Toynbee Hall launches new Influencer volunteer program
In August we will be providing a new platform for local people to share their experiences of East London.
Do you live or work in East London?
Do you believe in the richness, diversity and potential of the people who live here?
Do you want to share your experiences of East London, challenge assumptions and be part of the fight for a fairer London?
Then you might be interested in Toynbee Hall’s new Influencer programme.
Toynbee Hall works to tackle unfairness and make East London a place where everyone has an equal chance to thrive. We take an asset based approach to our work, and believe everyone has something valuable to offer in the fight for a fairer London. What we learn from our work in London we use to influence change across the UK.
In August we will train and support a group of local people as influential communicators. No previous experience is needed as we’ll provide you with training on blogging, vlogging and creating compelling content as well as supporting you to build your own audience. We’ll offer you a platform on our website to talk about your lives and about what is going on in East London as well as regular opportunities to network, learn about social issues and develop new skills.
Or if you can’t make the bootcamp but would like to join the network contact David on firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you the next Volunteer East End Influencer?
Thank you for your interest in being an East End Influencer as part of Team Toynbee. At Toynbee Hall we are passionate about two things: East London and social justice. We believe that our place is supporting the people of East London to make our country fairer.
And part of that is offering a platform for your stories to be heard. So if you want to share what it’s like living in East London, talk about things that you’d like to change, or stuff that you’re proud of, you might want to do that through Toynbee Hall.
Why would I want to be a part of Team Toynbee?
• Because I care about East London
• Because I care about fairness, wealth inequality and social isolation
• Because I want access to training about blogging, promoting content, and content creating
• Because I want regular opportunities to socialise with other local bloggers
• Because I want Toynbee Hall to host my blogs on their site and promote them via social media
• Because I want to be a part of campaigns locally
How often do I have to send you content?
It’s up to you. Some people will chose to do regular weekly or monthly blogs/ vlogs/ podcasts or photo stories. Others will want to talk about a particular thing that has happened to them as a one off or topical blog. Either is fine.
We offer regular bloggers access to training opportunities and networking events.
What should I talk about?
If you are a regular contributor we’d recommend you talk about things that are happening for you. So interactions you’ve had with local people, community events, or the progress of any projects you are working on. You could talk about the impact a change of bus route has had, your a-level results or some great local graffiti. It really is up to you.
Sometimes we’ll do a call out for content. So if there has been an announcement about benefits changes, or a big news story we’d like to hear your take on we’ll ask lots of people to tell us what they think. We’ll then publish these as part of a conversation with all our social media followers about those issues.
We’ll also do a monthly ‘content challenge’ where we’ll ask people to send photos, artwork, blogs, vlogs, poems or prose inspired by a particular subject. These will be shared on our site.
Will you publish anything I send you?
We are really keen that our blogs are full of authentic content so most content about life in East London, social justice, inclusion or wealth inequality will be more than welcome. We do reserve the right not to publish blogs that we deem inappropriate or that don’t meet our community house rules, we’ll let you know if we decide to do this. You can find our house rules here. Broadly they are designed to make sure that our site is a friendly, welcoming place for everyone that is free from commercial advertising.
We may on occasion suggest edits to your content to ensure that it is read, and understood by more people, changing things like abbreviations or jargon to plain English, and editing for brevity. We will endeavour to maintain your tone of voice in any content you produce, and will let you know when we publish your content, so you can share and promote it yourself.
How do I get started?
If you want to start contributing content to the site it is really easy to do.
If you are new to creating content we recommend booking onto our free Influencers Bootcamp, on the 28th and 28th of August. You can book that here through EventBrite.
If you can’t make the course but still want to contribute just email David at email@example.com and he’ll send you a welcome email and add you to our influencers network so you’ll get invites to our networking events, information about themes, and emails about calls for content. We’ll also send you some inspiration by sharing what other influencers have put together.
How much content should I send you?
We have limited capacity to upload, edit and feedback on content so we’d suggest you think about quality rather than quantity. That said if you are on a roll we’re always happy to receive content – just be aware we might hold on to it for a bit before it is published.
This helps us manage our workloads, it also means we can plan when to release things to give them the best chance of gaining an audience.
What does a good blog/vlog look like?
The thing most good blogs have in common is that the person writing them uses plain English and talks in their own tone of voice. Normally this means that they write the way they speak. Blogs can be anything from photos with captions to 1000 words of writing. Most blogs are between 500-700 words and can be read in less than 10 minutes. If you want your blog to be easy to read it is helpful to use short words instead of long words when you can and use short sentences and short paragraphs.
Normally vlogs are also quite short. If it’s important to you that people hear what you have to say its normally helpful to keep anything you are saying to camera shorter than 3 minutes. Conversations between people can be longer.
I want lots of people to hear what I have to say – how can I help this happen?
We’ll promote blogs via our social media channels, but there is a lot you can do to get more people to see what you have to say. We’ll do basic promotions training fairly regularly for our bloggers, so that you know how to make sure your voice is heard.
What difference will I make?
You might find that blogging or creating sharable content helps you develop your confidence and builds new skills that can help you in your career. Choosing to volunteer with Toynbee Hall will mean that you get to introduce the vibrant and exciting community of East London to decision makers and influencers everywhere. Sharing local stories and your experiences will help people who can make a difference understand the impact their decisions make on real people, and – together with our policy and influencing work help secure change that reduces isolation and inequality for everyone. We really hope you’ll want to be a part of our mission to make society that little bit more fair, and are looking forward to working with you.