What is Bright One?
Bright One is a volunteer-run communications agency for the third sector. We offer third sector organisations affordable yet effective communications by bringing together communications professionals and volunteers from a range of backgrounds.
What does Bright One do?
Bright One provides communications support to third sector organisations, including charities, social enterprises and other not-for-profit organisations. Our services include campaign planning and implementation, media relations, media training, creative copywriting, press release drafting and distribution, audience mapping, blogger relations, social media, and many more specialist areas of communications.
What are Bright One’s aims?
Bright One aims to:
- Help third sector organisations that wouldn’t be able to reach the people they need to without Bright One’s support
- Give people interested in communications valuable experience by working with professionals to help third sector organisations
- Give communications professionals ways to use their expertise to give something back to the community
Who came up with the idea of Bright One?
Bright One was started by Ben Matthews, a PR executive based in London, UK, who was frustrated by the way that third sector organisations were unable to communicate the amazing work they doing as effectively as they could and wanted to do something about it.
How is Bright One run?
Bright One negotiates agreements with volunteers with different communications specialities to provide a portion of their time for free to Bright One to deliver client projects. Bright One then matches each brief from its third sector clients to the expertise and availability of the volunteers that have signed up. These volunteers then work alongside each other in teams to deliver the campaigns. Bright One liaises with the volunteers and clients, ensuring that everyone stays on brief and that the output is of a professional quality.
It’s win: win. Third sector organisations get good quality communications at an affordable cost and the volunteers the get to give a little back to the community and get great experience in the sector.
How many volunteers are involved?
The structure of each account team will be different depending on the client’s brief. But there is always a Strategic Consultant with over 5 years industry experience overseeing the account and a communications professional providing the day-today client liaison and account management.
Account Executives come from a range of backgrounds, from students currently studying communications wanting to apply their skills outside of the classroom, to graduates and career changes looking to break into the industry and gain new skills and experience. Due to the Account Executives completing the majority of client work, there is more of this level of volunteers than the others who are volunteering for Bright One
How do you ensure the work gets done?
As well as volunteers being consistently supported by communications professionals, regular checks and support procedures are in place to ensure that all activity is on track and produced to a high quality. There are also several contingency plans in place, so if for whatever reason a volunteer is unable to complete the work assigned to them, measures will come into play that the work will get completed without affecting the client’s needs.
How much involvement does Bright One have in the account running?
As well as the checks outlined above, Bright One acts as a point of contact for the client, available to discuss current and future activity, opportunities that might be available through Bright One, and available should any concerns be raised with the volunteers or the work being undertaken
What kind of time investment would be required to volunteer?
Volunteers spend a maximum of 4 hours per week working on campaigns, but depending on the client and the amount of activity they have, the time spent volunteering usually works out at 2-3 hours per week.
Is work undertaken outside of office hours?
Most volunteers undertake their work outside of office hours. As work generally takes 2-3 hours per week, this is easily achievable across several weekday evenings or on a weekend morning/evening. Some volunteers have even worked out agreements with their employers where they can do a certain amount of work during work hours.
Do volunteers work remotely?
Yes, volunteers work remotely. We do encourage face to face meetings though, which normally take place once a month. We also run networking events, where volunteers can meet each other and others in the industry. This also lets our less experienced volunteers who may still be studying or trying to break into the industry meet people already working in the industry and strengthen their network.
Would volunteering be required to be negotiated with my employer?
Most volunteers have come forward on an individual basis, outside of their employers. However, most people do let their employer know that they are volunteering for Bright One. We are also in talks with several PR agencies to make Bright One part of their employee volunteering or CSR schemes.
Do volunteers have an opportunity to gain expertise and training?
Yes, we encourage those with more experience to pass on knowledge. Most of the new skills and experience can be learnt on the job, including social media and working with Third Sector clients. We also have plans to offer training sessions on different areas of PR for volunteers and a Continual Professional Development scheme, which will allow volunteers to be trained in areas of interest to them.