Welcome to the Communications Project page. Each week we intend to give you a regular Thursday update with any news from the team on how projects are progressing. Some weeks there will be lots of activity, others not so much. If you have any questions - or have knowledge and skills you would like to bring to the project please do get in touch with the lead Directors via the button on the right!
Both the staff and Directors of the Trust have been busy this week preparing for our AGM and launching the Community Action plan, which is now available to read online. Printed copies should begin to arrive on doorsteps throughout the strath next week - keep an eye out for yours!
It's been another busy week for the Comms team! We are working on the next newsletter, which should be available for reading online before the end of the month. If you have anything you would like to contribute, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Caroline at email@example.com
We have also been working with Nick Wright to ensure that a copy of the Community Action Plan will arrive on the doorsteps of all households in the Stratherrick and Foyers community area that we have addresses for over the next couple of weeks.
There is a lot going on in the community over the next few weeks, and the Comms team felt that we should let you know what's happening, so here are some dates for your diary:
Friday 19th November - Community Action Publication and launch event
Wednesday 24th November - Stratherrick & Foyers Community Trust AGM
Friday 10th & Saturday 11th December - Winter Wonderland
We hope to see you at any, or all of these events!
Our most recent newsletter is now out and available online. As we are looking to increase what we post out to residents, we are working on ensuring our mailing list is as up to date as possible. If you did not receive a copy of our Autumn magazine in the post, please get in touch with Laura by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and she will add your address onto the list.
We are currently working on our next newsletter - the focus on this one will be the upcoming CAP report and important dates leading up to December. If you would like a copy emailed directly to you, please contact Caroline by emailing email@example.com and we will add your email address to the mailing list.
Update - 28/10/21
The magazine has now been delivered across the strath! If you have NOT received your copy, please let our Project Co-ordinator, Caroline, know via email - firstname.lastname@example.org - and she will ensure that your postal address is on the mailing list. You can also contact her if you would prefer to receive your copy via email.
Steven has been busy adding local businesses to our Business Directory - this is an ideal way to advertise your services for free in the local area, so if you run a business and would like a listing, please contact Steven by emailing email@example.com
Update - 21/10/21
The magazine (issue 26) is now printed and has been delivered to be posted out. It will be heading to a letterbox near you shortly (if we have your address). We are pleased to say the cost of this is less than printing and delivering to various locations across the area for picking up, as we did in the past. This will hopefully help improve communications not only from the Trust but the many community groups and individuals who contribute to the magazine. The online version is already accessible here
Update - 12/10/21
After a lot of hard work from our Comms team and our printers, we are pleased to let you know that our Autumn magazine will make it to print this week. And is what is even more exciting is that you will receive a copy delivered to your door next week! Please keep an eye out for a white A4 envelope addressed to 'The Householder' - this is NOT junk, but in fact your copy of Stratherrick & Foyers News!
Update - 30/9/21
Unfortunately our magazine is not quite ready for you to read yet, but the good news is we are hoping to have a copy of our Autumn magazine delivered to each household in the strath over the coming weeks, so keep an eye out for yours!
We are also beginning to work towards the next monthly newsletter, so if you have anything that you would like included, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday 11th October.
Update - 23/9/21
We have been busy working on the Autumn issue of our bi-annual magazine, which is now at the printers - thank you to everyone who has contributed, particularly on such a tight deadline! We aim to have it widely distributed by the end of next week.
Don't forget our Business Directory! This is will be an invaluable resource for the whole community and an ideal way to advertise your business. Please get in touch with Steven by emailing email@example.com if you would like your business to be listed.
Update - 26/8/21
We are pleased to bring you our Business Directory! It is still in the early stages, so please bear with us, but it is now up and running so if you would like your business listed please contact Steven by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will advise you of what information he requires.
Update – 12/8/21
Our comms team meet weekly and discuss a range of topics, which may include the monthly newsletter and bi-annual magazine, website updates, local business engagement & promotion, events planning, and keeping the community up to date with Trust activities.
In our most recent meeting, we managed to cover most of the items listed above!
We are currently working on the August issue of the newsletter, which will be circulated at the end of next week. If you have anything you would like included, please email it through to Jillian (email@example.com) by Monday and we will try our best to squeeze it in!
Caroline is looking into options for having the next copy of our bi-annual magazine distributed to every house in the Strath. We will keep you updated on progress with this.
Website and local businesses
We are progressing with the local business directory on our website, and Garve from Plexus Media is currently building us a new page where we can display information on your businesses. We hope that we will be able to start inputting information very soon, so if you would like to see your business listed, please contact Jillian.
On the back of a successful Summer Gala, Jillian and Caroline have been busy putting plans together for future events. We will be hosting Winter Wonderland again this December – keep an eye out for more information on this soon. We have had some thoughts on potential events for next year too, including a Spring Food Festival, Summer Gala, Autumn Harvest Festival and a Winter Festival, which will incorporate Winter Wonderland and a dance for the adults! If you have any other ideas, or would like to help with the organising of any of the above events, please get in touch with Jillian (email address above) or Caroline (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Keeping the community updated
We are always looking at how best to communicate with the community. You may have noticed some of these updates appearing on the project pages – our aim is that by September we will have weekly updates on each project page, which will give you a progress report on how the Trust is moving forward on each project.
EVALUATION OF EVENTS
It is the Trust's intention to take feedback on a number of events so we can improve the service we provide to the community. This feedback will be taken to the Communications and Events Team for future events.
