About the event

What’s this all about?

Online communities of parents, students, car enthusiasts, hifi owners, beekeepers and hospital patients bring together hundreds of thousands of people to exchange advice and provide support. Government often wants to talk to these people about services they can access, regulations that might affect them, and to get their input into new policies. Now Government has less money to spend on traditional marketing, it’s a great time to explore how sustained, two-way partnerships with online communities can help government and citizens communicate better, more openly, and more cheaply.

Why do we need an event like this?

There are already some examples of partnerships between online communities and public sector organisations, but there’s more that could be done. It can be hard for government clients and agencies to know what online communities can offer, beyond eyeballs and media space, or one-off events like webchats. In fact, communities can offer services such as bespoke online campaigns, access to their members for research, or mentoring between members.

By bringing together the people who run some of the big online communities with the potential public sector organisations and agencies they might partner with, we’re hoping that lots of new connections will be made.

What’s in it for online communities?

Showcase some of the creative ways you work with brands, charities or public sector organisations to demonstrate the value and potential of your audience, and identify new partners in government or agencies looking to market their campaigns to your audiences. Hopefully come away with a range of business cards from potential partners, and also see  the kind of partnerships other big online communities have developed.

What’s in it for Government & its agencies?

Discover the variety of online communities out there, and how you might work with them to communicate messages or seek their input on new policies, at relatively low cost. Hopefully come away with a range of business cards from potential online community partners, and also see the kind of partnerships other organisations have developed with online communities.

When & where is it happening?

Friday 1 October, at the Department of Energy and Climate Change, 3-8 Whitehall Place, London, SW1A 2AW


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  • The morning (10am-1pm) will be for government communicators and policy teams
  • The afternoon (2pm-5pm) will be for marketing agencies
  • There will be a lunch provided for the communities to meet each other properly and compare notes.

Who can come along?

This isn’t a sales conference or a training course: it’s a networking event. It would be great to have:

  • People who run or manage advertising, marketing or partnerships on behalf of big online communities
  • People who plan marketing campaigns or manage audience insight research in PR, digital, advertising, communications planning, sponsorship or research agencies
  • People who work in the public sector in communications and digital roles, whether that’s marketing teams, web teams or press offices

Who’s paying for this?

DECC have kindly provided a meeting room for the day. Helpful Technology, a private company, has volunteered its time to help facilitate the event and bring the participants together. It’s also hosting this website at no cost. We also have some great refreshments sponsors: Diffusion PR and We Are Social.

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