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#CoMCommunity17

Which, why, what & when?

Social media has become a trend over the past few years – everyone says you need to jump on board to survive – but as a mediator, is it a relevant marketing tool for your service?

The Office of National Statistics releases bulletins each year on Internet access by households and individuals. In statistics released on 3rd August 2017, it shows that during 2017 the internet was used daily or almost daily by 80% of adults (41.8 million) in Great Britain, compared with 82% in 2016 (41.8 million), 77% (39.3 million) in 2015 in sharp contrast to 35% (16.2 million) in 2006. In addition 78% of adults accessed the internet ‘on the go’ using a mobile phone or smartphone compared with 75% in the previous year.  The communications regulator Ofcom publishes annual statistics for the UK, the latest (2016/7) showing that the proportion of online adults using social networking sites decreased to 61% compared with 72% in 2014. This has been replaced with activities including general surfing, emailing and online shopping. Online entertainment being one of the most powerful drivers of online media, with mobile devices seeing a huge growth with mobile display advertising reaching more than 51% of all internet advertising. We’ll also be revealing the most important device for accessing the internet – has the tablet has it’s day?

Next week we’re running a workshop at the College of Mediators Community Mediation Conference #CoMCommunity at Loughborough University. Its goal is to explore the latest and greatest social media and digital marketing tools that are available, and hopefully inspire some delegates to embrace rather than fear it for their mediation services. It is targeted at those who have had a little dabble or no exposure to social media and online marketing, and will provide a couple of key reasons why mediation services should be engaging with these platforms. The latest statistics from both the Office of National Statistics and Ofcom illustrate the increase in the UK population’s internet connectivity, frequency and duration spent connected.

As a practical demonstration of what can be achieved with social media, we created a couple of videos on YouTube prior to the conference. This has then been linked on a number of the social media platforms as a practical experiment. How successful will it be? Come along to the workshop to find out! You can watch the promotional video for the workshop here.

We’re running a social media review on one of the community mediation services who will be attending the conference, to see how they are currently doing, and what they could do to improve… Should be interesting!

About the workshop facilitator…

Paul Gadd became involved in mediation six years go, when asked for some IT advice from a family mediator. He has become passionate about spreading the ‘good news’ of the power of mediation in the UK. He started his first listing website findmediation.co.uk six years to ago to help promote family mediation, and has since launched findcommunitymediation.co.uk and findcivilmediation.co.uk

In the past two years he has helped organise and run Family Mediation Week (2016/17). and was on the UK Mediation Awareness Week 2016 working group using various digital media and social media streams.

#givemeyourhands

#givemeyourhands

Social media has become the latest trend – everyone says you need to jump on board to survive – but as a mediator, is it relevant marketing tool for your service?

This workshop is based around material presented at the Family Mediators Association conference in September 2016. Its primary goal is to explore social media and digital marketing from a family mediation perspective. Targeted at those who have dabbled or no exposure to social media, and will provide a couple of key reasons why family mediation services should be using social media.

As a practical demonstration of what can be achieved with social media, we created a video for YouTube two months prior to the conference. This has then been linked on a number of the social media platforms as a practical experiment. To get an idea of the impact, go to Google and search ‘#givemeyourhands’

If you’re interested in attending or would like more information, please get in touch.

About the workshop facilitator…

Paul Gadd became involved in family mediation five years go, when asked for some IT advice from Sue West. He has become passionate about spreading the ‘good news’ of the power of mediation in the UK. He started his first listing website findmediation.co.uk five years to ago to help promote family mediation, and has since launched findcommunitymediation.co.uk and findcivilmediation.co.uk

This year he has helped organise and run Family Mediation Week 2016. and is on the UK Mediation Awareness Week 2016 working group using various digital media and social media streams.

About the workshop…

givemeyourhands

#givemeyourhands

Social media has become the latest trend – everyone says you need to jump on board to survive – but as a mediator, is it relevant marketing tool for your service?

Last month, the Office of National Statistics released the latest bulletin on Internet access by households and individuals. It shows that during 2016 the internet was used daily or almost daily by 82% of adults (41.8 million) in Great Britain, compared with 78% (39.3 million) in 2015 and 35% (16.2 million) in 2006. In addition 70% of adults accessed the internet ‘on the go’ using a mobile phone or smartphone.  The communications regulator Ofcom publishes annual statistics for the UK, the latest (2014) showing that the proportion of online adults using social networking sites rose to 72%. So why are so few family mediation services using it?

