PUBLIC AFFAIRS TIP: Trust is a trophy that’s given to you by other people because you’ve proved to be trustworthy.
Would you say you’re an honest person? Trustworthy? I’ve been asking myself these questions following some work I’ve been doing recently on how best to promote more effective engagement between non-profits and secondary schools. Building and maintaining trust seems to sit at the heart of the solution. So how do you do it: earn the trust trophy?
Here’s 11 ideas I cooked up earlier.
- Promote honest conversations with the secondary schools. When you pitch your project be honest about what you can and can’t deliver.
- Show schools you can deliver a relatively flexible, high quality service that meets an urgent need of theirs that’ll benefit their students/their parents/families.
- Set clear boundaries: what will you and won’t you do in the medium and long-term.
- Ask questions. Ensure you have the “difficult conversations” upfront. But be mindful: tread with care, tact and diplomacy.
- Clarify what the school wants out of your session(s). This is really important in faith-based schools where you have to be clear about what messages you’re going to promote?
- Answer positively to any questions.
- Provide evidence of your expertise: good, local, professional testimonials; well-designed websites; professional marketing collateral.
- Set up relationships with young people. They’re key. They know the school curriculum and how they feel about their school experience.
- Dress appropriately professionally and turn up on time. Remember you’re on show as soon as you come through the school gates.
- Respond to any communication promptly. Tardiness costs relationships.
- Ensure you, staff and volunteers have had safeguarding training.
I hope you found this helpful. In the next post – the final blog of the schools project series – I’ll be delving into how to remain positive and stay inspired.
Do get in touch if you’d like to share your thoughts about what worked or didn’t work for you when you worked with secondary schools. I’ll blend your insights into future posts.
Also if you need any help with communicating, campaigning, lobbying and working with the media please do contact me on 07966 369577 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Honesty is not a policy, it is a state of mind.” Eugene LHote, philosopher.