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Strategic Communication and Operational Plan: 2016-2018

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Melanie Smith

on 20 July 2016

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Transcript of Strategic Communication and Operational Plan: 2016-2018

The Beginning
Upon arriving here at MIFWA, I have conducted a bit of research to get a feel for the organisation as a whole. I observed the office, attended several workshops, familiarized myself with the forms of communication and the website. After meeting with employees and meeting the volunteers themselves, I have found this organisation to align with absolutely everything MIFWA promises.

The mission
To work alongside people affected by mental health issues in a way that is meaningful to them; to promote acceptance and understanding of mental health in the community; and to be a leader in innovation and systemic reform in mental health service delivery.

MIFWA does all of this and beyond. The goal at hand is to strategically communicate this work to key policymakers, decision makers, heads of departments and funding bodies. Also, to continue to communicate operationally to our members, carers, those with lived experience who need our support, universities, clinics and the general community.
Research on Communication
MIFWA Communication Format
What MIFWA Has Currently
The account has 125 followers and is following 85 people. The last time the account tweeted was April 4th. There are photos, links and hashtags used.
Challenges/Threats of Communication
The official website for MIFWA
Strategic Communication and Operational Plan: 2016-2018
MIFWA- The Mental Illness Fellowship Of Western Australia
MIFWA offices are a bit spread within the state of WA, catering to those in need of support and a safe place.
Midland-Head Office
Mt Lawley
Leederville- Lorikeet Centre
After reviewing the communication methods MIFWA is currently using, I created a survey for the Midland Central Office employees to complete in order to move forward.
The results are below.
I conducted a survey to find out what the employees of Midland Central think of the current format of methods of communication. The results are below.
What MIFWA Has Currently (Continued)
584 people have liked this page (4 likes this week!)
There are posts daily, one every two weeks or so
We share posts currently that may relate to those in need of services- give them a smile
Video showing Schizophrenia Awareness Week photos, events and what to expect
There are photos of our staff and people with smiling faces.
Visitor posts sharing their experiences
What MIFWA Currently Has (Continued)
Linked In:
A description of what we do and the services we provide
Specialties of the company
Our logo, company size, headquarters location and type of company
The website includes easy ways to follow MIFWA on the three social media accounts we have.
Included is a link to a website that allows website visitors to speak in a forum with people they can relate to.
A tab for information about our organization, news and events, our services, resources, forums, how to support us, our partners and how to contact the offices.

Reaching out to people with lived experience who have no internet or technology in their possession to see our information

Using social media that is unfamiliar to the organization. Employees will need to become familiar with the social media sites we use and how to communicate effectively.

Having someone that is willing to upkeep this communication strategy

Figuring out which ways to communicate are worth upkeep through trial and error

Keeping up consistency with new strategies

Threat: There are other companies similar to us that have the same services: Helping Minds
Opportunities To Come
New ways to promote our services

New strategy to work together as a group

Exposure of what we do to people all over WA

Way to set us apart from services that are similar

Show we are unique

Utilize the fact that we are personal and different from other organizations because our employees have been there and can relate

Get more members and more people involved

Show off the important work we do
Established presence on social media

A following of people- a good base to start with

A lively, bright environment

Lengthy information about our services, what we are about and we stand for

A strong stance on what our goal is to achieve

An easy way to contact MIFWA offices to receive our services

The information is understandable and easy to comprehension

Seasonal newsletters
No interaction for website visitors

Not enough posts and or updates for the website

In need or consistent posting on the Facebook and Twitter

No consistent videos of workshops or events held by MIFWA

No unique attributes shown that set us apart from other organizations

No inside look into success stories or concrete examples of our services bettering the lives of our volunteers.

Strategic Communication:
Senior Public Servants
Key Decision Makers
Policy Makers
Heads of Government Departments
Key Ministers- Local and State
Heads of Key Health and Mental Health Departments
Universities and Researchers
Objectives for Communicating with Target Audiences
Key Decision Makers, Senior Public Servants, Policy Makers,
Heads of Government Departments, Key Ministers- Local and State,
Heads of Departments
To influence

