Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Envision Teleconference: 29th April

After I came back home from my visit to Rivington Barn with the Henshaws arts & crafts group last night, I attended an hour-long teleconference with the rest of the Envision steering group from 6pm to 7pm.

For those that couldn't attend, I made some notes on my iPad during the call to share with them via e-mail this morning so that they are up-to-date with what was discussed during the teleconference. I thought I'd also make a blog post about it to share with the Envision network as a while via the Facebook and Twitter accounts.

We followed an agenda that was e-mailed to us prior to the call and discussed each section and gave suggestions and feedback as a group. The agenda included next steps, keeping in touch with the wider network, maintaining the Twitter and Facebook pages and setting up future meetings.

Next Steps
The first thing for us to think about was next steps in the campaign. Co-chair Nina suggested reaching out to the young members at Action in the West Midlands to get them involved with the mystery shopping survey, as well as young students at the QAC college, perhaps even meeting at a Starbucks so that they can test the service out together and have the staff approach them in the process. The current mystery shopper survey came into question about what we can do to make it more compact; we discussed perhaps offering an incentive (such being entered into a draw for book vouchers, coffee shop vouchers, etc.) and maybe even surveying on past experiences rather than have people going out to the shop itself - which is what may be a barrier for people completing the form for additional visits to other chains.

Wider Network
The next thing on the agenda to discuss was keeping in touch with the wider network especially through our social networking accounts. We've made progress with our Twitter, in that guidelines are currently being drafted which will be shared to those who will be contributing to the Twitter profile. Twitter now has the option to update profiles so that they look slightly different. I've changed Envision's theme to compliment the new layout, which I personally think is a lot nicer and is easier to read - especially in terms of the previous text on top of the header that was used as a brief introduction and could be hard to read without VoiceOver. It has now been removed for those who have activated the new layout.

Social Media
Regarding the Facebook page, it's the same people contributing and commenting and we need to think of ways of involving more people. That could be down to not knowing how to use Facebook, so there are a couple of things that could be done to help. One of our co-chairs, Nina, has a document full of short commands for Facebook mobile which she'll be e-mailing to everyone, and also at the campaigner's convention in June there may be opportunities to have a social media workshop. I myself am a very keen Facebook and Twitter user, so if anyone ever needs any help I will be very glad to assist as well.

In regards to keeping in touch with the wider Envision network, I suggested perhaps having a short newsletter to send to everyone via post in their preferred format so that we're not just relying on e-mail as a form of communication. Getting these printed in preferred formats, such as Braille, can take a little while to produce so will need to be prepared in advance - but it's certainly something to think about. Another way of keeping in touch with everyone could be to send a short summary about what we've been doing via e-mail to circulate to the wider network and keep them updated and involved.

Future Meetings & Teleconferences
We then discussed setting up future meetings and I believe the time period we decided on was to have teleconferences with each of our own subgroups every 3-4 weeks and then have a teleconference with the wider steering group every 6-8 weeks. As a group, we would like to have dates in advance so that we have them ready in our diaries so that events don't clash and so we have some prep time beforehand.

Envision's next meeting will be over the weekend of the 14th and 15th of June during the campaigner's convention in Birmingham. It should be a really productive and educational weekend and I will of course keep you updated on the event!

Outreach & Networking
We talked about other campaigning networks, such as Haggeye (who we met in October) and Trailblazers, and how they can help us as a newly formed group. They will be more than happy to help and offer experience from their past campaigning work and we shouldn't be afraid to approach them and ask for advice.

Envision Paragraph
The final thing up for discussion was the paragraph that the comms group recently submitted, to be used in media, speeches and other forms of communication when introducing our campaigning group. It needs minor tweaking which will be done over the course of the next few weeks and then that will be finalised and ready to use.