Better messaging to a remote audience

Shropshire Rural Communities Charity 

"It’s always good to work with people who understand the charity sector. There aren’t many out there and they tend to be rather London-centric. Fiona was very good – she just got it right from the beginning and her experience gave me great confidence."


Shropshire RCC is a charity that helps to facilitate initiatives that benefit the county’s rural communities. When its part-time marketing officer handed in her notice it prompted a thorough rethink of the charity’s whole approach to marketing and communications. Chief Executive Julia Baron looked around for local consultants to help put together a marketing strategy but could find nobody with the necessary experience of the charity sector. So she looked further afield and found Action Planning.

Shropshire RCC needed a marketing and communications strategist/consultant to examine the charity’s current marketing activities, identify the things that needed to change and advise on the appropriate human resource required to put the new marketing strategy into action.

Action Planning put marketing and communications strategist Fiona Lewis on the case. Fiona was able to keep costs down by carrying out the whole job remotely, via telephone and email, gathering information, testing theories, analysing the market, auditing the charity’s website and social media and gathering opinions from the trustees and senior staff via a questionnaire. After analysing all her gathered material, Fiona talked through her ideas with Julia on the phone before presenting her with a written report setting out her findings and suggestions for Julia to present to the board.

On the strength of Fiona’s report, the Shropshire RCC board agreed to hire a full-time senior marketing executive to manage the volume of new marketing activities. The board also supported Fiona’s proposal of a name change and rebrand for the charity, to be more catchy and outcome-focused, and testing a new name will be a key priority for the new postholder.

Consultant’s insight:
Shropshire RCC was facing challenges common to many medium-sized charities. Communicating the breadth of its work in a hostile funding environment was causing the team to lose clarity in their messaging while limited resources meant they were struggling to successfully resource marketing at both a strategic and operational level. Julia and the team were a pleasure to work with and it’s fantastic to hear that the strategy has provided an inspiring and practical blueprint for future work. I look forward to watching the organisation flourish.

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