Getting the best out of guiding online

Lead Volunteer Tegan Jones explains how we're making it simpler to access the guiding information you need – and addresses some things that you might be worried about.

Tegan Jones, Lead Volunteer for Membership Communications
16 May 2016

Our digital communications are changing

You gave us great feedback in our Membership Communications Review and during the consultation for our new website about what we offer you online. Now we're using that to shape some important changes. Improving our emails and website is important because they allow us to quickly and easily update members about everything - from changes in policy, to events and opportunities.

We're really excited about our digital plans, however we know that some of you may have a few concerns about relying on the internet for information. So here we answer some of these worries and explain what we're doing to address them - so that everyone can get the most from our online resources.

Your potential worry: I won't be able to find everything on the new website

You told us, 'It needs to be easier to find things on our website. It is not always intuitive.'

When our new website goes live in late summer, it will bring together all the information you need into one place and the content on the site will be organised in a much more logical way.

That means no more duplicated resources on the same topic across several websites which we know causes problems at the moment. We've also prioritised adding a shiny-new, more functional search bar to make it quicker to find answers to your questions.

We're going to make the transition from our current website to our new website as smooth as possible. We'll provide you with tools and guidance before the new website goes live so you're not left confused about where to find the information you need. Plus all of the webpages on our current site will be sensibly matched to the correct URL on our new website. That means the bookmarks and links that you've saved will always point you to the most relevant place on the new website.

Your potential worry: Does more focus on digital mean more emails?

You said, 'Only include vital update information. I also don't need one email for Rainbows and one for Guides and one for YeSS. We need to streamline.'

And we've listened. We're streamlining the current section newsletters into one all-member email from later this summer. This new fortnightly e-newsletter will feature more need-to-know information with more stories for fun and inspiration in guiding magazine and on the website. It will be more timely and feature more relevant content for your unit and your role. We'll be working with our volunteer Task and Finish Group and other members over the next few weeks to get that right.

We know that serious concerns have been raised recently about charities selling data on, leaving some people overwhelmed. So we want to reassure you that Girlguiding categorically states that we never pass on our members' data on to anyone else, and that your email addresses will only be used for Girlguiding membership communications.

Your potential worry: If all our communication is digital, people will miss out

You said, 'We need to keep a variety of communication methods to ensure that all members are able to access information, opportunities and news.'

Based on your feedback, we're changing the places where you'll find certain bits of information, such as latest news, and some things will become digital-only. To keep things accessible, we've made sure that our new website is designed to work just as well on a mobile or tablet as it does on a computer. That means you don't need to have your own computer or laptop or even be at home to get the information you need. Plus of course we'll still have guiding magazine and we are working hard to make it even better.

But of course, we don't want any member to miss out and we need you to help us spread the word about the changes and encourage people to use our digital channels. A great way to start is to make sure your email address is up to date in Go! – then challenge a friend to do the same.

It's also a myth that members have to be over 18 to put their email address in Go!. Young members can do this as soon as they enter The Senior Section. So let girls in The Senior Section, or Guides who will soon be moving into The Senior Section, know that they can input their own email addresses into Go! to receive our youth communications.

Are you getting our emails?

Check your Go! record now to update your email address.