Last week I was asked for some insight into volunteer communication on the back of my involvement with the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR). I have been working with CIPR for a number of years and leading the internal communications group has given me some understanding of what to consider when communicating and engaging a network of volunteers.
These were the tips I shared and I’d be interested to hear from anyone working with volunteers who can share any further tips or advice for those communicating and engaging with this stakeholder group:
- There will be different roles for the volunteers, so understanding them and their level of engagement with the centre is important
- Be clear about what is a must do, nice to do and completely optional. Volunteers have limited time so it is good to know what is required
- Recognise their contribution – whether this is doing something in-kind or having an event for them – make sure they feel valued
- Give them plenty of notice – provide key dates and minimal information and then more detail closer to the date – the more notice they have to plan things the better
- If the volunteers work together, explore running a workshop for them to discuss their purpose/reason for volunteering and then sharing a common goal and ways to share information and ideas – either with an online platform
- Explore a suite of channels for them – just like you would for employees – they might want a regular newsletter of information that is specific to volunteers separate from other employee comms
- Have clear guidelines available for them when they join – what is expected in terms of time etc. and provide a clear structure of meetings/touchpoints with the centre
What would you add to the list?