In keeping with the Family Mediators Association (FMA) annual conference theme of Shakespeare, the workshop is titled ‘Give me your hands and we’ll be friends” playing on the line from ‘A midsummer night’s dream’. Its goal is to explore the latest and greatest social media and digital marketing tools that are available, and hopefully inspire some delegates to embrace rather than fear it for their mediation services. It is targeted at those who have had a little dabble or no exposure to social media, and will provide a couple of key reasons why family mediation services should be using social media.

As a practical demonstration of what can be achieved with social media, we’ve created a video for YouTube two months prior to the conference. This has then been linked on a number of the social media platforms as a practical experiment. How successful will it be? Come along to the workshop to find out! You can watch the promotional video for the workshop here.

About the workshop facilitator…

Paul Gadd became involved in family mediation five years go, when asked for some IT advice from Sue West. He has become passionate about spreading the ‘good news’ of the power of mediation in the UK. He started his first listing website findmediation.co.uk five years to ago to help promote family mediation, and has since launched findcommunitymediation.co.uk and findcivilmediation.co.uk

This year he has helped organise and run Family Mediation Week 2016. and is on the UK Mediation Awareness Week 2016 working group using various digital media and social media streams.

iphone-msgWe’ve all done it – created lengthy disclaimers automatically appended to the bottom of emails. Thinking that somehow these will protect us from litigation if a viral message gets through, or warning that the email is intended for the named recipient, and if it asks you to delete it.

The effects spiral exponentially, both on the increase in the size of the email trail and information sent in emails. If you also decide to hit ‘print’ then this has implications on the number of tress consumed. So why do we included pictures and reams of legalese? I suspect it’s partly a branding exercise for some companies to create a specific look and feel, for others to conform to assumed legal requirements.

As more of the population moves to smart mobiles, email design needs to be adapted for smaller screens. If content is purely designed for the desktop screen, the knock-on effect on mobile devices results in font size being reduced in order for the full width of the images being displayed. Another point worth considering is that some mail programs are configured not to download the images to save the data usage on mobile contracts. Consequently the time and effort spent on the corporate look and feel is totally wasted…

Personally, I’m not interest in the branding rather the content of the specific message – and the quicker I can read the email content the better. Email signatures and especially those with images don’t align with this, and therefore by default downloading images on my smart phone are disabled.

In January 2015, MP Alan Duncan put forward a bill to Parliament, calling for an email to “useless” legal disclaimers at the bottom of emails.  Sir Alan told MPs the disclaimers were a hangover from the early days of the internet and could be replaced with a link to an attachment.

I’ve decided to replace a lengthy disclaimer at the end of emails with something simple, linking instead to a webpage to view full information. Most people won’t bother reading the legalese anyway, so why bother using up disk space and paper unnecessarily? Maybe it’s time for change, and reduce our data centre footprint along with carbon paper footprint…

After revelations released by BBC news last week that All USB devices are ‘critically flawed’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-28701124, it points the way towards using a web-based solution for file sharing as a essential alternative for transferring files.

Dropbox has become an incredibly useful tool, enabling you to easily share files across multiple devices.

Clearly it’s suffered bad press over the years after a number of security hacks, but in essence the idea is brilliant. There are alternative solutions available, which can reduce concerns about the security of the data, and put you in control.

OwnCloudOne such solution is OwnCloud. This Open Source software effectively allows you to create your own DropBox equivalent service installed on your own server. It also provides the apps for your PC, MAC and mobile devices to synchronise files with the server. These work silently in the background watching specific folders, and synchronising files between your device and the server.

There is a certain amount of technical knowledge you will need to setup your Own Cloud, mainly installation on a server and setting up of a secure HTTPS site to encrypt data between your device and the server. However, it will keep you in totally control of your data. We’ve recently configured such a service to act as a secure ‘drop-off point’, where large, confidential files can be exchanged between parties without sending via email.

In an age when we need to send larger files and email systems begin to groan under the weight of increasing file sizes, creating a place to upload and share your files in a secure location, really makes sense…