Yasmin Georgiou is Head of Digital Engagement at Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity. After an internship at War Child, and a first job at Islamic Relief Worldwide, she worked as Events and Experiential Manager at fair-trade company, Cafédirect, and then as Marketing Communications Manager at the Youth Sport Trust, before taking on her current role.
Don’t get silo-ed. I restructured our team and launched a new strategy about a year ago to make us much more of a multi-channel team — covering our website, social media, emails, any online advertising that we are doing and all of our digital content. Now, every strand of our digital communication is pulling in a single direction so that a supporter sees and experiences the same thing wherever they are engaging with us.
People really underestimate their users. We have found through our analytics what types of content people are interested in and that people are reading all the way down to the bottom of long content. Too often, people across this sector and the commercial sector underestimate people’s concentrations spans, the focus that they have. If you are interested in something, you will read to the bottom of it.
We do a lot of work before we start creating content. We do a lot of work on the strategy behind a campaign. What is it about this story, that our supporters will find compelling and how can we tell that in the most sensitive and honest and beautiful way?
Get into your supporter’s mind-set. Having a meaningful relationship with a supporter is so important, and that is a huge challenge. You have to think about it not it terms of ‘okay, well we need to put up this fundraising campaign at this time of year, because that is what works for us’; but, instead thinking, ‘well actually, what do our supporters want?’ What are their expectations? What are their needs? Why are they wanting to fundraise for us and what is the proposition that we can give them to enable them to do it in a way that means the most for them and means that they get the most out of it?
Don’t use tech for tech’s sake. Instead really think: how are our audiences using this digital technology? And, why would they want to use it, to engage with us as a charity? That should be the starting point.
You can appeal to people who aren’t directly connected with your cause. We do this fantastic baking campaign, Bake It Better. And, for some people, they might not have a connection to the Hospital, but they really want to do something that fundraises within their community. They have an incredible local network and they want to do something different that gives them and their community a reason to get together and be a part of something bigger.
Don’t put something out into the market that is one dimensional. We are aiming to produce content fundraising campaigns that are meaningful for our audiences and engage with people. I want people to then talk to their friends, or share things on their social networks and feel proud to be sharing something that we put out.
Don’t just fall back on what has worked before. Don’t fall back on old ideas and traditions and ways of going about things. Within our team we are always trying to be more creative and think differently about ways to engage and to try new things. We test a lot. We test different creative approaches, we test different messaging. We test different types of campaign idea. I want to be creative, and I want my team to be creative. That is how we can best tell the stories of GOSH patients and their families in a way that does their stories justice, but also talks about the incredible impact of the work of the charity.
My career has been a weird, unique mix. I have not had a linear digital career. And I think that is a good thing. I have been an event manager, worked in marketing, done lots of stuff in digital, I have been a copywriter. It has really helped me build empathy for what’s going on for different people in my team and across the charity.
Cause & Effect is a series from Hope, in which leading figures who have been involved in building and promoting good causes tell us what they’ve learned from their experiences. Interview by Michael Isaacs.