FEEDBACK ON MINI GALA
The survey was launched on the Monday after the event for seven days. 49 people responded to the Mini Gala Survey.
Most people heard about the event on facebook, Trust E mail, Trust Magazine/Newletter, the Trust website and word of mouth.
The overall view of the event was positive, community spirit, atmosphere, organisation, friendly, mix of stalls etc. rating highly.
Things to improve included volume of parking, accessibility to the venue, signage, improved pathways for those with mobility issues, more events for children, some thought to how the raffle was drawn and making other stall holders aware who may attend for stock control. Many people still said only positive things when asked this question.
It’s probably worth noting many suggestions were not unexpected and of course the event was scaled down considerably due to potential Covid restrictions. All the feedback is useful with some suggesting they are willing to help with solutions to some of these issues.
Thanks to everyone for attending, feedback and everyone involved in the organisation of this event.
One of the first ‘legacy’ projects to be agreed by the new broad of directors was to improve the quality of communication with the community it serves. It is recognised that our collective ability to invest the windfarm and hydro community funds in the most effective way possible is based on building a broad-based coalition of support. The coalition is made up of a number of critical partners; at the core is the community supported by a close alliance with local voluntary groups and societies, statutory bodies such as the Community and Highland Council, political representatives, the people running our public services including the fire service, police and medical services and regional and national bodies. To achieve this the Board has put in place a communication strategy that has the following pillars:
- A statement of the Trust’s values and behaviours that will then shape the way we communicate on a day-to-day basis with the community we serve
- A policy of openness and transparency that enables the community to get involved and influence everything the Trust is working on
- An plan that will provide a mandate for the Trust’s 20-year-strategy
- Online and offline communications channels that are as effectively as possible
In this page you will find details of the steps that are being taken to put the pillars in place.
FOUNDATIONS FOR SUCCESS
The implementation of the communication strategy is based on these building blocks:
1. Mandate for a plan of action.
The primary purpose of the Trust is to guide the investment of the windfarm and hydro community funds, in line with the wishes of the community, to provide a legacy for future generations. Independent consultants have been brought in to develop the Community Action Plan. This link will take you to a page that describes this project in detail (add link). The key actions are:
- Gather the views of the community (March)
- Develop a set of projects that reflect the key priorities that emerge from the consultation process (April)
- Publish the Community Action Plan (May)
- Establish working groups that guide the development and implementation of the projects (June)
With the CAP in place, the communications team will develop the steering group, that has been set up for the CAP, into a permanent body that provides advice and guidance to the Trust on key issues and the development of Trust policy
2. Sophisticated communication channels
The primary focus on the communications team in the first few months has been to ensure that the Trust has in place the most effective communication channels. The key actions are:
- Re-design the Trust’s website in order that it provides lots of detail about the Trust’s activities and is a resource for all clubs, societies, businesses in the area. It should be perceived as a community website first and a communication channel for the Trust, second.
- Improve the Trust’s participation in social media by developing a Trust Facebook page and establishing a presence on Twitter and Instagram
- Put in place an efficient design and publishing process that can output a wide range of publications
- Publish, twice a year, a news and lifestyle magazine that reports on the life and times of the Strath. This should take the form of a ‘publication of record,’ providing a comprehensive insight into the social and business life of the community. The first edition of the re-modelled Stratherrick & Foyers Magazine was published at christmas and the next edition will be in early summer
- Publish a monthly Stratherrick & Foyers newsletter that provides a regular update on the activities of the Trust and general news about the area
- Publish a weekly email for Trust members that keeps them abreast of all Trust activities at a granular level
3. Community engagement
There are a number of practical steps that are being put in place to markedly improve the level of engagement the Trust has with the community. The development of the Community Action Plan stands at the pinnacle. Other key actions are:
- Put in place the tools that enable the Trust to communicate with everyone. This will include the development of a comprehensive email list (an output from the CAP process) and address list for everyone who does not have access to a computer
- Ensure all legacy projects have a steering group drawn from the community
- Provide many get-in-touch points in the new website that will provide users with direct access to directors
- Hold routine meetings with the Trust’s key stakeholders including key funders and businesses in Stratherrick and Foyers
- Deliver/facilitate a schedule of community events such as Fireworks Night, Summer Fare, Christmas Winter Wonderland etc.
4. Keeping us on track
The communication team is responsible for ensuring that the Board of Directors continue to listen and respond to the wants and needs of the community. Key actions to achieve this are:
- Develop a set of performance metrics that will provide a strong indication of the efficiency and effectiveness of the Trust. These will include the quality of the processes where we interact with the public such as managing grant applications
- Institute a bi-annual opinion survey when we will ask the community to rate the Trust's performance
- Hold routine meetings with the Trust’s key stakeholders including key funders, statutory bodies and businesses in Stratherrick and Foyers
PROGRESS SO FAR
The communications team consists of the Trust Directors Gareth Jones, Jillian Barclay and Catriona Fraser together with two members of the Trust staff; the new manager Tony Foster and the Community Liaison Officer, Steven Watson.
There is a weekly project meeting on a Tuesday and to get an idea of the progress we are making on implementing our strategy please see the Task Tracking Document by clicking on the link you can see at the top right-hand side of the page. We would welcome anyone who would like to contribute to this project to get in touch with Gareth at email@example.com or Jillian at firstname.lastname@example.org