So, this is the last week, and we have so many other things to do. Which is why it is useful to post a blog entry: so that later, after the madness is over, we can read and reflect on our raw experiences we are scribbling now.
Luckily, so luckily, we have two awesome, creative multimedia people in our group: Claire and Stefan. I think if we had more time, more of us would want to be involved in the video and learn how to make one, but due to time constraints it is more practical if the experts do it. I think this is a challenge that “real” companies also have to solve: always make the competent employees do a task (meaning that the others will never get to that level) or let everyone learn, at the expense of time efficiency.
However, we are by no means missing out on the whole process. After many meetings and a lot of tiptoe-ing around the problem, we drew a conclusion, carefully at first, but then we realized that we were on the right track. Our NGO does not really have a problem, at least not with their activity, and not with technology either. BouwQuest is prospering, and it is very active on several online community platforms.
BouwQuest is not in the need for financing either, so crowdfunding does not apply to them. They are really only spreading a non-controversial idea of insulation and passive houses, which makes our task easier and harder at the same time. They are not asking people for money, quite to the contrary: we want to show them a way how they can save on heating. Unfortunately, this is not something people would gather behind: it is not an exciting enough idea.
What BouwQuest has is a marketing problem, which Carl-Peter summarised as “make insulation sexy”. Therefore it is most connected to the last topic of the course. The reasons for this are several: the fact that the idea is not captivating enough in itself, the widespread misunderstandings related (eg. passive houses are much more expensive than normal houses, making them unaffordable for most people), and the fact that BouwQuest doesn’t have a well defined target audience, even though it would be possible to do so.
The way I see it, the online communication of BouwQuest is suffering from a bit of an aesthetics problem, as well as a consistency one.
Let me explain. Here:
This is our client’s website. Based on what I’ve found out, my suggestions would be:
1. The website of BouwQuest is not really visually captivating, also it is exclusively in Dutch, meanwhile, they would like to appeal to the whole of Europe. This is one thing that could be fixed.
2. The other is that the visitor really has to look around on both the website and the Facebook page to find all the activities of BouwQuest. Carl-Peter met Al Gore and he posted a picture, saying Al Gore mentioned him “in his speech”. I looked for that speech all over the place, but I couldn’t find it. This is something anyone reading that entry would be interested in!
After some research, I found out that they are actively participating in something I was planning to propose: open days at passive houses. But this is not properly communicated either. I know many Hungarian companies, even small ones, who share something on their Facebook every second day for the sake of sharing, and this results in many likes, therefore they will always be present in many people’s feed on Facebook. In this respect, it doesn’t even matter if the content is connected to their activity, as long as it is within their values.
3. In BouwQuest’s case, I would also make use of some branding, because neither his vision nor his values are properly communicated. Along those values, he could then expand his network and collaborate with other organisations.
4. In the case of most NGO’s, there is never enough time to do the communication, because the employees’ energies are - very correctly - dedicated to the core activities. However, it is worth considering asking someone, even maybe students, to keep the website and Facebook updated. BouwQuest has so many pages that I would even suggest they should shut down a few of them and concentrate on the ones that can really be filled with content and can attract visitors. In the issue of passive house promotion, for example, they could work together with other related organizations and create a really strong campaign.
My team mates share a lot of these ideas and therefore we will incorporate them in a video as well. The concept is that we will narrow the challenge (the “hook”) down to one question, present the NGO and passive houses (we are trying to make this part informative enough so BouwQuest can use it to promote passive houses), and then we will BAM! the end with our ideas at a solution. I am confident that our team will make the most of the limited time and the never enough knowledge flow from our tutors (wink wink Nancy), and we’ll end this course with a resounding success.