Freelancer Call-out - Communications Expert

07 May 2024

Background

Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums (TWAM) is a regional museum, art gallery and archives service. We manage nine museums and galleries across Tyneside and the Archives for Tyne and Wear.

We are supported by the four local authorities in Tyneside and Newcastle University. TWAM is also a National Portfolio Organisation funded by Arts Council England.

We hold collections of international importance in archives, art, science and technology, archaeology, military and social history, fashion and natural sciences.

Over 150,000 children and young people visit us each year through our learning programme for schools. We deliver a number of regional programmes including the Regional Cultural Learning programme, which aims to continue the legacy of the Culture Bridge North East programme, linking the cultural and education sectors together to ensure that children and young people benefit from access to excellent cultural learning opportunities. 

Our Creative Classrooms newsletter, sent out six times a year, has 1,494 subscribers.

Objectives of this consultancy

We are seeking to appoint a freelance communications expert to work with us from late June 2024 to support us in reimagining the way we communicate our offer to schools.

Deadline for submission of proposals

5pm on Thursday 23 May 2024.

Brief

This brief is available to download for offline use: Freelance Communications Expert Call-out Brief (Word, 60 KB)

TWAM’s learning team deliver workshops, long-term partnership programmes and teacher CPD across all nine of our venues. We are currently undertaking a process to better coordinate our learning programmes and communicate them more clearly to schools as a single, joined-up offer. To help us to achieve this, we are seeking a Communications Expert with an understanding of the educational landscape in North East England to carry out a number of tasks:

  • Carrying out consultation with teachers to inform a new learning communications plan. We have some questions that we would like this consultation to cover, but this is not an exhaustive list and we would be happy to create the scope of the consultation in partnership with the successful contractor:
    • Where do teachers look for information on school visits and teacher CPD?
    • What are they looking for from a visit, or from a CPD session/programme?
    • What are their preferred platforms to access this information?
    • How can we best reach teachers, and what resources would we need to do this well?
    • How do teachers book visits – what information do they need to be able to book? What would the booking process look like in an ideal world?
  • Creating the TWAM learning communications plan, using the intelligence gathered from the consultation process and via desk research into what works for other comparable organisations. The learning team and communications team have previously worked together on some learning comms strategy work, which can be reviewed and used as a starting point for the new plan.
  • Creating a framework for a teacher consultation database, where we can store information about teachers who would be happy to be contacted on an ad-hoc basis for consultation and evaluation purposes relating to our learning programmes.
  • Revitalising the currently-dormant Culture Bridge North East social media accounts, to be rebranded as TWAM Creative Classrooms, posting regular content and engaging with others to rebuild our following. See our X account for follower numbers and previous engagement: @culturebridgene. You would also provide us with a scheduling template for use beyond the length of this contract, to enable us to maintain a social media presence, sharing the scheduling amongst relevant team members.
  • Rationalising our Mailchimp mailing lists – we are currently operating three separate lists but would like to merge these into one. There is overlap in subscribers between the three lists.
  • Revisiting Compendium, our digital resource hub. This was initially established during lockdown to support schools in creating home learning opportunities, but has remained popular with teachers. We would like to review all current resources included in Compendium, consider whether the current system of organising resources is still the best approach, and integrate TWAM’s own digital resources.
  • Reviewing copy text for a new print booklet outlining the learning offer – we have text written for an earlier version of this, and need this reviewing and updating to ensure that the information is still relevant.

Support is available to the Communications Expert from the TWAM Learning team and Communications team.

Timescale

  • Proposals must be received by 5pm on Thursday 23 May 2024
  • Successful applicant will start contract on Monday 17 June 2024
  • Consultation with teachers and desk research to inform plan June to July 2024
  • Creation of learning comms plan by August 2024
  • Restructure of Compendium and Mailchimp and creation of teacher consultation database by early September 2024
  • Booklet copy text ready by September 2024
  • Content creation and monitoring of TWAM learning social media accounts until December 2024.

Procurement

The deadline for submission of proposals is 5pm on Thursday 23 May 2024.

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to interview via Zoom on Wednesday 5 June 2024.

Quotation assessment

There is a fixed price (inclusive of VAT) for this work, including all time, travel, subsistence and other costs.

Budget

Seven days for teacher consultation and creation of learning comms strategy @ £300 per day = £2,100

Five days for establishing our comms infrastructure – consultation database, mailing lists, Compendium and print booklet text - @ £300 per day = £1,500

Eight days over six months to manage our social media accounts @ £300 per day = £2,400

Total = £6,000 (20 days @ £300 per day)

Proposals

Based upon the information we have provided and the outputs we have stipulated in this brief, explain how you would propose to undertake this commission and outline the programme for delivery. Please provide details of how you propose to deliver this work, including:

  • How the commission will be delivered
  • How you will communicate and collaborate with TWAM’s Learning and Communications teams
  • Your experience of work relevant to this commission.

Please submit your proposal, on no more than 2 sides of A4, by email to: melanie.burgess@twmuseums.org.uk.

Proposals must be received by 5pm on Thursday 23 May 2024.

Contact

If you have any questions or would like an informal discussion about this work, please contact: melanie.burgess@twmuseums.org.uk to arrange a call.