up for it and felt like I had to go. So today morning I left my house with a hand bag full of tissues and cold tablets to get me through the day.
I got to the room few minutes early and on the door I was warmly welcomed and given a piece of paper with a sentence on it, which then turned out to be a song lyric. This is a great ice breaker activity and a fun way to find my team mates for the day. We were then introduced to each charity and their problem to solve. My team was working for New Link Wales which is a charity working with people who are addicted to drugs and also recently working with people with mental illness. I thought this was a perfect match for me as I am thinking of working in a mental illness sector in future.
Develop a plan to attract positive media attention to out upcoming fundraising events
Things to think about:
-Ensure the proposal considers any constraints and consequences associated with the implementation of the solution
-Ensure the plan is realistic and practical for the charity
Sue, the charity representative explained that a lot of people who may be possible donors might chose a different charity because they think addicts do it to them self. She explained that the press only views the negative side of the issue and how they will not write about any of their good work and how much the charity is actually doing for the community. Drug related problems are mostly caused by something that has happened in a persons childhood. She did mentioned that the charity understands that not every person who takes drugs has a big psychological issue and that some do it for fun or to party.
The upcoming charity event was a Malpeet K9 biathlon which is a 3.5 mile race for dogs and their owner with around 27 optional obstacles including jumping, crawling and wading through water. This year will be their 3rd biathlon however in the past 2 years the event hasn’t received any media coverage, despite it being the first of its kind. In 2017 another charity advertised the same run as their own called Muddy Dog Challenge.
Our response included a 3 minute presentation which we decided to do as a Power point presentation and a poster which we designed and drew our logo.
We worked in the same order as our Power Point presentation went.
We started of the presentation with me introducing the charity and our group and then asking everyone if they have a phone. Everyone put their hands up and then I’ve asked what if someone told you, you can’t use your phone for the next 48 hours. At this point we heard some ‘ohh’ and ‘ahh’ and saw some raised eyebrows and someone even screamed! I then went on to saying that I would probably feel really lost and asked why do you think that is. A lot of people’s answers involved addition. I then went on to saying that ‘when we are on our phones especially when we get a like or comment on social media out brain realises a chemical called DOPAMINE. The same chemical is realised when people take drugs. We backed up this information by various articles and research. We are so quick to judge but when we can understand why then we can begin to empathise and this is what the New Link Wales is trying to achieve, to spread awareness of understanding addiction’. Those short questions and facts gave out audience a change to interact and make them self more educated but also more understanding. We were the only group who has done that.
We started with brain storming some ideas of how we could attract positive attention through (this was out next slide) :
- Activity days – getting service users, volunteers and staff to go to busy places such as the city centre and give people leaflets or freebies to raise awareness
- Testimonials – ask some service users or their close ones to share their stories with others
- Getting in touch with small newspapers or blogs to write about the issue and the charity, start small and climb up the media ladder
- Going in to different local business and speaking about charity and possible donors or partnerships
We then explained what the biathlon was and went on to focus what we could do to attract positive media (our next slide)
- changing the name – the name (Malpeet K9 Biathlon) did not speak to us at all so we decided to make it more customer appropriate – DOGIE DASH (we have also made a new logo that includes the Malpeet K9 logo and a new name)
- family friendly – even the Facebook page looked to army like for us so we thought how we could make it more family friendly. We said we would have more stands or even novelty prizes for dogs to keep our customers busy
- animal friendly companies – for different and more stands we would include more animal friendly companies such as the cat cafe or portable dog wash vans
- social media – we need to access our most liked photo on Instagram or even different social media outlets and different profiles to see how to get people interested
Overall the presentation went well however there was few bumps. One of our team members had a tendency to rumble on and on about one thing and she did the same during out presentation so we went over our time massively. She also did the conclusion even though we previously discussed someone else would do it.
In the end we got our critique that in fact we did over run the time however our ideas were insightful and getting to interact with our audience was great and guess what!? WE WON THE CHALLENGE! We were all so shocked we didn’t know what to do really! We each won Amazon vouchers and in addition to that Sue, our charity representative has offered me to come along to the charity and help with interior design rebuilding! What a great ending to such a good day. I feel like I have learnt so much today but most importantly for me I have presented in from of about 40 strange people which is such an accomplishment for me. I only had to present in front of 4-5 people so this is huge. I would never be able to do this in 1st year but now even thought I was really nervous I managed to do it. In addition today’s workshop will be added to my diploma qualification! I wish there was more opportunities like this around university.