• Alison Hodge
    88
    How do ringing societies contact their members? Is the traditional "cascade" still in use or have societies decided to have a central database of members, or is social media in use? What works and what doesn't? Importantly, how is GDPR managed? And what about members who do not have access to IT?

    By "cascade" I am thinking of the old systems whereby, typically, the Society Secretary sends messages to District Secretaries, who in turn send them on to tower correspondents, who then forward them to members. This is a historical legacy; it used to save postage when bundles of printed mail were sent on paper to district secretaries then to tower secretaries, who then pinned the paper notices on tower notice boards for members to read at the next service or practice ringing. With the almost universal adoption of emails and other electronic media, how have the old arrangements been modified to fit the 21st century? And does the communication work effectively now?
  • A J Barnfield
    127
    ... and this just deals with top down communication. We need systems that are multi-directional and are inclusive to encourage engagement. Personally I find it very difficult to get ringers to engage. In my limited experience of things like Facebook, Yahoo groups (when they existed) and Google groups is that they get used for top down distribution and requests for ringers for weddings and so on but discussion on topics or issues get very little response.
  • Simon Linford
    152
    It is increasingly a problem for dealing with young ringers as well as older ringers. I don't have any young ringers who would get an email and I have to get to them via WhatsApp or Messenger if I want to communicate directly. There doesn't seem to be a system that allows the same message to be sent to an email address and a WhatsApp group unless anyone has found one?
  • John de Overa
    72
    There are mechanisms, but they are not cheap. It's all part of the increasing balkanisation of the internet, I'm afraid.
  • Alan C
    18
    The Surrey Association has transferred to an online membership service to simplify administration and provide direct membership communication via configurable email lists.

    The association Facebook page provides a means of getting news out beyond the membership and as a means of feedback. To be honest, there isn't much feedback :).

    The web site provides association level information and guidance as a reference resource.

    Communicating with younger members isn't considered separately as far as I know, but is an interesting point that should be investigated.
  • Tristan Lockheart
    18
    The current layered system is overly-bureaucratic, and I'm really not convinced that the officers needed to run them are the best use of the increasingly-limited number of people willing to take on a leadership role.
  • Rosalind Martin
    6
    WhatsApp works very well for informal news sharing, including reminders about District events. It is a lot less intrusive/addictive than Facebook. Posters are also still displayed in towers.
  • Samuel Nankervis
    11
    In the Truro Guild, we have a Guild email list to cover nearly all tower Captains and Sec., as well as the Guild web. site anyone can visit, all with Data protection in place. On the web site, individuals can contact towers without seeing the contact details.
    Guild events - we're trying to encourage publicity, and feedback with/via our District Secs. as much as possible.
    Always give a good amount of notice of upcoming events, emails/local mags. and send reminders 8 days before, and 3 days before, so it's in their diaries early, and they don't forget nearer the time. This may sound over the top, but don't leave things to chance.
    Our Guild AGM yesturday, we had courses on Bell handling, Grant funding, and Raising and lowering in Peal to encourage new people to attend.
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