How do you plan digital comms for Oxfam within a global charity?

@SarahBJordan: Unless digital is integrated into your marketing plan, it doesn’t work. There the challenge starts. We work alongside marketing teams to advise where digital can help achieve objectives with best practice advice.

How has social media changed your planning process?

It’s changed and broadened the channel mix. We need to think more about creating an integrated journey across those now. On social media we need to both plan content and be able to react and be spontaneous, especially during an emergency. In an emergency it’s great to get live content from the field so we can share @OxfamGB’s response and connect with supporters.

Has social media changed @OxfamGB as an organisation?

@OxfamGB is naturally a social organisation. We’ve always tried to engage and have conversations with our supporters. We can now do this more easily with social media, especially with younger audiences who know less about @OxfamGB. Social media is relevant to the whole organisation across digital, media and customer service teams and for our shop volunteers too.

How do you manage your global communications?

@OxfamGB is a global organisation working in 90+ countries, however we try to communicate at a local level so it’s more relevant and personal. UK comms lead here, but each country responds locally, in local languages to supporters, staff or beneficiaries. It’s hard to coordinate globally but social media and digital really help us tailor our comms so we’re more relevant & engaging.

What are the challenges for @OxfamGB in an always switched-ON world?

As a charity we have to be very cost conscious and ensure max value for money, so investment in this environment is hard. Prioritisation, management of the different channels and opportunities needs to be balanced to get the best results.

What is your No. 1 bit of advice for other charities?

Get digital integrated into the marketing plans early on and explain its value to the organisation and fundraising teams. Start small, find quick wins, prove the value of digital with data and build trust. Get your senior managers and CEO on board. Sorry, I don’t have just one bit of advice – lots of learning from Oxfam and what we’ve done with our digital work.

What excites you about 2014?

For me digital is critical for charities like Oxfam, especially in this tough economy and it’s where our supporters want to engage now. Knowing that there will be lots of opportunities for @OxfamGB to work differently using digital, but not knowing exactly how. One really exciting area is new tech innovations that could improve @OxfamGB programmes to help end poverty and change lives. Of course joining next year’s #4PsHike – and raising money for @OxfamGB on the way!

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