HAF COMMUNICATIONS GUIDE
Hello, we are the HAF comms team 🙂
Updated April 2021
FOR HILLSONG AFRICA FOUNDATION INTERNAL USAGE ONLY
Let’s impact the world through our creativity!
Hillsong Africa Foundation is a non-profit, community development organisation based in South Africa that is passionate about building lives that will build the nation. We do this year-round through weekly programs that we run in different communities across the Western Cape and Gauteng, based out of Hillsong Church South Africa locations.
Creating a strong brand presence or identity is important to amplify our message and draw people into influencing and impacting their world.
This Brand Guide is meant to inspire creativity while also explaining the guidelines we use to communicate our work and message effectively and consistently.
If you have any questions please feel free to ask: firstname.lastname@example.org
Whether near or far, we can all be part of the journey and have a positive impact for generations to come.
Though we are a seperate entity with our own regulations and processes we still receive our support and strength from our church. This is intergral to the way we do things and they way we talk about things.
OUR TEAM PHILOSPHY
Whether a staff member, volunteer or intern we all bring the same energy and go get ’em attitude to what we do.
We believe in the cause and work of HAF and so we put our own hearts into the part we play.
We are a family before co-workers which means we love and encourage each other at every chance we get.
We take what we do seriously but we don’t take ourselves seriously. Our work is for the greater good and so we dont take criticism or edits personally.
We are the gate keepers between HAF and the public. That responsibility motivates us to produce creative, excellent and timely messages.
02 WHO ARE WE TALKING TO?
Our communication is primarily aimed at any person of any age from any sphere of life and any part of the world who feels they want to make a difference in the life of someone else, whether by getting involved in one of our programs or by donating and funding our work.
We want our content to inspire them to get involved in any way they can.We believe that everyone has the desire to make a positive impact in the world, our job is to help them find a way to do that through our varied programs.
Every person has different interests, skills and passions. We communicate our different programs so that they can find the one that is most appealing to them to get involved with.
A 13 year old school student who wants to make a difference by raising funds at the school for a good cause.
A 25 year old male passionate about South Africa and it’s progress and wants to be part of building its future.
A 38 year old mom who encounters poverty at the traffic light often but doesnt know how to help in a safe way.
An international university student who wants to volunteer their holiday time to serve communites in need abroad.
A 45 year old business man who wants to invest into a organisation making a difference in the community.
A 26 year old female who wants to help uplift other women and help them see their value.
A 50 year old woman who loves kids and doing fun, educational projects with them.
A 23 year old male who enjoys journalism and capturing peoples’ stories.
A 33 year old young adult passionate about technology and it’s advancement, who wants to see these tools made accessible to the disadvatanged youth.
03 WHAT MAKES US DIFFERENT?
We are not just a NPO that seeks to give a hand out to those in need.
We believe in meeting practical needs but moreso we believe in developing people into the best they can be and empowering them to make changes in their own life, family and community.
Our goal with all our programs is to find the gold in any person or community and add strength to them. We aim to give a hand up not just a hand out.
Our team is built upon the commitment and passion of many volunteers from all walks of life who faithfully serve, week in and week out.
We exist not to just make an impact ourselves but to equip others to make a difference. Our strength lies in the hands and hearts of the faithful people who raise their hand to help build this nation. To make their own communities a better place.
Our programs are carefully planned and setup to enable anyone to get involved in helping others in a way thats safe, responsible and consistent. We aim to make serving others accessible to anyone and remove the common limitations they may feel.
We realize that we can’t do everything to make a difference, but collectively we can all do something. The combined efforts of many can make an impact for generations to come.
04 SO WHAT DO WE WANT OTHERS TO DO?
All of our communication must have a purpose to it. We don’t talk just for the sake of talking.
We always have a “call to action” or a “intended purpose” to our media or content.
A “call to action” is something that gives a clear direction to take.
We want every person that comes into contact with us to get involved by volunteering in our programs or donating funds towards our work of community upliftment.
Indirectly, if a viewer is not ready to jump into volunteering or donating, our communication should still be inspiring, informative, engaging, relevant and uplifting.
If at the very least all we have done is start a conversation, then our communication has been successful.
05 WHERE ARE WE TALKING?
These are the channels we share our messages on:
EMAIL CAMPAIGNS/ NEWSLETTERS
SMS/ TEXT CAMPAIGNS
INTERNAL TEAM PRESENTATIONS
06 HOW OFTEN DO WE TALK?
As much as we can but not all the time.
When we talk it should be relevant. Our communication is strategic and planned so that we don’t speak in quantity but with quality.
There are periods when we are silent and periods when we are loud.
Our timing and frequency of communcation is determined by:
Hillsong Church Calendar events
Current affairs/ trends
07 WHAT ARE WE TALKING ABOUT?
There are lots of things we could talk about, but these things are some of the main areas we communicate about across our different mediums.
AREAS OF INTEREST
REPORTS / NEWS
08 OUR GOALS: WHY ARE WE TALKING?
If there’s no goal then we are just talking for the sake of it. So why do we have a communications team in the first place?
