I’m now Head of Communications at Relationships Scotland

Well the post title says it all really. I now have the pleasure of working with national counselling, mediation and family support charity Relationships Scotland as their Head of Communications – two days per week.  I’m incredibly excited about this new position and look forward to getting started later this month.

I’ll be splitting my week between the Head of Comms role and my position as Director of Third Sector Lab. Things have grown considerably at Third Sector Lab – we now have a much bigger team providing social media training & strategy development, social media support for events and website design. We’ve also got a much-needed new website for the Lab in the pipeline. Here’s just a few of the organisations we feel privileged to call recent clients:

  • SCVO
  • Relate
  • Oxfam Scotland
  • Lifelink
  • Dunfermline Advocacy
  • SCLD
  • Inspiring Scotland
  • GCVS
  • The Conservation Volunteers
  • Voluntary Action Fund

As well as being an incredibly exciting role, the Head of Comms position with Relationships Scotland is really important from a business point of view. It keeps me grounded in the reality of the challenges Scottish charities face. Not every organisation has a whacking great comms budget and most certainly don’t have the privilege of a full-time comms team – that’s something we always bear in mind at Third Sector Lab.

I’m looking forward to connecting with lots of you in my new role at Relationships Scotland while continuing to develop the digital media work we do at Third Sector Lab.

Four days left to be a #SocialMediaSanta

There’s just four days left to place your free delivery order with Amazon if you want to make it in time for Christmas. If you pay for delivery you’ve got a wee bit longer.

So it’s time to choose your present, make a homeless kid happy this year and join us as a #socialmediasanta

As you know we’ve decided to ditch corporate gifts this year. Instead we’ve given gifts on behalf of all our clients – making them each a #socialmediasanta.

Us Twitter users can make a real difference this Christmas, why not join us as a #socialmediasanta. Here’s how:

– Check out Amazon’s best selling toys & games. Lots of which are under a tenner. Other online retailers are available.

– Most of the kids are aged 7-12 so pick a gift you think they’d love.

– Add to Basket, use the project’s address at checkout (below) and add a wee message using the ‘gift’ option.

– Voila. You’ve made a kid who might not have otherwise got a present this year very happy.

Here’s the full address for your Amazon orders, if you live nearby you can drop off your present in person:

Shelter Families Project, 66a Victoria St, Blantyre, G72 0BS

The project received 20 presents last year, can we increase that number in 2012? I’ll be sending a toy to the Blantyre project this week, I’d urge everyone who follows me on twitter to do the same. Lets make it a really special Christmas!

You can let your followers know about it using the hashtag #socialmediasanta

 Here’s the top ten gifts Third Sector Lab have given so far on behalf of our clients…



BrainBox Inventions – Green Board Games


You save:£0.19 ( 1%)





The Hunger Games Trilogy Classic boxed set – Suzanne Collins; Paperback


You save:£11.98 ( 49%)




The LEGO® Ideas Book – Daniel Lipkowitz; Hardcover


You save:£8.49 ( 49%)




Medical Carrycase – Peterkin


You save:£0.50 ( 5%)




BrainBox World – Brainbox: The World





The Creativity Hub Rory’s Story Cubes – The Creativity Hub


You save:£1.81 ( 18%)




Charades For Kids Game – Paul Lamond Games


You save:£4.00 ( 36%)




Super Stomp Rocket Kit – TKC


You save:£1.56 ( 13%)




Tomy Screwball Scramble Game – Tomy


You save:£4.00 ( 30%)




Caption It Card Game – John Adams


You save:£8.99 ( 44%)





Video for the Web – Glasgow training workshop, 22nd March 2012

CC image courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/richiec

The cost of shooting high quality video is at an all-time low and watching videos online has never been more popular – Cisco predict that 90% of web traffic will be video by 2013. Video can be a powerful way for third sector organisations to bring their work to life.

Part of the GCVS social media training programme, our hands-on workshop will teach you how to plan, shoot, edit and upload video for the web using software and equipment that won’t break the bank. You’ll come away from the workshop with working knowledge of storyboarding, planning a shoot, using audio and video equipment, interview techniques, editing your content, how to upload your videos to the major platforms, such as YouTube and Vimeo, and simple ways to attract more viewers. 

The workshop is hosted by Be Good Be Social video wonder woman Erin Maguire – if you’ve ever been to one of our events she’s the one behind the camera and if you’ve ever watched our talks online it’s thanks to her. Erin has 15 years experience as a sound/video/lighting technician, 6 years as a filmmaker and 4 as a web media producer. She knows her stuff. I’ll also be on hand during the workshop to help Erin out.

