The way we communicate, both internally in our groups and externally to others, is an important part of how we are all a part of this extraordinary network of networks.
By keeping those core values of kindness and positive community led change at the core of our conversations and communications, we don’t just support our own groups but those across the UK and worldwide, linking us together in our incredible journeys.
Focusing on the positive messages and stories that we tell is what sets Incredible Edible in it’s communicative space. Whether online, internally or externally, by focusing on stories that amplify our work, tell tales of incredible community gardeners and the power of the small actions that we all do every day that make us a community led organisation, means the spaces that we inhabit talk of what our futures could be, as we look towards a more locally focussed, open and sharing world. Whilst often social media is filled with negativity and unpleasantness, creating safe, kind spaces that focus on positive stories not only supports our vision of a kinder future, but shows that that future is really a reality that is alive and happening right now. The language that we choose to use, the questions we choose to ask and the way in which we frame those communications, are all vital for the whole Incredible Edible movement to be seen as one leading positive, community led change, which in turn gives us the opportunity to have conversations with more collaborators and to speak to both local and national government and affect legislative change.
But of course this is sometimes easier said than done, as things go awry or time pressures us to communicate when we might not be in the right mindset to do so. This is where sharing the burden, creating a voice for your group and everyone understanding that voice and working within it, can really change the way we communicate and relieve the pressure that creating communication can bring.
Our 5 Incredible Steps to Communicating will support you to create positive and creative communications whilst ensuring that our movement moves forwards and is seen as a force for positive change that not only works, but that can be trusted and consulted with.
- Internally communicate in the same way as externally. Whether a newsletter, email or an online forum, considering the ways in which we speak with others internally and the language we use. Have a meeting with your team and discuss the language you use. Look at Food Citizenship conversations here as that will support lots of thinking around the language we use, and how we focus our internal communications to ensure everyone feels they can be included.
- Use social media with confidence. Tell your stories, amplify the people you work with and share your successes. Share things that support people you work with, your local area and national campaigns that speak to you, but make sure it remains a positive space, that’s inclusive, kind and celebratory.
- Never underestimate the power of silence. It cannot be misquoted.
- However tempting it is to head to social media and rant when things go wrong, make sure there is a positive outcome rather than just a negative. Local media sources are likely to pick up on negative stories, and whilst there is nothing more frustrating than when things go wrong, negativity saps creativity and it’s better to say ‘this happened and this is what we did to turn it round’ rather than just ‘this happened’.
- Most of all, be kind, be happy and be creative. Comms are there to enjoy, inspire and support your work!!
We are planning on running a communications webinar soon, where we will talk through how platforms work best and answer any ongoing questions, but if you do have anything that you’d like support with, do get in touch via the website, where you will also find lots of information on communicating well in our online toolshed. The website is free to access and available to everyone, whether part of an Incredible Edible group or not.