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Comms delivery group meeting report 2 December 2013

Comms Delivery Group, Monday 2nd December, 10:00 - 11:15, Skype


  • Fiona
  • Filipa
  • Rob
  • Naresh
  • Ed
  • MikeT
  • MikeG


  • Ben


  • Theme on Transition Network website: 'Scaling up' (January)
  • Comms Delivery Group meeting: Tuesday 7/1, 10:00 - 11:30 (latest), Skype
  • TN newsletter: January: 10/1


  • Ed - January's meeting needs a facilitator - find one from the group
  • Filipa - contact some international Tis
  • Ed discuss how/if to integrate a consultant into comms process with Sarah (underway already)
  • Ed include an experimental/analytical stream to the comms plan 2014 to help us understand more
  • MikeT write and share blog post on regional networks in time for Jan 2014 newsletter
  • Ed investigate organising a comms delivery strategy meeting - budget and tied in with 1a?

Key point:
Comms Delivery group has done well and will continue to be useful. Things are becoming more coherent and increasingly strategic. Now meeting questions it may need external help with (practical use of social media, strategic comms practices, partnerships). Face to face meeting would be very useful to re-assess group's purpose so we can adapt accordingly. This ties in with 2014's comms planning work which will follow TN's strategy. Of particular note from this meeting are:
- international emergence: how to work with emergent national hubs comms and info group
- other partners sharing communications: strategic partnerships with other organisations and comms-related issues

Agenda and discussions:

- ACTIONS from last meeting
-- All done. Everyone can have a stone :)

1. Newsletter review by clicks and discussion (led by Mike)
Open rate Aug-Nov: 26% November 27%
Click rate varies 6.5% and 7%
Industry average = 3.2%
Subscribers = 16,567 - up 450 from August

November newsletter reads:
-- top two
- Imagination as antidote: 274 clicks, 12% clicks
- Richard Heinberg 10 years interview 10%
-- 6% ish
- Training job
- Caroline Jackson's SR article
-- 4% ish
- Paul Hawken
- Extreme Energy and reason SR
- Fracking article in SRs
-- lower than 4 but not minuscule
- Chris Bird SR
- Diana Korchien SR
- Sarah McAdam strategy blog post

NB: these are not the reads on
- we aren't mapping visits to the newsletter figures at the moment
- No mapping between newsletter and
- No clear mapping between TN homepage and reads
- No logical analysis framework to understand this

Q: Naresh - what works and what doesn't? Can we do more of what works? What are we learning?
- MikeG - what are least read articles - from bottom:
- Russia visit from Emma
- REconomy article
- National hubs update
- May East interview
- Transition corporate setting in Brazil

Q: How do we learn how to write articles that people want to open in the newsletter - how do we get better at it?
- first sentence is vital
- some differences between editorial, discursive, announcements
- We've identified that we have questions but don't have answers about them

1. got to tell people that stuff is there for them to know about it
2. can experiment with different topics and things - and be strategic (tests) on different things to see how and what people respond to
- not putting up and testing and measuring content
- being more clever about placing stuff and analysing

ED: Propose to include a testing/editorial process in comms plan in 2014
NARESH: there are people around who know about it and we should learn from them - find consultants/helpers/advisors
ROB: who else might be in meetings? Resilience. Sim and Kristin - useful feedback?

ACTION: Ed discuss how/if to integrate a consultant into comms process with Sarah (underway already)
ACTION: Ed include an experimental/analytical stream to the comms plan 2014 to help us understand more

1a. This newsletter's deadlines (Mike)
This week: Tuesday 3/12

2. Gender balance of content provided to newsletter (led by Fiona)
- Male: 7
- Female: 12
-- (both named)

Would be interesting to see this longitudinally
Good mixture of content  - in terms of big content and big topics representing women too
AGREED this is a good thing - as well as the figures, it's the awareness of what is going in that is important

3. Big stories from last month - November (on media) (all)
1. Ben's re-posting of a Dave Pollard article
2. Sophy's is Transition Sustainable blog post
3. REconomy economic evaluation promo piece
1. Jeremy Legget interview
2. Imagination: an antidote to the plague of Austerity (Month's editorial)
3. Richard Heinberg interview
4. The Rise of the undercover guerrilla (Ann Owen Social Reporter blog post)

MikeT: what makes viral - is that they get shared in other networks - not so much what, it's the where it's going? - so we need more about comms partnerships with people…

FILIPA: need to consider this very profoundly and creatively - what can we do with less resources and bit more with time and strategy? we can identify:
- hubs are going to start discussing in comms and info working group: - will have material to look into together - TN and hubs - can be shared / made viral in different countries
- therefore more about seeing it as complex - and think of it therein - as part of a wider and deeper conversation, including hubs - blending in with international T-intelligence

* These are big and important questions for the comms plan 2014:
- Partnerships and how that works, comms-wise
- International and thinking de-centralised with hubs

