Thursday 22 June 2017
An initiative by University of Northampton students which aimed to help charities and organisations to help themselves has won praise.
With little or zero money to spend on digital marketing, charities and other organisations often turn to university student interns to run their digital channels.
But, when the internship ends, the charity is back to square one, as the intern takes all of their expertise and knowledge of the organisation’s digital marketing methods.
First year Advertising and Digital Marketing undergraduates were tasked to come up with a more sustainable model which allows the organisations to take control of their own digital marketing, so there’s no disruption if an intern leaves, or if there aren’t enough interns to go around.
The students came up with the idea of a DING event, which stands for Digital Inspiration for Non-Profit Growth, and was held on campus in April.
A number of charities and organisations attended the DING, which allowed their representatives to network, listen to guest speakers, including students, and receive top tips on how they can improve their digital output.
One such organisation was Northamptonshire Highways, the delivery arm for Northamptonshire County Council’s highways and transport service.
Its principal travel choices officer, Nicky Hyde-Pulley, attended with colleagues, all of whom are putting into practice the things they learned on the day.
She said: “We got a lot from the broad overview and found out the importance of story building, search engine optimising methods and thinking about different audiences.
“We have a Twitter feed and a Facebook page, but after learning about short video clips being very powerful we created a Snapchat account and I am definitely going to use six second clips on our websites. We covered a charity event in the week after the DING and utilised selective re-tweeting.”
Nicky added: “I really think an event like the one we attended would be welcomed by lots of organisations and small businesses.
“I know some people who still think social media and digital engagement is not to be taken particularly seriously. Our team was semi-literate but learned more, but a significant amount of people in businesses out there would be virtual newbies. I’m sure the students got a lot from staging such an event and hats off to them all – we went away buzzing!”