We are the gate keepers between HAF and the public. The way we as HAF are perceived and viewed by the world is maintained by the communications department. It is our responsibility to ensure that our heart and work is accurately portrayed in every form or channel.
TO CREATE AWARENESS
TO GENERATE INVOLVEMENT
TO INCREASE DONATIONS OR APPEAL BUY-IN
INSPIRE OR EVOKE EMOTION
09 WHO IS TALKING TO US?
01 OUR BRAND TONE
We want our brand tone to be heart-felt, inspirational and motivational.
The core aim of our content is to educate and encourage our audience into actively engaging in building and uplifting this nation. We can’t do everything but we can all do something.
Our Brand should be clear and simple in what we say as well as what we design. Making a difference is simpler than you think and so our visuals or writing should reflect that.
From our language tone to videos, graphics or photography, we put our hearts into everything we do and so everything we create has heart and empathy.
Sometimes we have to display hardship and struggle but we always do so in a hopeful and positive change-driven way.
Our art and media is aimed at any person of any age from any sphere of life who feels they want to make a difference in the life of someone else, whether by getting involved in one of our programs or by donating and funding our work. We want our content to inspire them to get involved in any way they can.
Our logo is made up of two circles: one with the Hillsong Church logo and the other with the African continent.
This establishes our close-knit connection to our local church as well as our vision to see the contintent of Africa thrive.
Whether on-screen or print, our logo should be used correctly so that our identity can have consistency in its assocation.
Download our logo
- The circles should never be separated.
- The logo should never be placed vertically but always horizontal.
- Don’t change the font (Mark Pro).
- The circles should aways be perfectly round.
- The color of the logo can be changed to fit with your design.
- The “Africa Foundation” title can be removed from the logo if desired
Logo Spacing & Sizing
Our logo should be easy to read and surrounded by the right amount of breathing room – it should have half the logo circle size around it.
The logo should never be smaller than:
12mm in print
100 px width and 62 pixels height on-screen applications
03 COLOUR PALETTE
These are our favorite colours.
Like the rising african sun, we believe the future is bright and so are our main colours
HSL 0.13 0.96 0.57
CMYK 0.00 0.21 0.84 0.02
Pantone 116 C
Pantone 108 U
They remind us of the open blue sky which speaks of endless possibilities.
They remind us of the open blue sky which speaks of endless possibilities.
For adding organization and bold structure.
For adding organization and bold structure.
Our primary font is Mark Pro for print and web
Sometimes we also use Roboto
We like font choices to be clean, bold and easy to read.
Photography is a vital part of our communication.
Our photos are focused on telling the stories of the people that we get to build with and the work we do.
We want every image to communicate hope and inspire the viewer about the many opportunities to make a difference.
Even though we sometimes have to display hardship and struggle, we always do so in a hopeful and change-driven way.
INCLUSIVE & DIVERSE
HOPE & HAPPINESS
CLEAN & SHARP
WARM & COLORFUL
EMOTIONAL & REAL
We capture portraits as much as possible using off-camera lighting to focus attention on the subject and their unique environment.
- Always shoot in RAW (it allows you to capture a higher quality file)
- Capture quality (in focus, use different angles, be creative, choose a good background)
- Show warm moments (e.g. hugs, high-fives, smiles, people engaging with each other, people posing for the photo)
- People (staff, volunteers, young leaders) serving together, having fun and engaging with each other as well as with others
- Display the reach that we have (wide-angle shots)
- Edit using the HAF preset (available on the Comms Google Team Drive)
- Output to JPEG file (max. width 2500 pixels and Quality 10)
- Rename your exported files to the program name and location (e.g SHINE CC, VIP SW, ACCELERATE SS)
- If the image has a child in it add _yes or _no to the end of the filename if you have a indemnity form for them
- Upload the photos to the HAF Media Google Drive in the correct date and program folder
- Upload the indemnity form if applicable to the Comms Google Team Drive
(Forms can be downloaded from the Comms Google Team Drive)
06 DESIGN / ILLUSTRATIONS
We want our designs to be clean, clear and bold.
Words make worlds.
The language of community development defines worlds-in-the-making. For those involved in development practice, reflection on words and their meanings may seem irrelevant to the real business of getting things done. Why, after all, should language matter to those who are doing development? But language does matter for development.
Our brand voice is friendly, smart, encouraging and clear.
Instead of thinking like an organisation, think like a person. Everything we write is written by a person, for a person. We are a “guide” to others connecting into something bigger than themsleves and so we want to be approachable in the way we write.
At the same time, we keep things professional. We have a powerhouse of skill, knowledge and experience in our team and so we always communicate that we are trustworthy, credible and have the best of intentions.
We keep things casual but don’t use LOL’s and chat abbreviations.
Our writing should be:
- To the point
- Inspiring/ motivational
- We don’t want our readers to burn unnecessary “brain calories”. If someone can’t understand a sentence by reading it the first time then we haven’t written clearly enough.
When writing copy:
- Proofread everything!
