It’s like the time would have stop for a week at Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF). The time to do our Annual General Meeting (AGM). Six days of presentations, discussions and working groups where we came back on 2018 works and achievements but where we also set our goals for 2019.
Everybody was involved in some way. The communication team, that I lead, was particularly on the spot because of all the changes it went through in 2018. New staff (including myself), new strategy, but not only this… Now, at the communication department, we work standing, we don’t drink coffee and we have plants in the office. That’s a real revolution for TSF!
All jokes aside, two hours were just enough for me and my colleague William to introduce the new communication team, its role and its work in front of an audience made of TSF staff, volunteers and board members. We went through internal and external communications, best practices and communication processes within the organisation. It was the perfect opportunity to tell the staff about the “Communication Kit” we created for them with branding guidelines and templates that respect TSF’s identity, to sensibilise them on our social media strategy and to remind them to read our internal newsletter we send every month so that they keep up to date of the latest news of the organization.
But it was also a good opportunity to ask them what else do they need from our team and how the communication tools that we develop can help them better in their work, particularly when they are in the field. Some of the things that came up were to add in the Communication Kit a Press Guideline: a serie of prepared questions and answers for press inquiries, and a generic Powerpoint Presentation about TSF: to use as a starting point to develop their own presentations.
The communication department also manages fundraising and partner relationships. Thus, I took an active part in the presentation of the activities carried on in 2018 like TSF 20-year anniversary celebration, the Global Carrier Award 2018, or the Thales Pro Bono Marathon.
I then engaged in making 2019 a great “fundraising year” thanks to the work of our dedicated team: Rudolf, Paul, Niall and Karim and with the arrival of Juliette, a 6-month intern that will be in charge of exploring new ways of getting fundings. She will also be in charge of designing our “TSF ambassador” program we want to kick-of this year. A program to give TSF enthusiasts all the tools they need to network and advocate for us.
When I was not on the spot, talking about communication or fundraising, I was listening to my colleagues from other departments. It was great to ear Manu talking about our education projects in Syria and Turkey, Marta about our mission in Brazil to provide free calls for Venezuelan migrants, Armando about the success of our Information Display System on the Central American Migratory Movement, Flo about our collaboration with the IOM in Bosnia, Billy about our ToIP solution and Seb (no, I am not forgetting to tag him, he just does not have any social media account…) about our Disaster Response deployments in Asia Pacific. But the best was by far Clément’s demonstration on its “GXGodMod;” a technical solution developed by TSF to enhance GX capabilities.
Finally, on the last days of the AGM, we participated all together or in small groups in workshops and brainstormings activities to set up our goals for 2019 and to define strategies and deadlines to reach them.
Now that the AGM is over, the time is back to normality and we all know what we have to do: work hard until 2020, but above all, continue to be prepared to deploy to any emergency in less than 24h like TSF has been doing since more than 20 years now.