Promoting volunteering: experiences of liaising with the media on volunteering issues

Document type
Machin, Joanna; Malmersjo, Gertrud
Institute for Volunteering Research
Date of publication
1 June 2006
Social welfare
Material type

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This report investigates how Volunteer Involving Organisations (VIOs) and Volunteer Development Agencies (VDAs) liaise with the media to promote volunteering, the barriers they experience in doing so and how to improve on what they do. The analysis is based on the results of two surveys one with VDAs (97 responses) and one with VIOs (172 responses). While there is considerable variation in both the way that organisations liaise with the media on volunteering issues and the experiences they have had, in general most do engage with the media, and in the case of VDAs primarily with local media. Organisations were generally more proactive in approaching the media than the media were in approaching them. Contacting journalists directly over the phone, having campaigns specific to organisations and the use of case histories of individual volunteers were seen to be the most successful ways of getting media coverage on volunteering. Seven out of eight organisations had barriers to their engagement, the most common being the lack of time and lack of financial resources. Many thought that the media lacked understanding about volunteering and were not interested or responsive enough. Other organisations struggled to identify newsworthy stories about volunteering Many organisations indicated that they wanted to develop the way in which they liaised with the media in order to better promote volunteering and their organisation. This would be achieved through allocating more staff time to engaging with the media, developing the media skills of employees through training and most importantly building better relationships and networks with media contacts.

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