Marketing, Marketing & communications

Damian Kerlin branding Q&A

These are some of the questions and answers we captured from Damian Kerlin's session on branding at our recent Ultimate Guide to Marketing your Charity conference.

How would you stay relevant and inclusive in how you communicate the message trying to reach a more dynamic audience while dealing with a long-standing supporting audience that would struggle to keep up? – Gloria

In this instance, it sounds like you are trying to reach a new audience. Initially, I would do audience research and go back to the ‘Why do we want to reach this audience and why now?’ this will then support ‘how you do it?’. You may choose to do a targeted, paid or not paid, campaign. This way it can run alongside your regular content so you are serving each audience simultaneously. You can then build it into your communications gradually so no one feels alienated.

It may be that you need to launch a new social media platform. If capacity is a concern, look at what you are currently using and could these link together. If you are using Facebook, you may choose to launch Instagram. Both have separate audiences but you have the choice to share on both or separately at any given time. This way you can gradually introduce concepts to your audiences while still building new ones.

Don’t overcomplicate but also don’t underestimate. You would be surprised how many of your audience would be up to speed on current trends so have the confidence to trial and test. As long as it isn’t offending anyone then it’s not doing any harm. Audience building is a marathon not a sprint!


Damian do you think it’s important to have a presence on every social media platform e.g Linkdin/YouTube as well as fb/insta/twitter? Not even considering TikTok atm – Carol

No – do your research! If you have identified your target audience and their age ranges a simple Google search will help you figure out which social media platform will work best for you and your organisation. If you are a small team or a one-person band always think – what do we/I have the capacity to do. One impressive social media channel with an engaged audience is better than five with very little going on.


What charity do you think has great branding? – Marie

I like Parkinson’s UK. I feel their branding is very simple and their message is clear and relayed in everything that they do. Adoption UK use of Instagram has been great in bringing a community together. A small social campaign with little spending behind it helped push their #adoptioncommunityuk which created a social circle of adopters in the UK who talk to each other regularly to share experiences and support each other. This is guided by Adoption UK and also acts as a soundboard or consultancy group for any new campaigns or initiatives.