Communications assistance:
Stephen Olsen, | mobile: 021 2664427

A connection created through:

Communications mahi =

Sub-pages and updates

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Background information from BenchSpaceBenchSpace 1
Draft writing – Profile/s, Media story – media release etcBenchSpace 2

Communications planning

Advice on direction of Communications

Creating profiles of the ‘artisan’ crafts people who will given Benchspace its character. Keep the focus on working with wood front and centre (allowing that carving, metal working could be explored at later dates).

Time ‘splashes’ about BenchSpace in a very short-form way to start off with eg article for Wellington Scoop is one way to give this a digital reference point early on that can be useful for funding credibility and also for fine-tuning language that is used (key messages+) Slow burner/ organic.

Having the WCC connection to leverage communications is a big advantage: WCC will be able to get the word out and have communications channels that this can feed into. (Without getting into a perception, given the need for wider support/sponors/funding that they are underwriting anything other than the access to space – ie not the fitting out, supplies, equipment etc etc )

Divide up the milestones so that each new step can be rolled out eg. the announcement of being open for Donations. Localise some of the calls for support to test responses.

Taking a highly visual / image rich approach: The ‘story’ of an intitiative like this always gets extra lift from ensuring that (quality) images are captured to trace/track the initiative’s progress and its interactions with users of BenchSpace.

Pitch this as a ‘Wellington initiative/ a win for Wellington’ and auguring the buzz of giving rise to a programme of projects Capital Magazine and other publicity opportunities will tune into angles that see this as being about a hands-on initiative that will ‘fill a gap’ in the city, reaching out to and nurturing another form of sustainable community enrichment. Worth brainstorming angles – retired people, making things that aren’t disposable, working intergenerationally, individual stories of achievement ++ – and a 2023 Calendar for ensuring an eye to the traction gaining/ maintaining nature of activities such as displays/exhibtions of work, visiting tutors

2022 Calendar of communications related activity/ actions

AugIdentify wider allies
JulyPhase more updates/communications – treat it like the build to a new attraction (‘Coming soon’)
Ascertain if a ‘tenants group’ (a rep as member or similar of the Trust?) can be worked into this
Website goes live ??
Start up social media channels
JuneBuilding up background information
Get initial publicity item up on Wellington Scoop?
MayMeet on Weds 25 May

Communications scoping

HIGH LEVEL key communications messages to check

  • BenchSpace is a community-based initiative formed in 2022 by a group of Wellingtonians committed to establishing a workshop space (maker space) that will enable them to share and pass on their wood-working skills.
  • The people who have been drawn together behind this initiative share a common passion for the craft and practice of working with wood.
  • They are a diverse group of Wellingtonians – teachers, researchers, a lawyer and retired public servants ++ – who are currently limited to working from individual homespaces such as garages and sheds around the city [name suburbs]
  • The aspiration of getting BenchSpace off the ground is currently focused on an opportunity to create a workshop space using an unoccupied (utility/amenity) floor (an area of up to 120 sq metres of unutilised floorspace) of a Wellington City Council property at the bottom of Brooklyn hill [located within the Central Park council housing complex].
  • A driving purpose that will set BenchSpace apart is that it is intended to be a ‘teaching space’ – a safe place for people who want to learn how to work with wood and gain guidance from a community of crafts people – most of whom are self-taught themselves.
  • Allied to the aspiration for BenchSpace is a commitment to
    • providing community housing tenants with access to courses in working with wood aimed at all levels of ability.
    • making use of Wellington’s timber waste streams so that sources of native timber and felled trees can be diverted from landfill and given a second life

SUPPORTING key messages as the initiative moves forward:

  • The BenchSpace group (and its supporters) are extremely grateful to the (Housing Services team at) Wellington City Council (and community advisor Jamie Shackleton) for facilitating a workshop area at the Central Park complex.
  • For this to move into full gear it needs a range of ‘supports’, eg
    • like-minded organisations – as is the case with Mt Vic – embracing the initiative as another element of community-making in Wellington
    • responses to a call out against a ‘list of needs’ to organisations/companies/the public for tools, equipment, material (with reports back on how, measurably the growth in gathering together of the resources needed to get BenchSpace truly humming.
    • attracting more people coming out of the ‘woodwork’ to show an interest in supporting the emergence of BenchSpace – esp people with hidden craft talents for instance.