Bobby Dean is the Senior PR Coordinator (UK) at Restless Development and has been editing and encouraging content for the We Are Restless blog this past year. In this post, he reflects on the growing success of the platform so far and picks out his top five posts from an Editor’s perspective.
“We’ve got this blog, but it’s sort of died a bit.”
I can’t remember who said that to me (or if that’s exactly what they said) but it’s a pretty common thing for an organisation to have a neglected blog space. So about a year ago the new comms team at Restless, along with a few enthusiastic comms-focussed others, got together to revive it. Flipchart paper, pens and post-it notes colluded to create a brilliant plan and then off we went in search of great content and willing writers.
Fast-forward a year, and well the numbers speak for themselves. In 2014, we had just over 6,000 visitors to our blog. This year (and it’s still only September) we are currently on 16,000 visitors.
The majority of our visitors are still from the UK, but we’re seeing a rapid expansion in readers from the USA, India, South Africa and Tanzania. Oh and we’ve also found out that, for some reason, Wednesday at 2pm is the most popular time for our readers. (Mid-week inspiration anyone?).
This only tells half the story though, what I’m personally impressed by is the range and quality of content that we’ve been getting up on the platform. Our tagline is ‘Young voices on the issues that matter to them’ and the platform really has lived up to it. Whether it be the inspiring series around International Women’s Day in March, the outright informative #30Days30Voices series ahead of the UK election or the dozens of volunteer written posts that we’ve received throughout the year – all have contributed to a buzzing discussion space for young people.
I really shouldn’t be able to pick out my favourites, but I have. Here’s my top five below (all for very different reasons and not in order):
Help Us Help Nepal: What young UK volunteers are doing to help those affected by #NepalQuake by Chloe Jones, returned ICS volunteer. I love this because it does a great job of showcasing how the International Citizen Service (ICS) creates active citizens through a personalised account – and still has a really strong call to action.
In the Pacific, climate change is a fight for our right to exist by Inangaro Vakaafi, young delegate to UN. This holds the title of our most read post and is brilliant because it showcases our policy advocacy work and uses a great personal story to illustrate the point.
5 Young Sierra Leoneans who are #MoreThanEbola by Sho Konno, International PR Manager. Striking the balance between making serious, thought-provoking points and keeping a light-hearted, digital-native friendly feel is difficult but this does it. Great for showcasing our Ebola Response and extra points for the click-bait headline.
How sport tackled drug abuse in Zimbabwe by Tom Peak, returned ICS volunteer. A real ICS success story about genuine community-level impact and told through the lens of a topic that is accessible to all.
What do South African girls want by 2030? To “End Rape” by Perry Maddox, COO. This one defies our word-limit guidelines, but showcases how to do longer posts properly. It retains its power throughout and showcases how Restless genuinely listens and responds to young peoples’ calls.