better understanding of experience people with serious mental illness have, the stigma, life experience and what supports their recovery,
to support the voice of lived experience
to promote better understanding of gaps in support and service that impacts people effected by mental illness
to influence social policy to ensure public policy does not further isolate or stigmatize people with mental illness and to reduce stigma in order to promote people talking about mental health
, therefore making it easier to publicly seek help.
Universities and Researchers
To influence research agendas and create pathways for the voice of people with mental illness in developing relevant research agendas
How do we communicate with the target audience?
With Consistency and Continuation
In order to effectively communicate with authorities to make the presence of the organization known, we must communicate with them on a
daily basis
Since we have the contact information for people like the Mental Health Commissioner and the Minister for Mental Health, we will easily be able to contact these decision makers to
make our objectives clear
. If we are personal and unique about the way we communicate with them, then they will remember the difference we currently make and will continue to make with their help.
How do we do this?
Plan for Communicating with Decision Makers
We have the mailing address, phone numbers email addresses for all of the parties in a single document. When regarding funding, budget and support, we can communicate in those three ways to the Mental Health Commissioner WA, Minister for Mental Health WA, Department of Social Services, Shadow Minister Mental Health WA, Federal Minister Mental Health and Peak Bodies WAAMH, CMHA and the National Mental Health Commission.
Funding bodies and peak bodies will not grant money and support without concrete success and examples of their support making an actual difference.

When communicating, we must include success stories and something that will stick out and remain unique to these people. Things we could include would be handwritten letters from volunteers who found positive experiences through our services, video messages through emails that show success stories of MIFWA and employees coming forward about their own experiences with mental illness and how they can help the community through MIFWA.
Schedule for Communicating with Key Decision Makers
Currently, MIFWA occasionally writes to key decision makers. Some media, radio and television coverage is organized by the national media company, Media Keys. There was no current data base of key decision makers.

In order to effectively communicate, we must do it consistently and continuously through the upcoming months.

To make it easy, dedicate
one day, two hours

every two weeks
to compose hand written letters, passionately written e-mails and personal phone conversations. Each week, contact a different key decision maker in a different form. Consult volunteers to write letters about their success. Seek out employees interested in sharing their stories. Be unique in your approach and be compassionate in each form of communication.
Time Table for the Incoming Months
Starting whenever things are best convenient for you, I have made up a bit of a plan for who to write to and when. Once you have events like Schizophrenia Awareness Week, Homeless Prevention Week and Mental Health Awareness Week, sending information to media coverage outlets like The West Australian and WA Today. In the meantime, follow the time table every two weeks, completing the below.
- Write, E-mail and Call Timothy Marney, the Mental Health Commissioner of WA
-Write, E-mail and Call Andrea Mitchell, The Minister for Mental Health of WA
-Write and Call the Department of Social Services
-Write, E-mail and Call Stephen Dawson, The Shadow Minister for Mental Health of WA
-Write, E-mail and Call Hon. Helen Margaret Morton, the Federal Minister of Mental Health

-Write and Call the WAAMH President and CEO, Alison Xamon and Rod Astbury
-Write and Call the President of CMHA, Elizabeth Crowther
-Write, E-mail and Call the National Mental Health Commission
-E-mail and Call the Chair of the National Mental Health Commission, Allan Fels
-Write, E-mail and Call the WAPHA
How to Contact Universities and Researchers
We have current relationships with Curtin University, Notre Dame University, Edith Cowan University, West Coast Institute of Tech, Midland TAFE College, Armadale TAFE College, Central TAFE College, Government Primary Schools and PCYC.
-Contact University of Western Australia through e-mail and phone
-Contact Murdoch University through e-mail and phone
-Contact South Metropolitan TAFE College through e-mail and phone
Limited communication to key decision makers and our own members
Operational Communication Target Audience

Families and Carers

Clinical Mental Health Teams

Objectives for the Operational Communication Target Audience
To provide information about MIFWA and how we are continuing to deliver our mission. To share the experience and voices of people with lived experiences and for our staff to talk about the difference we make, broader issues and experiences. To seek continued commitment and to tell them possible financial investment is our mission.
MIFWA Current Organization Members
People with a severe and persistent mental illness that would benefit from information and/or support
General Community
Mental Health Hospitals
To provide reassurance to people that they are alone and that their experience, while traumatic, is a part of the human experience. To provide information and hope in recovery and to encourage help seeking.
Funding Bodies
To provide information about MIFWA and our support and services. To share the experience and voices of people with a lived experience and our staff about their priorities and experiences.
To provide information about MIFWA and how we are continuing to deliver our mission. To share the experience and voices of people with lived experiences and for our staff to talk about the difference we make, broader issues and experiences. To seek continued commitment and to tell them possible financial investment is our mission.
So, what now?
We need to communicate with these audiences in a way that will trigger an emotional response.
Currently, MIFWA communicates with the operational audiences a bit consistently, but to attain new members, reach out to those in need, maintain current members, raise attendance in workshops and events, we must alter the way of communication to directly speak to this audience.

