Skip to main content

We are experiencing technical issues with our emergency phone line. In the event of an emergency, please contact 01443 508676.

We are experiencing technical issues with our emergency phone line. In the event of an emergency, please contact 01443 508676.

We are experiencing technical issues with our emergency phone line. In the event of an emergency, please contact 01443 508676.

Member communications

Learn to use member communication to build a network of advocates and supporters.

The purposes of local member communication are:

  • To support effective and efficient information flow and interactions within Scouts.
  • To help local teams stay informed and engaged with local goals, values, and plans.
  • To promote transparency, collaboration, pride, and a sense of belonging.
  • To help team members stay up to date, feel connected, and make informed decisions.

The outcomes of a successful local member communication approach are:

  • More informed and knowledgeable teams, better able to achieve what they volunteered to do.
  • Individuals who feel empowered to try new things and explore new opportunities.
  • People who become advocates, amplifying our messages both internally and externally.
  • More factual conversations that promote what Scouts does.
  • Increased engagement with Scouts’ activities, such as sign-up numbers at events, likes on Facebook posts or page views on local websites.

What should I share with members?

Member communication about Scouts’ activities, is a great way of creating a local buzz, raising awareness of local plans, promoting new opportunities, and celebrate the impact being achieved.

There are many options for member communications in four key areas:

How to structure a member email

  • Be clear on who the email will be sent to, so everyone knows who's received the information.
  • Use headings to help people skim the content of the email.
  • If you need the reader to do something, like complete a survey or sign up to an event, put a clear call to action in the email.
  • Always sign off with a thank you and be clear that the support of the volunteer makes a difference to Scouts.
  • Give your emails a personal feel by using a personal sign-off.

How to write a great blog

  • Keep your key message in mind.
  • Know who your audience is and write with them in mind.
  • Consider your reader and what you want them to know, how you want them to feel, and what you want them to do.
  • Use headers to break up the text.
  • Write less and say more.
  • Find an ideal time to share the blog with your audience.
  • Use relevant and eye-catching images.
  • Include quotes from young people.
  • Consider different formats, like lists of top 10 or top 5.
  • Think about who should write the blog to best cut through to the intended audience, maybe a young person or a County Lead Volunteer?
  • Write with Scouts' informal, conversational and inspiring tone of voice.
  • Always have a way for people to reply or share their own experience.

Top tips for member communications

Regularly review your activities to make sure you’re achieving what you set out to do. Having clear objectives helps you to ‘divert’ away from low priority messages others might think you should be sharing.

Here are some ideas: 

  • Celebrate success and share best practice.
  • Promote new growth opportunities.
  • Add local flavour to national messages.
  • Retention – thoughts on building a positive team.
  • Volunteer recruitment.
  • Youth recruitment.
  • Programme delivery.
  • Inclusion.

Find out who you want to engage.

  • Are they all volunteers? Team leaders? Trustees? Programme teams?
  • Be realistic – don’t have too many audiences.
  • Create audience groups that are easy to maintain.
  • Data is key. Make sure you know crucial information – such as roles and contact details.
  • Only share what’s relevant to your audience’s role.
  • Have you made it clear what you’d like people to do next?
  • Have you given them enough time to do it?
  • What should people do if they have questions?
  • Is there anyone that needs to know about this communication in advance?

Key messages are essential tools in all communications work and are created to help achieve your objectives. By choosing one, you can make sure all your stories provide an opportunity to explain Scouts’ focuses and, in doing so, influence actions and culture change.

Try to demonstrate these messages in every part of your story from the written word to the images and quotes used.

Try to link all communication back to your local focus. Spell out how anything you communicate will help achieve your goals. Consider using local development plans as a framework to help you identify your key messages and think of ways to weave them into your communications.

Every piece of communication should have a key message. If a story you’re writing doesn't have a key message that demonstrates Scouts as a modern, growing, adventure-based organisation, ask yourself why you’re writing it.

When you’re story gathering, try to focus your time on finding good case studies that illustrate your key messages. Work closely with the volunteers in your local area, they’ll help you to uncover the stories, quotes, photos and video that properly show the Scouts’ projects and schemes that are having the biggest impact. Work alongside managers on compiling lists of development plan success stories, making sure these are communicated widely using external and internal channels.

Examples of key messages: 

  • By 2023, we’ll have prepared more young people with skills for life, supported by amazing leaders delivering an inspiring programme.
  • We’ll be growing, more inclusive, shaped by young people and making a bigger impact in our communities.
  • As Scouts, we believe in preparing young people with skills for life. We encourage our young people to do more, learn more and be more.
  • Each week, we give over 460,000 young people the opportunity to enjoy fun and adventure while developing the skills they need to succeed. We’re talking about teamwork, leadership, and resilience – skills that have helped Scouts become everything from teachers and social workers to astronauts and Olympians.
  • We believe in bringing people together. We celebrate diversity and stand against intolerance, always. We’re part of a worldwide movement, creating stronger communities and inspiring positive futures.

How are you going to reach your chosen audience and keep your messages consistent?

  • A channel is a designed way to communicate, and a tool is what you use to do it.
  • Try to select channels and tools that are appropriate for your message.
  • Examples of channels: blog, newsletter, news article, social media post, webinar, poster, planned meetings (online or face to face).
  • Examples of tools: email client, WhatsApp, website, Zoom/Teams for online video calls, Facebook, Instagram, Canva, SharePoint, Dropbox, all social media, phone calls.
  • When designing your channels consider your audience’s preferences. Be clear on frequency, content, structure, and purpose of your content.
  • Agree on how can people engage/respond/follow up?
  • Try using the resources available in the Brand Centre, the 'Running things locally' section of the Scouts’ website, and our 'Four-week challenge' adult recruitment materials (posters, images, key message information).
  • Useful information on amplifying your message can be found in the social media toolkit.
  • Additional guidance can be found on scouts.org.uk in How to work with local elected officials, How to organise a community event and our Media toolkit.
  • Schedule planned activity into your local communications calendar. 
  • Create a ‘rolling plan’ of local dates and assign team members to support this.
  • Try to keep your communications plan simple. Don’t overcomplicate it, make sure it’s clear for others to understand.
  • The templates shown below will help you capture the key information you’ll need for your plan:
    • Your objectives.
    • Your overarching messages.
    • Your key dates, messages, and audiences. 
  • We plan our communications in campaigns. A campaign is a burst of activities that all relate to the same objective or outcome. Some campaigns are short (just one message), others are very long.

We've made some communications campaign templates you can use.

Work with other volunteers to reuse existing content and share resources. Potential sources are:

  • Email and data management.
  • Photography.
  • Video content.
  • Graphic design.
  • Writing and editing (talking to people about what is going on).
  • Website.
  • Social media monitoring and posting.
Media toolkit

Learn to generate positive local media coverage on the radio, in print and online outlets. 

Get Scouts noticed in the media >
Social media toolkit

Get top tips and guidance on how to use social media to engage with people outside of Scouts.

Learn to use social media effectively >