Terrified of Twitter, hesitant about hashtags, tentative about TikTok? This practical podcast sees host Cathy Booth take a closer look at social media and how ringers can make the most of it, whether it’s to recruit new ringers, keep the neighbours engaged or impress other towers with what you’re up to.
And if it’s tips you’re after, this podcast delivers in spades, with great advice from those already up to exciting things on their social medial platforms. Listen and learn from Chrissie and Katelyn from Loughborough Bell Foundry, Sarah from Worcester Cathedral, and Richard and Rebecca from Frittenden Bell Ringers.
With so many platforms you might very well be wondering where to start? Well apparently photos of animals, and especially cats, are the perfect clickbait. Get your cute Stedman ‘cat’s ears’ pics ready everyone, as now is the time to use them!
About Chrissie Van Mierlo
Chrissie Van Mierlo is a Museum Professional with a decade’s experience in the heritage sector. Prior to her appointment as Museum Director with the Loughborough Bell Foundry Trust, she has spent time working at places as diverse as the James Joyce Foundation in Zurich, Switzerland, and Erewash Museum in Derbyshire, UK. In her previous life, Chrissie wrote a doctoral thesis on Catholic church history in the works of James Joyce, extensively researching the James Joyce archives at the British Library and the National Library of Ireland. She has published extensively in the field of James Joyce studies, with her book James Joyce and Catholicism appearing with Bloomsbury press in 2017.
About Katelyn Collins
Katelyn Collins is the Engagement Assistant at the Loughborough Bell Foundry Trust. She came to the trust as a volunteer in 2021 and before starting to work for the Trust full time earlier this year.
Part of her role is to create and design multimedia content for visitors, along with advertising and brand work for the Trust’s social media presence.
Katelyn has a degree in Performing Arts from Buckinghamshire New University and has volunteered for Youth for Christ centres on the Isle of Wight and the Midlands.
Although not a bellringer, Katelyn is a keen musician, and plays the Cajon and Bass Guitar in the worship band at The Well Church, Loughborough.
About Sarah Bowyer
Sarah Bowyer is the PR & Digital Communications Manager at Worcester Cathedral. She has over 15 years’ experience in PR, Marketing & Communications working with clients covering a range of industries including tourism, hospitality, manufacturing, IT and education and is a former Journalist. She manages all of the Cathedral’s social media channels, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linked In, You Tube and TikTok.
About Richard and Rebecca Steele
Richard and Rebecca Steele are amongst the five members of the Steele family who have learnt to ring relatively recently. They have given talks to community groups and created a variety of promotional material (digital, written/printed) to raise the ringing profile for the Wealden area of Kent and surrounding towers.
Mainly through digital media (Facebook and Instagram) but also “hard copy” of bright and colourful posters, video clips of ringing, Richard and Rebecca produce an ever-changing stream of articles about ringing activities, ringing achievements and links to national events. Links have been established to and from the Ringing Facebook Pages to other Community Facebook Pages to “push” ringing messages with frequent invitations to the general public to visit them.
Three members of the Steele family have undertaken the ART M1 Teacher Training course to enable them to teach any new learners who come forward, including weekly after-school ringing teaching sessions exclusively for DofE students. The Steele family also supports local practices, district meetings and the Kent Young Ringers events.
Richard put together a Simulator Scheme for Frittenden Bells to be installed as a teaching aid. Fund-raising activities have raised the local profile of ringers for example, Richard’s own apples were juiced and bottled to sell at local craft fairs with specially-designed labels referencing Frittenden Bell Ringers.
Links to the digital platforms set up and run by Richard and Rebecca:
Examples of the Parish Magazine Articles written by Rebecca (often adapted for and published in other Parishes too) can be found at:
Top 10 Takeaways
- Use your best photos, especially in Instagram – image is everything!
- Be true to yourself – what’s unique or special to your tower? Play to your strengths and think about the message you want to get across
- Short videos and reels are great to get people engaged. People love to see a real person and hear their voice
- Have a look at other bell ringing social media accounts to see what works and get some inspiration
- Get a few great photos and draft a few posts before you start. It will help to have some content already figured out
- Don’t forget that with some small tweaks you can use the same content across more than one platform!
- Looking to reach out to your local community? Facebook is a great way to target a local area as you can connect with other local groups already on the platform
- There are all sorts of ‘how to’ videos – if you’re not sure how to do something, check it out on YouTube
- Post regularly if you can and don’t be disappointed if you don’t get instant results, it can take time to raise your profile
- Social media shouldn’t be a chore so enjoy it and have fun. It’s a great way to introduce ringing to a whole new audience!