As a charity going through a period of organisational change, ShelterBox wanted us to think of a new way for it to write and talk about itself that would better reflect its values and visions nationally and internationally, now and into the future.
We began by looking at ShelterBox’s external communications, delving through a vast archive of materials from throughout its ten-year history. This helped us understand who ShelterBox is talking to and get a feel for the way they talked about themselves and their work.
We also did a series of interviews with a broad selection of staff from across the charity. From operations to fundraising, management to affiliates, we spent time with the people who make ShelterBox what it is. Our aim was to capture a snapshot of the charity today – to inform how it might talk about itself tomorrow.
We did a series of interviews with a broad selection of staff from across the charity. Our aim was to capture a snapshot of the charity today – to inform how it might talk about itself tomorrow.
These interviews were challenging, revealing and extremely valuable. But they also highlighted areas of concern and potential that could inform not only ShelterBox’s tone of voice, but also the way the charity moved forward and addressed its perception across all areas of its business – internal and external, local and global.
That left us with a tricky decision to make. Our instincts – based on our research and experience of producing tone of voice guidelines for multiple organisations – told us that, at this point in its evolution, there was something more valuable that ShelterBox needed. Simply addressing how they use their words wasn’t enough. We needed to address what they are and what they want to be first.
Shaped by the voices of the stakeholders we spoke to, we could see the time was right for a document that analysed the charity’s strengths and weaknesses and presented them with a series of challenges, opportunities and recommendations for the future. We worked closely with ShelterBox’s communications team throughout the process and presented a clear and engaging final recommendations document for the new CEO and her team to use as a roadmap for further thinking and strategic development.
The ShelterBox team was impressed with our honest approach and delighted with the outcomes of the audit. They plan to take immediate action on many areas and to consult further with their staff, volunteers, associates and wider networks, on the findings.
We’re excited to see how things evolve and to continue working with ShelterBox on the next phase; helping them find the right words to get their newly honed message across.