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Our communication

We use a range of communication channels to engage with volunteers, current and potential investors and other key stakeholders. Our aim is to first build awareness of our activities, and then establish credibility and trust. 

Our quarterly member newsletter, QR enables us to keep members informed of the impact of their investment, while also placing the emphasis on why we continue to need more Share Capital.

It was highlighted through our 2018 Members’ Survey and discussions during supporter events that more technical reports on the sector and producers are required. Subsequently, we began increasing the number of in depth articles within QR, receiving a positive response. We would now like to mirror this approach online, with topical supplementary articles in our new blog, and a new resource section within the online member portal, which is currently under development. We continue to produce our full Annual Review, and a condensed version, which is included within the winter edition of QR. 

You can download the Appendix for Aim 2 using the links below:

13. Volunteer Roles  

You can view the full version of our Impact Report here

This year, communication to young people has become even more important as changes in our Rules allowed individuals under the age of 16 to hold a Share Account. We will create our fourth junior Annual Report called the ‘Book of Fairness’ this year but alongside this we will look to improve the online user experience for young people on both our website and member portal. 

Photography remains key in telling the stories of both supporters and beneficiaries. Three photography shoots were commissioned this year; two in Africa and one in South America. For photoshoots outside the UK, we continue to use either in-country photographers, or photographers who are already visiting the country in question.

Print advertising campaigns continue to be an effective means of generating new enquirers, particularly when  40 | P a g e editorial features and/or digital activity support them. As such, we use an integrated approach and plan our campaigns to dovetail both online and offline platforms. Insert campaigns form the backbone of our activity, and this year we maintained our relationship with titles such as Amnesty magazine, The Big Issue, and Guardian Weekend magazine, running 15 campaigns in total. 

Fairtrade Fortnight provides an annual opportunity for Shared Interest to improve general brand awareness. This year we supported the Fairtrade Foundation’s campaign ‘She Deserves’, which focussed on the call for fair and equal pay for women cocoa farmers. 

It is now two years since we launched our new website, and after evaluating its performance, we have been working with an external agency to improve Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) particularly for visitors from Africa and Latin America. This year we saw 18,064 individual web visitors, a 7% increase on the previous year. Eighty-five percent had not visited the website before. The percentage of visitors using either tablets or mobile phones, increased to 31%; a trend that we expect to continue. 

Over the course of the year, 192 people opened a Share Account online. A total of £487k was invested online, 12% of overall investments made (2018: £229k). In the AGM, 27% of votes received were placed using the online system compared to 18% last year. All subscribers to the portal receive a quarterly e-newsletter and this achieves an average open rate of 57%.

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