‘In the three months since laying out the strategic aims in the last magazine, we have been working to advance some of those areas. Feedback from members has helped us prioritise where to focus effort and that seems fitting as the theme running through these items is to expand communication!’ says Vice Chair, Mark Bass
Promoting naturism to encourage people to get involved, or at the very least respect those who do, demands that we will tell the public about the benefits, the fun and the opportunities to give it a go. At the same time, we need to talk to each other to coordinate our efforts and make sure that we are pursuing campaigns and activities that have broad support. Four key areas have come up a number of times in discussions on the forum and at gatherings. So what are we doing to address them?
Talking to Ourselves
The rapid expansion of the activities of BN over the last ten years has sometimes caused members to feel that they do not know what is happening, what decisions are being made and why. Even worse, members with ideas felt they were not always getting the chance to contribute. Over the last few months, we as the Executive Committee have been making greater effort to join conversations on the forum, where a great deal of discussion takes place. Ultimately the EC are still just members, so want to be fully integrated and are finding the constructive exchange of ideas very refreshing. We can’t guarantee that every thought, suggestion or idea can be actioned, but please keep them coming. We are also publishing reports and updates to make our thoughts, plans and explanations for the choices clearer. An immediate benefit of that is that we are seeing more members find places to contribute, with grass-roots initiatives popping up all over the country. As well as giving out information, joining in conversations makes it much easier to see what members want. The clearest demonstration of that in action is seen in the three other changes below, all of them things that people have been requesting for a while, now becoming a reality.
The icon of “BN” embossed on the blazing sun has served us well for 40 years now. However, it is often commented that you need to be in British Naturism to know the icon, the “BN” abbreviation doesn’t sell our identity to outsiders. Therefore, the biggest change is one you will have seen on the cover of this magazine . We are no longer hiding behind “BN” we are British Naturism! By spelling out our name people will know who we are and what we stand for when they see our imagery. Mark Walsh talks through the rationale and design process elsewhere in this magazine and you will have seen the new look popping up in several places with it appearing across the brand in the months ahead. Alongside the refresh of the British Naturism look, YBN has gone through the same process. Their new logo shares design features with the new British Naturism look so YBN has its own identity but is clearly part of the larger organisation. The redesign was marked by the launch of a new, public website in January, so YBN is opening its doors to the world and inspiring a new generation of naturists to sign up. A longer term goal of the rebranding is to see the new look appearing on merchandise in the shop, so we can proclaim our position, even when dressed. We hope to mix in various humorous slogans so we can buy things that provoke conversation. A choice of options would allow people to bluntly proclaim their affiliation or introduce naturism into conversation by way of a joke, depending on which approach suits them best. Either way, the aim of this change is to make us more visible to those around us.
Taking to the Streets
The second point that is often lamented is that we preach naturism to naturists. If we are to draw people into naturism, we need to be speaking to the general public. The Just One Person initiative has been hugely successful at inspiring members to talk to friends and families, and we have had a lot of success over the last few years at putting naturist stories into the mainstream media. What we need to do more is create opportunities to speak one-on-one with strangers. At the same time the question, “Can we sell our big events, such as Nudefest, to non-naturists”, is often asked. The answer to both questions is the same: British Naturism is going on the road! Leafleting on a high street could be an uphill struggle as people rushing to do shopping are not in the mood to talk. Instead, we are targeting events. By the time you read this, we will have already spent four days exhibiting at the Manchester Caravan and Motorhome Show. In an environment where people are in the mood to browse, we should have some great opportunities to chat to people at length, and better still they will be the sort of people who are inclined to go to camping events. We can tell them about naturism and provide them the chance to try it at Nudefest, Nudestock, NKD, or MidsummerFest in Liverpool. This is the first of what we hope will be a series of roadshow events where we can chat to people in a relaxed atmosphere.
The final aspect concerns the National Convention, which is the best opportunity for all members to meet and discuss ideas. The centrally located national convention created difficulties for people who had to travel a great distance. Therefore, the National event is replaced and just as we are taking the Roadshows to speak to the public, we will take Regional Conventions to talk to naturists around the country. This will give widely-spread members, representatives of clubs, and the essential regional volunteers the chance to share their thoughts. Sharing experience and innovative ideas should help clubs and regions succeed and ensure their growth. At the same time, there are many new British Naturism members want to join clubs but struggle to do so because they don’t know somebody already there. By talking to each other more openly, we would hope that those hurdles will disappear. Finally, these meetings will give club members the chance to tell British Naturism about things that they would like to see and would find helpful. The benefit of these interactions will be that we can all work together across the country for mutual gain.
So, in summary, the recent focus has been on communication in four areas. Communicating to members, making our aims more visible, communicating to the public and communication between clubs. And that is something worth talking about.