4. Coming month's theme - Stuff (led by Rob)
Filipa's excellent story - her child wants a stone and her mother's reaction and thoughts about value and price etc.
Interviews with
- Annie Leonard
- Oliver James - afluenza
- Record shoot guy in totnes
- Ugo- restart brixton
Ruth potts and new materialism
Ann ryann - consumerism and margin do with less
editorial piece for today
steph's walk - walking and minimal stuff

ALSO: - season's greetings from Tis to the wider movement -
ACTION: Filipa - contact some international Tis

5. Next month's theme - January: Scaling up (Rob)
AGREED it is a good theme
Going to
- review Barbara Kingsolvers' flight behaviour book
- interview: natural builder and clay pastors to building mainstream
- rosie boycott and capital growth
- dorea robinson richmond SF race and class and diversity in urban agriculture
- nicholas stern - trying to rearrange interview
- andy lip kiss in LA
- nick temple - social enterprise organisation
- laguna beach people who designed their TI from beginning to appeal to republican
- jamaica plain - visioning work - replacing fossil fuels with cancer
- Pete Lipman's ideas about electricity prices
- TN strategy consultation - share some feedback

ALL: Any other thoughts about scaling up - let Rob know
MIKE: Promoting the ideas of regional networks and reference the blog post I am going to put up

ACTION: MikeT write and share blog post on regional networks in time for Jan 2014 newsletter

6. International news (Filipa and Ben)
Filipa been away a lot - not much to add

7. February 2014 theme:
AGREED: theme of 'Resourcing your Transition Group' (main angle is money but using that to lead into all other areas)

social care/wellbeing?
- ties in with strategy - and social justice?
- healthy cities conference up north - invited transition to visit along
- bits happening but doesn't have to be february

Q: FI: are the themes more about thinking /edgey or are they more about practical stuff on the ground? or a mix?
ROB: mixture - something that is seam of debate, discussion, exploration - that you can illustrate with practical experience

- resourcing your transition group?
- tied in with how a TI handles money?
- money as one aspect and not the main piece but our relationship with money is interesting…

Q: MikeT: ask Tis what they see as 'scaling up' - give them a space to put their comments in

8. Social Reporters update
Great weeks on:
- Inner Transition (particularly strong)
- Edge week
- Do-ers of stuff
All items now added to TN newsletter page for MikeG

9. TFP update: TFP 4 is out, acknowledge TFP's work (Ed and Rob)
- last TFP pilot copy is out
- TFP very keen for TN to acknowledge their hard work and what that represents
- Discussed and acknowledged
- Rob and Charlotte interview
- TFP button and related information page
- Charlotte interview wednesday
- formal board expression of appreciation from Board meet

10. Comms group reflection: how are we doing? Group, meetings, membership
- time to stop and think about what the group can/would do ?
- good work to date, getting clearer, more strategic..
- reflect on the group's purpose in advance of inviting others in.
- hasn't got to some spots it might have
- we're producing loads of good content
- perhaps focus on building external partners
- network of promoters
- design an outreach strategy for comms sharing…
- suggests f2f meeting in early 2014 to do what naresh suggests  
- AGREED - (can't do before 2014)
- been good
- learnt a lot
- discuss external expertise at the comms strategy meet
- we're doing lots but need external advice -
- needs to be someone who understands *international* comms

ACTION: Ed investigate the comms delivery strategy meeting - money etc.

10. Next newsletter: Friday 10th January (all)

NEXT comms delivery group meeting: time and agenda:
Tuesday 7/1/14, 10:00 - 11:30 (latest), Skype

Team: Agreed on 2/12/13 (not Ben and Filipa may be busy)
Sam (everyone say hi to Sam, he's new. But long in the comms tooth)
Ed (apologies, will be away hopefully with a baby by the time this meeting happens)

**needs a facilitator - not fair to ask Sam to facilitate his first comms group meet**

1. Share agenda in Skype group window and ask for any requests
2. Actions from last meeting
3. Newsletter review by clicks and discussion (led by Mike)
3a. This newsletter's deadlines (Mike)
4. Gender balance of content provided to newsletter (led by Fiona)
5. Big stories from last month - December (on media) (all)
6. Coming month's theme - February - 'Resourcing your Transition group' (led by Rob)
7. Next theme to discuss - March: XXXX (all)
8. International news (Filipa and Ben)
9. Social Reporters update (?)
10. Next newsletter: Friday 7th February (all)
11. Next comms delivery group meeting: hmm interesting. Tuesday 4th February? (All) 

About the author
User picture

Ed is the Web and Communications Manager for Transition Network.

He lives in Dorchester, likes digging and climbing, growing vegetables and reading, bicycles and books, swimming, camping and generally being outdoors.


Graham Truscott's picture

Comms planning

Good to see comms being thought about, discussed so well, reported on and actioned. Thanks for posting. 

Ed Mitchell's picture

Thank you