From a name to an idea.
An idea to a workshop.
A workshop to movement.
Wifi Refugees feels like it’s come a long way in a few short months. From the initial launch in June to trial the concept, to a roll out in Bangor and Belfast, with Liverpool coming soon. It’s been an exciting few months.
The feedback on the concept has been unbelievable. I’ve had contact from people I haven’t spoken to in years saying well done and interest from around the world (honestly) in starting up Wifi Refugees in other countries.
But, despite this promising start, Wifi Refugees is still small. In September, there will be two workshops, one in Bangor and Belfast. Content ideas sit unused, growth opportunities are unfollowed up, businesses remain unhelped and coffee remains undrunk!
In some ways, Wifi Refugees is a concept that takes very little to make happen. With a marketer prepared to give up a few hours per month, all you need is a coffee shop and businesses in need of advice. Of course you need a charity working with refugees to receive the money too.
All of these things are in abundance. In every city I’ve ever visited.
I believe there is an opportunity to expand Wifi Refugees into more cities. To help more people, to raise more money, to drink more coffee. But I can’t do it alone.
But it takes more than just two hours a month to make Wifi Refugees happen. There’s a lot of spade work done and conversations taking place that are required to make sure that the two hours is useful for everyone.
Doing Alone Won’t Work Anymore
I’ve recently stepped away from paid employment with The Tomorrow Lab and started my own business, Eximo Marketing. Trying to scale two things at once looks and feels like a recipe for disaster.
Eximo Marketing is for profit, and unashamedly so. I need something in my life to pay the bills. But Wifi Refugees is proudly about fundraising. All money raised goes direct to a charity and no costs are deducted.
So I’d like to see if anyone out there would like to get involved in Wifi Refugees to see if we can grow this into a movement and raise some serious money for refugee charities. Wifi Refugees needs volunteers in two categories: front of house and back office, to borrow terms from the theatre industry.
Front of house
Front of house is easy. If you’ve got some good marketing experience and a few spare hours each month, please drop me a line.
I don’t want to be too prescriptive about the experience you’ll need but a wide knowledge of all areas of marketing would be important. You won’t know what questions is coming your way until the person sits down in front of you, so being able to adapt is key. I don’t expect anyone to know all the answers to all the questions, but if you don’t it’s good to have someone in your network who might know the answer.
I expect Wifi Refugees would take about 4-5 hours per month of your time, with two hours of that is sat running the workshop. I can’t promise anyone will turn up, but if they don’t, you get a few hours of work done. If they do, you use your marketing skill and contact network to help people.
The other few hours are travel, prep, some promo work (hopefully not much if I get a back office team!) and a follow up email to measure the NPS after every event.
I’d like to get people on board for a minimum of 6 months. As an expert marketer, you’ll know that it takes a few months to get traction. I’ve found that starting at 5 or 6 pm is the best time to get people in, but that could change in every area. You know your town better than I do.
There will be a guide and some brief training provided for this. The whole point of running a trial is that we learn and feed that back to improve and that will be shared with you.
Fancy it? My contact details are at the end of this post.
Back office staff
Now, right out of the blocks, I should say there is no office. You’ll be working from home or, you guessed it, a coffee shop. But that’s fine, yeah? Yeah.
So for the back of the office, I’m looking for people who can take Wifi Refugees forward. Initially, I think the requirement is for content creators.
Wifi Refugees is awash with amazing stories. Clients who have great ideas, local celebs and bloggers who want to get involved, new location launches and, hopefully, some talented and interesting volunteers to shout about.
But these stories need to come to life. How? That depends on what skills you have. Social media, PR, blog, video, journalist, photography, podcasting, graphic design, all of the above… I’m easy. I’d like Wifi Refugees to tell more stories and need your help to do that.
Ideally you’d be based in or near Belfast as that’s where the bulk of content will come from initially. But is not essential. For social media and written blogs, for example, if you can use a phone and wifi, you should be fine.
And please don’t let geography be an issue. I’d like to see Wifi Refugees taking off in other places. If we can’t work together right now, something could come up in the next few months. The same applies about your skills. If you do something that’s not listed above, or just want to get involved but you’re not sure how, please do drop me a line.
I want to make this a broad church of people who want to make the world a better place. I know that sounds a bit tree-huggerish, but it’s nice to be nice. So if you want to get involved, we will find a way. It might not be immediately, but we can find something.
If you’d like to get involved in content creation for Wifi Refugees, I think it will take around 4 hours per month. That’s an estimate, but it’s not going to overtake your work or study. For consistency, I’d like people to commit for 6 months at a time, so we can start to really build something.
Any and all experience levels will be welcomed. Self-taught to PhD, industry experts to just starting out, if you’d like to help, I’d like to hear from you.
What’s in it for you?
Let’s start by saying what’s not in it for you – money. And I’m sorry about that. If I could pay, I would pay, but the focus is on generating funds for charities. I understand this might rule some people out but I hope not too many.
While Wifi Refugees is a voluntary fundraising project, it is run along professional lines. So there is the chance to build your skills in an environment that will look great on a CV.
There isn’t a formal training programme with Wifi Refugees, but I hope to be able to offer support to any volunteers if needed. This could be through attending events, introductions to experts in tour particular field or pairing up with another volunteer. In short, if I can help, I will.
For some people the chance to work with Wifi Refugees could help build your experience. Perhaps you’re a social expert but much of that work isn’t in a professional capacity – Wifi Refugees can help you make the jump from personal to professional and boost your CV.
Probably the biggest benefit I can offer is the feel good factor. It’s ACE being part of Wifi Refugees. You’ll be helping SMEs, local coffee shops and refugees. All from the comfort of your own home. What more could you want?!
How do I get involved
Application is really easy. I don’t need a CV, exam results or inside leg measurements. Just send me an email briefly explaining why you’d like to be part of Wifi Refugees and what skills you could bring. If you could provide some links to work you’ve done, that would be great, but don’t worry if you can’t.
Use any of the channels below. I’m a person too and old enough to remember phone calls, so feel free to call if you’d like to chat.
And remember, please, please, please remember, the emails will be read by real people. You don’t have to write them like you’re applying for a job at a bank. This is a voluntary position with a lovely fundraising project. Be normal 😊. Swear if you like. Just give me an idea of who you are.
Call / text / whatsapp: 07980668957
Email: [email protected]
Twitter (if you’re sending any personal info please do it by DM) @wifirefugees