Hello and welcome to the first post, of what I hope will be many more, as the Community Voices project develops.
The Community Voices team is now in place and you can meet the team on the Community Voices blog (http://communityvoicesuk.wordpress.com/
) . We'll also be Tweeting via our @CommVoices twitter site.
This week I've been focused on making connections, both in the professional sense and from a marketing point of view. What have I learnt? Well, in terms of marketing, blanket communications can be useful but they don't connect with marginalised communities. They don't address the specific communication barriers that marginalised groups face, be it language or literacy barriers, cultural beliefs or physical factors such as geography. For the uninitiated this form of marketing is called Social Marketing, and it has been used very successfully for health related causes, such as HIV, smoking, etc for some time. There is even an Institute of Social Marketing (http://www.ism.stir.ac.uk/index.htm
) . In terms of connecting with isolated and disadvantaged communities to help build cohesiveness or to help empower citizens, this seems to be a new area and not one extensively explored or researched.
On a professional level (and connected with social marketing), we want to connect with digital media experts. What's digital media - well anything that uses digital technology, could be on film, podcast, photo, online or even on mobile. What's an expert? Well, there's loads out there, within communities, working professionally or just using digital media as a hobby. The challenge is to make the connection between the expert and the community - this is where Community Voices comes in. We want to connect local experts with people who want to inspire, engage and empower their community. You can find out more at http://www.mediatrust.org/communityvoices
I think there's a subject for discussion here!