Hope you can join us on 22nd March 9.30am-4.30pm, bookings can be made now via the GCVS website.

My presentation for the Glasgow Third Sector Forum launch

For the launch of the new Glasgow Third Sector Forum I gave a presentation on social media myths and misconcpetions, followed by a workshop where participants created the world’s quickest social media strategy. A few attendees have asked for the slides – I’ve embedded these below, along with a few links you might find useful.

If you’ve got any questions about what we covered in the presentation/workshop please drop me an email: ross[@]thirdsectorlab.co.uk


[googleapps domain=”docs” dir=”present/embed” query=”id=df54rqrn_100f2mgdjdx” width=”410″ height=”342″ /]














Third Sector Lab – a wee update


Just thought I’d share some of the website design & development work we’ve completed recently:

Think! Research & Consulting

Adrian Ashton

Tramway Theatre

ENABLE Scotland

I’ll also be able to share some of the work we’re carrying out for the Women’s Fund for Scotland soon – that’s a website we’re pretty excited about and we feel privileged to be working on.

I’ve been busy organising Be Good Be Social and, most importantly, I’ve been taking on a lot of new client work so the Third Sector Lab website hasn’t been a priority. We’re having a complete rethink about the site design/purpose – you’ll see a fresh new look early 2011.

If you’re interested in finding out what digital media services we offer and what makes us different get in touch via twitter, LinkedIn or email me ross[@]thirdsectorlab.co.uk

#begoodbesocial – @moptopp’s take

#begoodbesocial – my take.


BeGoodBeSocial logoNot long back from the first meeting of #begoodbesocial at The Melting Pot in Edinburgh. If you work in the non-profit arena in Scotland and you haven’t already heard about this then get over to the website and have a gander.

There are a few meetups designed for the social media savvy in Scotland but the concentration lies mostly on harnessing social media for business success so it was really interesting to have a group of people talking about social media for good. Kudos to Ross McCulloch for pulling off a very successful evening.

From my perspective, as someone who is trying to introduce social media into an organisation that has not used it before it was comforting to hear that others face the same issues as myself. It was also satisfying to hear that those who are pushing the boundaries of social media within the non-profit sector in Scotland are doing so with similar aims to those I have for my organisation.

In particular it was great to hear Rosie McIntosh from Oxfam Scotland talk about citizenjournalists.org.uk a project launched by Oxfam Scotland to try and build a base of citizen journos that take social media beyond “clicktivism”. It’s an intriguing idea and I just love that there’s no media hype connected to it, just the true belief that we can all change the world one small step at a time.

Following Rosie’s presentation some good points were raised about branding (or lack of) of the site and the danger of other charities being able to “hijack” the site for their own causes. I wish I’d spoken up but I didn’t, I’m a relative newbie to this world afterall! What I wanted to say, as the conversation moved from cause hijacking to the constant competition for funding was this.

We all talk about the difficulty of introducing the doubters to social media, about the fact that we’re basically having to affect a culture shift within our organisations, we talk about telling them its about the people behind the Facebook, the human web. We talk about sharing information on Twitter, we Livestream events, we Slideshare ….. why then are we not taking this opportunity to extend that culture shift into the whole sector, to realise the true possibilities open to us, to really share, to work together?

Maybe I’m being naive but if we really all do go into work in the morning with the aim of changing our own small corner of the world just imagine what we can achieve with a powerful tool like the human web. If we’re all good and social together we can surely achieve so much more, and hey we’re already making huge cultural changes, why not just push it that little bit further?

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@stuglen’s take on #BeGoodBeSocial for UK Fundraising

Last night saw the inaugural #BeGoodBeSocial at the fabulous Melting Pot, Edinburgh. The brainchild of Ross McCulloch of Third Sector Lab, #BeGoodBeSocial brought together 50 Third Sector professionals interested in using social media for social good – the tartan equivalent of the #nfptweetup if you like.

The programme consisted of an opening presentation from Martin Keane, Movement Builder with OneKind, a young, dynamic and pioneering charity celebrating the wonder of animals and reconnecting people with animals. Martin is believed to be first full-time social media employee in a Scottish charity and wants to use social media to empower people and build a passionate movement through authentic two-way conversations.

Those present then had the choice of two workshops – either ‘Kicking off a conversation about fundraising through networks’ with Steve Bridger or ‘Social entrepreneurs and technology’ with Snook. Steve, an acclaimed consultant who has worked with various high profile charities across the UK, suggested that Twitter was a vital tool for fundraisers. Snook, the team behind MyPolice, hosted a practical workshop on how social entrepreneurs can embrace social media and how they, Snook, are fermenting the revolution in Scotland!

