Communications update

It’s been an exciting year to be responsible for club communications because, as Covid-19 restricted our physical meet-ups, we needed to find new ways to keep members engaged and to deliver a publicity campaign for our first-ever virtual event – the LGBT5kFest.

We were strongly supported by our fellow Frontrunners in Glasgow who not only initiated a monthly BigUKIClubRun for all the UK & Ireland club runners in lockdown, but also delivered their HOMErun in place of OUTrun, giving us an excuse to meet up in Jesmond Dene and sport our new t-shirts.

Across all modes of external communication we balance the fun photos of members running with more topical information on visibility days and LGBT rights, and inspire people to run in new places through inspiring photos of trails, fells and beach runs.

This time last year we reported on launching an Instagram site, and this is now our fastest growing mode of communication, increasing from 300 followers to 565 in the past 12 months and followed by lots of the other national and international Frontrunners clubs. We regularly get over 50 “likes” for each photo from a mix of overseas and local followers, and potential members have begun contacting us through this route.

Video has also been an increasing area of focus this year. We launched our own YouTube channel where we now host demonstrations of all common S&C exercises and Stevie G’s famous “finishers” – aerobic workouts. We have also produced videos of the spring club relay, the LGBT5k and the HOMErun, as well as tailored pieces for Northern Pride Online. These garnered over 100 views each on Instagram TV (IGTV) and more on Facebook.

Engagement of our own members with Facebook has tailed off, with more and more members either suspending their accounts or not checking as often. In response we switched to TeamApp as our main mode of communicating with members, and to date over 113 of our 130 members have signed up. The weekly booking form for Rainbow Runs is probably the most eagerly anticipated message of the week!