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Building a community for positive change


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The talk from Patrick Steen from Which! Convo at

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Building a community for positive change

  1. 1. Building a community to drive positive change take over the world @PaddySteen, Which? Supporter Engagement Manager
  2. 2. Which? helps you pick the best washing machine, sure... ...but ever since we started in a garage in Bethnal Green in 1957, we've been campaigning to make lives fairer, simpler and safer Which Which? Which? is a commercial business, with 1.5m magazine subscriptions… ...but we’re also a charity, with 500,000 campaign supporters
  3. 3. A community for all ‘consumers’ o We launched Which? Convo in 2010 as a place for everyone to debate topical consumer issues o Adds a human voice to Which?, where our experts can show their personality o Arms us with views from real people when we quiz companies or the government o It allows us to test ideas and unearths new investigation opportunities o We offer guest spots to brands, MPs & celebs
  4. 4. Bringing people together Thousands came to share their consumer problems and debate the issues that mattered to them, from the mundane to the serious: Action from Trading Standards, Google and government on copycat websites
  5. 5. *!$@ing nuisance calls!!!
  6. 6. 30,000 comments “I have been off work for two weeks due to fact that my father died and my mother is seriously ill. Every day I receive cold calls regarding PPI despite being ex directory. This is very distressing. I dive to my phone every time it rings in case it is my mother needing help,” Caroline 260,000 petition signatures “I have a children’s toy that at a press of a button give out messages from Captain Kirk on the Enterprise. There are several messages such as the BEAM ME UP SCOTTY ! which are useful during a conversation,” Jon
  7. 7. New stars from the community Martin Bostock Lee Beaumont
  8. 8. Time for change
  9. 9. It’s not all smiles Your community doesn’t always agree with you (it would be boring if they did) “When will you stop spouting the drivel you are spouting and listen to the population who are against these intrusions into our home,” Daver22
  10. 10. The relaunch o No more drive-bys - all newbies see a simple registration overlay after commenting o No more generalists - the site’s been restructured around clear topic areas o No more desktop only - optimised for mobiles o No more silos - integrating community with our Campaigns and Consumer Rights sites o No more control freaks - we’re handing more control over to our community. They can share ideas and write their own convos
  11. 11. Data, data, data We now use Blue State Digital for our community member’s data, meaning we can see: ➔What issues they care about ➔How active they are ➔Whether they’re campaign supporters or members Tip: build data over time and only ask for relevant info What if we could contact energy enthusiasts about our new campaign on energy bills? Or get in touch with car owners about the VW emissions scandal?
  12. 12. Déjà VW “This was a numbers game right across the world. It was being watched, that I am sure of. I have read Which? for some time but only recently contributed because of this subject. Thanks to everyone for putting up with me,” DeeKay 600 comments 10,000 poll votes
  13. 13. Takeaways o Your community needs a shared purpose and they need to know what that is - what are we trying to achieve together? o Show your community’s achievements back to them. Prove to them that we’re more powerful when we work together o Listen to your community - they need to have a leading hand in its direction. And don't be afraid to let go o Your biggest advocates can be your biggest critics, but your biggest critics can also become your biggest advocates o Be honest and admit when you're wrong - they'll respect you more
  14. 14. Takeaways o You don’t need the latest software to build a strong community. Give them the features they want, not just the ones you want o Don’t let data go to waste - the more you leverage what you know about your community members, the more success you’ll have o Don't hide your community away - it’s a huge asset to your brand so surface it on your most important websites o You might find it hard to convince people inside your company that your community’s important. It is, and it can help your brand bring about change