We must approach this opportunity to create a new campaign that will show our audience that we are here to help, we want to help and we are going to help.
How are we going to do that? Let's find out.
The word "HELP" is scar, negative and turns people away instantly.
-Need to stray away from this.
-Keep the "help" attitude out of posts, promos, etc. Make it more comfortable.

All about being PERSONAL!
-Personalize everything
-People connect through emotion
-Anecdotes and stories through social media to connect with audiences and show people just like them.

Create a hybrid of a "feel good" platform with hidden education.

Create all ways of communication promoting a sense of comfort. A comforting tone, comforting voice and comforting approach.
Current status: Facebook, Twitter and mifwa.org.au

Needs spicing up
In need of visuals- photos, videos, etc.
More structure for each platform and what you want to get across
Calender of events
A bit boring and bland- needs a pop of color (website)

Need emphasis on EXPERIENCE and relateable points- "trauma times"
Stop preaching to the converter- Preach to ALL
Different way to preach message while breaking stigma
Our posts reach 876 people this week. There are 48 post engagements, which is a low ratio considering how many people like our page. 0 people have contacted us in the past few weeks, we have had 0 website clicks, a 0 of 1 response rate and only 11 days response time.
How can we change this?
Those with iPhones can access the MIFWA page by getting the
mobile app. This will help with
publishing posts on the go
posting photos and videos
from your phone.
Set a
budget (5 dollars) to boost a post or our page.
It will help us
reach more people
who like the page and reach
all new audiences
based on a variety of characteristics.
effective posts
. Posts that are
short, visual and created for our target audience
. We need to appeal to those who we are trying to reach.
Quick updates
to stay connected. NEED THIS.
Create an
event page
every workshop, activity and event we have
. Brings more people together when shared on social media.
short videos to introduce our team, our stories and our services
. Even smartphone videos are good enough to capture the attention and engage people.
Reply to messages automatically.
Turn on instant replies to send an automatic response
to people messaging us. Help our visitors know that their message is important to us, even if we can't respond right away.
employee invite their FB friends to like
the page.
Ideas to Start
-Start to share stories of success and happiness through videos and blogs
Short 1:30 videos with only text, explaining types of mental illness that are described by people who have lived through them. Will provide real insight, inclusion.
Meet the staff videos. #FacesofMIFWA. Shows how employees understand the most, because they have lived through mental illness as well. Meet MIFWA Monday. 30 second iPhone video! #WeGetYou. Gives audience a look inside our office to feel connected to staff.
Videos and photos of office fun- afternoon tea, out to lunch, celebrations. Inside look.
#MIFWAAndYou: Videos of Lorikeet Centre, workshops, events, etc. This will be exciting for people attending to see a video of their safe place while reaching out to others to join.
Short videos of volunteers with lived experience holding up visuals telling their stories. #IAmMore. Video examples below.
More Ideas to Continue
Since new design involves sunflower, use #PetalsOfMIFWA for representing volunteers and their stories. Create blog through Word Press and promote this on Facebook.
"Wisdom W.A. Wednesday" Tips. Includes ways to calm down/de-stress, warning signs, rhythmic breathing methods and things of that nature. Easy to post as a status on the FB page.
Links to Ted talks/videos. Super inspirational and gives advice depending on topic.
Inspirational photos, videos and quotes that are easy to share from other pages. Similar to what we are already doing now, but more consistent.
Service surveys/polls to receive feedback and to seek out what people want from MIFWA and our services.
Promotions- Facebook Page Title on all brochures, fliers, etc. Need upkeep.
Synopsis of all of our services on our "About" tab. More in depth than what we already have.
We only have 81 tweets and 128 followers. We follow 85 people. How can we use our Twitter platform to the fullest extent?
Follow accounts similar to MIFWA. Follow back accounts that follow us. We don't use our feed to look at tweets, we use the platform to put out information. If people who need that information follow us, then following them back will show loyalty.
Basically, do all of the things that we should do on Facebook. Keep the same voice, post the same things with just as much consistency. With Twitter, the posts are short and sweet so it's easier. Videos and photos can be added as well.
We have a good base, just work off of what we already have to utilize our social media presence fully.
Include ways to get in contact with MIFWA in bio. There is no way to contact us other than tweeting.
Put handle on EVERYTHING! @MIFWAorg
Renovated Website: mifwa.org.au
The website needs a bit of a face lift. The information is wonderful, but the format needs to be slightly adjusted in order to visually please and make sense to our audiences and viewers.
-Modernized format. Different fonts, photographs, interactive safe place for viewers. SANE is an example. https://www.sane.org/
- Tab for
"Telling Stories"
: information about what recovery is, what helps, success stories, "your recovery," and things that help put this situation into someone else's realistic situation.
-Tabs should be
Meet Us
Services & Resources
Join Us
Talk to Us
-Buttons for following all of our social media: Facebook, Twitter and Linked In
-"Meet the Staff" page under "Meet Us" with short bios, photos and videos.
More Ideas for MIFWA.ORG.AU
-"Get Help Now" button
-"What is...?" Videos with volunteers explaining their mental illness. Same for Facebook. Helps eliminate stigma
-Register for eUpdate (our mailing list)
- Photo Gallery of all events, workshops, Lorikeet Centre, offices, etc.
-Twitter Feed to show our tweets on the website
- Link to blog #PetalsofMIFWA for different stories to be told
-Regional area coverage. Especially when it comes to Well Ways and MI Recovery. This will help us cover more mileage in order to get more of an audience
- Regional mental health news under "News" tab to inform readers of the current stance of mental health in W.A.
- Interactive contests, programs and polls. Contests could be similar to the poem contest during Schizophrenia Awareness Week. Something to engage people
- Add "Do What You Can Do" video to our website
-Add the quiz from the DoWhatYouCanDo website, even add the website link to our website so viewers can access it and engage in learning about Schizophrenia
How do we communicate with those who don't have Internet, social media or technology?
We continue to send our content to mental health clinics, hospitals, doctor offices, public buildings and things of that nature.