Rosie McIntosh ended the evening sharing Oxfam Scotland’s plans for a Citizen Journalism network which provoked an interesting reaction and in-depth discussion. Oxfam Scotland hopes the Citizen Journalism programme will offer key supporters a way to engage beyond clicktivism.

What struck me last night, was that this felt different; different to traditional conferences or seminars. Yes, #BeGoodBeSocial combined presentations, case studies, practical workshops and networking opportunities, but it was presented in a relaxed, friendly, collaborative environment. Perhaps the feeling was best summed up in a tweet from Steve Bridger, “Tweetups vs conferences – people actually want to be here, and to share.”

#BeGoodBeSocial undoubtedly whetted the appetite of the Third Sector is Scotland. The demand is there. The event was streamed live on the internet and the Twitter-feed showed the breadth of the audience involved in the conversation [NB. All resources from #BeGoodBeSocial, including all the presentations, are available from the website http://begoodbesocial.org.uk/]

But what now for #BeGoodBeSocial? I, like many of the attendees, would like to see #BeGoodBeSocial evolve into a regular tweet-up; but is it fair that the burden of work should fall on one man? Ross McCulloch deserves an immense amount of respect and admiration for putting together the inaugural event – what we witnessed last was game-changing.

Last night’s event would not have been possible without the support The Melting Pot, Green City Whole Foods and of course, Third Sector Lab.

Stuart Glen (@stuglen) is Director of Fundraising at OneKind

Third Sector Lab is undergoing a much needed facelift

If you’ve subscribed to the RSS feed over on www.thirdsectorlab.co.uk you’re probably a little dissapointed at the level of activity recently. I’ve not posted there in a while because I’ve started using this site for my personal thoughts, I’ve been busy organising Be Good Be Social and, most importantly, I’ve been taking on a lot of new client work.

The Third Sector Lab website is undergoing a complete rethink. We need to share some of the great work we’ve completed recently for clients like Tramway Theatre, ENABLE Scotland, Adrian Ashton, Think! and Relationships Scotland. We also need to let people know what digital media services we offer and what makes us different.

So…for just now you can get in touch with me via @ThirdSectorLab or email ross[@]thirdsectorlab.co.uk if you’ve got any questions about what we do or if you’d like to discuss potential projects. A shiny new Third Sector Lab website will be revealed soon. Promise.

Voluntary sector aims to bring people together online – The Herald

Voluntary sector aims to bring people together online

  • Lauren Currie
  • Feedback: Lauren Currie, co-founder of Mypolice social networking site.

Stephen Naysmith



26 Oct 2010

Police who tweet, charities using Facebook or taking on citizen journalists – these are just three ways the third sector is embracing social networking.

Online tools are changing the way the public and voluntary sector interact with supporters and the public and an event in Edinburgh tomorrow night will explore advances in the field.

Be Good Be Social will feature talks and workshops from third sector social media experts including Oxfam Scotland, OneKind (previously known as Advocates for Animals), and police feedback website Mypolice.

Ross McCulloch of Third Sector Lab, organiser of the event at The Melting Pot, said, “This is a chance for charities, non-profits and social entrepreneurs to get together to share ideas about how to make the world a better place using social media tools like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and blogging. This isn’t just marketing – it’s about bringing people together in online spaces to make a real difference.”

Oxfam Scotland is pioneering the concept through its citizen journalists scheme, which launches this week. The charity is recruiting supporters to be active on the internet, posting comments, blogging and rebutting critics.

When they advertised the roles, there were more than 100 applicants. Contributors will be given guidelines on how to represent Oxfam and help the charity amplify its views.

Spokeswoman Rosie McIntosh said, “For busy people who don’t have time to come in and volunteer or work in our shops, they might re-tweet something or write their own blog. Oxfam and lots of other charities love speaking about themselves, but that is not what social media is about.”

Meanwhile Lauren Currie, co-founder of Mypolice, said many police forces understood the need for a conversation with the public, but found some social network sites too much of a free-for-all. “Mypolice is designed for the public, but the police still have an element of control. The site will help police understand why the public feel the way they do much better and help them target resources more efficiently on the problems that really need it.”

Mr McCulloch added “Some people are worried about the technology element of social media, but that’s really not what’s important. We’re interested in looking at how we can use the internet to give people a voice.”


Visit www.begoodbesocial.org.uk.