web managers meet up: Comic Relief digital production

I attended a Web Managers meet up recently (here’s the web managers linkedIn group). One of the speakers was Rae (@raepizer) who is Digital Production Manager at Comic Relief. She gave a quick run through how they work and some of the lovely stuff they’ve produced for this year’s Red Nose Day.

Rae’s talk was great and of one the things that stood out to me was the daily stats meeting across the teams. I’m definitely going to try to get this started for our peak campaign times at work.

Here’s my notes for anyone interested:

Digital staffing:

  • Digital Production Manager with a permanent team of around 12 front end digital staff including a Senior designer and Senior developer
  • Within the team they have a tech standards person who sets standards and guidelines and oversees them – they work with the separate broadcast team to get the right video format and convert etc
  • On top of these they can have up to 20 digital contractors at once
  • They work closely with other key separate teams; Back end and CRM, Donations and hosting platform, Marketing, and Broadcast team. (I think I lost some of the detail here so happy to take additions!)

How they operate:

  • During the campaign period they have daily stats meetings across the organisation to inform how they optimise and help them be reactive
  • They have a kids steering group for all the kids related areas
  • Audience segment breakdowns are based on TV programmes eg hollyoakers
  • This year they’re going to focus on facebook, twitter and YouTube – last year they did more but it wasn’t a good use of time vs effectiveness
  • Usability testing is done each year for each new site- they do one new design per year to keep up with drupal updates and build on learning from previous year
  • For their mobile site the design was done in-house but the build outsourced.

Their ‘products’:

  • Start in May for September school site launch – they also did a CD-Rom this year as research showed school technology was behind the times and this format was best for them
  • January is when they do the big new site launch -most years approximately 2 week before the official campaign launch
  • They generally put up four new website news articles a day
  • On the Red Nose Day site the most popular sections are the Shop then the Kids area
  • At its peak the donation pack form takes more donations per second than amazon.

3 thoughts on “web managers meet up: Comic Relief digital production

  1. Thanks for this write up. I work for a digital agency and recently while working on a charity website looked closely at the Comic Relief website. It’s a great example of a successful charity/NPO website and it’s interesting to know how the team behind it manage development.

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