We send out advent cards to addresses we have in our records, hoping we can reach even more people through this. Advent cards twice a year- can be costly.
Reaching out via direct mail and through our seasonal news letter will be our best option without breaking the bank. Must keep up with address updates.
-Collaborative calender with dates of our events, workshops and national awareness days
How will we get information out without an Information Officer?
Monique will continue to communicate with policymakers, decision makers through WAAMH board, etc.

We should send presentations and information to the organizations, hospitals, clinics, schools and emergency centers that Andrea would visit. We could even send a quick video message with the presentation if no one can go themselves. This is an effective way to speak to patients and people in our community about what we have to offer.
We must continue to send out information through our mailing list consistently so we are consistently communicating with our current members.
How will we keep up with all of this communication?
I would be more than happy to assist in whatever ways I can.
When it comes to social media, I can use the creative tool
Hoot Suite to schedule posts on Facebook and Twitter
to keep up with the consistency. It also
tracks what our audience is saying about us and measures the impact of social campaigns
, so if we post videos with #IAmMore or #MeetMIFWA. I would just need someone to send me videos, photos, events and things of that nature.
I can
create the Word Press blog
for the #PetalsofMIFWA portion of the plan, I would just need someone to send me the blog posts and a place to post the blog (on website, Facebook, Twitter)

I can
moderate the social media sites and the website
if we can figure out the ropes to the way the design works. Once we change the design, I can help in any way possible.
The biggest piece of this plan is
. It takes time to get a feel for it, but once you have the framework and routine down, it will come naturally.
Thank You.
I just wanted to let you all know how much I appreciate my time here at MIFWA with you all. Although I wish I had more time with you all so I could implement these strategies, I feel honored to be working for such an amazing, dedicated organization. You guys change lives constantly and you are influencing the stigma in mental health, without a doubt. I wouldn't even be in Australia if it wasn't for you guys, the traveling was just a bonus! This topic is sincere to my heart and my own family, so I appreciate you guys taking me in with open arms and allowing me to dive deep into the communications at MIFWA.

I wish I could have done more hands on work, but I hope these ideas will spark your interest. Thank you so much for this opportunity and I hope you all continue to change lives. I am so happy to have gotten to know you all.

Thank you so much!
-Digitized newsletter for online viewers to read
Full transcript