Creating more than £250,000 of funding, saving over 6.5 tonnes of technology from going to landfill, and helping more than 1,600 people get online is an achievement, but imagine doing all of that while in lockdown, alongside running your own company and ensuring its survival during a pandemic.
Corsham-based marketing & communications agency Naturally Social celebrates its seventh year in business this month, and its founder has been reflecting on everything they have achieved over the years.
“I have to shout about Wiltshire Digital Drive”, Natalie Sherman said, “creating and running a non-profit was not on my agenda during the lockdown, but that’s the power of social media. A single tweet has led to all of this…”
Arguably, one of their greatest successes to date has been to create and help run the Community Interest Company (CIC), Wiltshire Digital Drive. Joining forces with other local businesses in October 2020, the team produced the brand, governance, and strategy that led to the non-profit disrupting an industry and becoming one of the most talked-about projects in Wiltshire in 2021.
Focusing heavily on social media, they remember reaching more than 200,000 people with just one perfectly crafted Facebook post. This, along with targeted PR, led to members of the public and local businesses, including Honda and Kingfisher PLC, donating their old tech to the cause. A cause that pledged to reduce the digital divide by breathing life into unloved laptops and matching them to individuals who needed them most. More than 1,750 devices have now been distributed to families, organisations, and charities, and one in five schools in Wiltshire has been supported by them to date.
Alongside the successful drive for laptop donations, and the marketing campaign that ensured devices were matched with those who needed them most, the team at Naturally Social has also worked to ensure Wiltshire Digital Drive’s sustainability. They have run a crowdfunding campaign, were successful in securing grant funding, and organised events that have together generated more than £250,000 in twelve months.
Natalie has been reflecting on what they have accomplished: “When I set my company up, I wanted to make sure every business I work with was giving back to the local community- purpose before profit. Although we’ve been involved with many charities over the years, getting Wiltshire Digital Drive off the ground, running its comms strategy, and achieving these results, is definitely one of our greatest achievements. What has made this especially poignant for me is that we managed to achieve this during one of the most difficult periods in our business history.
“It’s important we take this time to reflect on what we’ve accomplished over the years and shout about it. It’s good for morale and it helps us to remember why we do what we do”
If you would like to know more about the work we carry out here at Naturally Social, please head to our impact page