- Have another team member read, make edits, and share opinion/feedback
- Double check spelling & grammar – mistakes are easily overlooked and we all make them
- Our written voice
- Not overly dramatic
- Our tone is conversational
- Every word is intentionally used or omitted
- No emojis
- Only use “development language” if we can justify using it
- Participants (avoid use of “beneficiaries, them, needy, poor,” etc.)
- Stories of lives moved forward. Fact check! Always double check stats or info to make sure it is valid and true.
Building the nation
Programs (not Projects)
Locations (when referring to Hillsong Church locations)
Every number has a name, every name has a story and every story matters.
We can’t do everything but we must do something.
Using words like “underprivileged, poor, needy”
eg. Rather say “person who is homeless” instead of “homeless person” – by putting the describing word before the person, we reduce their identity to how we are describing them in that moment.
Common slang that devalues people
eg. “Bergie” when describing someone who is homeless
Official HAF copy:
When introducing HAF:
The heart of Hillsong Africa Foundation (HAF) is to equip, encourage and uplift those in need. Every day we have the opportunity to make a difference in our own backyard, ultimately building a nation, one person, one family and one community at a time. We are a non-profit organisation based in South Africa that is passionate about building lives that will build the nation. We do this year-round through weekly programs that we run in different communities across the Western Cape and Gauteng, based out of Hillsong Church South Africa locations. We believe in building relationships with people and journeying with them to see their lives move forward.
Building lives that will build the nation.
It is our mission to help restore families and combat the cycles of poverty, addiction, abuse, and violence in our nation. Our approach is holistic and addresses body, mind, and spirit in order to meet the needs of the whole person and whole family through our various programs. Everything we do builds into our vision to “Build lives that will build the nation.”
Our approach to the design and implementation of our community programs is built entirely around meaningful relationship. Our program locations are chosen organically out of relationship, and activities are based on community assets and needs assessments which are conducted alongside local stakeholders. This means that we work through local engagement to help a community decide, for themselves, what they would like our help with.
HAF’s Pathway of Change:
The coordination and development of our programs is executed through a focused pathway of change. Our programs are designed to facilitate opportunities for our participants to grow in these 4 areas of identity, empowerment, influence and leadership.
Identity: Our programs are designed to help shape a hopeful outlook on life and a positive image of oneself, others and God.
Empowerment: With the positive change of perspective and shift in mindset, we encourage individuals to make better, everyday life decisions.
Influence: When people make better life choices, we believe that they are able to impact and motivate others to do the same. This creates a ripple effect that will influence and impact their community.
Thought Leadership: Leadership development aims to help individuals rise to a level of expertise in their fields so that they can exercise leadership in that sphere on a provincial, national or international level.
08 STORY INTERVIEWS
Stories are amongst the most important and valuable types of media we can create because they are real and personal. We therefore must take extra care when telling the stories of those impacted by our programs or those volunteering to make a difference. We are a volunteer-based team so we must always be honouring and respectful of the people we encounter.
We love to interview people to find out how a HAF program helped or encouraged someone in their lives or why someone decided to get involved in helping others.
These are some pointers when interviewing someone:
- Everyone has a story. Never discount someone’s journey, there is a story and something to learn from everyone. Be on the lookout for people you can interview in even the most unlikely places.
- Be prepared. Know the background of the individual or the area they are involved in as much as you can. Have at least 2-3 questions already in mind.
- Record the interview audio with your phone. Ask for permission to record the conversation. Explain that it’s because you don’t want to miss any details or misquote anything. This helps you not have to be writing everything down but be fully present with the interviewee. Afterwards you can go back and transcribe what you recorded.
- Start slow and general. Ask easy questions to warm up the conversation and create a relaxed environment. Things like, “Where are you from?” or “What do you do?”
- Avoid “Yes” and “No” questions. You want your interview subject to be able to speak at length on a subject. For example, instead of asking, “Did you grow up in Gugulethu?” Ask, “What’s it like growing up in Gugulethu?”
- Be flexible. The conversation may go off script or from where you want but that’s ok. The goal is to hear the perspective of the person.
- Don’t interrupt. If someone seems to be getting off track in their storytelling, try not to interrupt them mid-sentence. Instead, use your body language to actively listen, and subtly steer the conversation. It’s all about being respectful but also directing where you need the conversation to go.
- Have the subject repeat your question. Having the interviewee repeat your question in their answer. This will help provide context for their response and will make your storytelling clearer. For instance, if your question is, “When was the first time you volunteered?” have your subject begin their answer by saying, “The first time I volunteered was…”
– Where are you from? How long have you been living here? Tell me a little bit about yourself.
– What’s your job? What do you do during the week? What grade are you in? Where do you study?
– How long have you been serving and why did you choose this area for serving?
– How do you find serving?
– Have you seen massive changes in the people you serve and serve with?
– What do you love the most about serving?
– How did you find out about HAF?
It’s as close as we can come to taking our supporters to the field to see it for themselves. From Instagram stories to documentaries, these platforms are how we bring our work to life and inspire others to get involved.
- Always stock up on good B-roll. You never know when you need good supporting footage to tell a story. So always film candid and natural moments.
- Form relationships first. It’s not always possible but when you can, try to get to know the people in your footage before just sticking a camera in their face. People are more likely to give you good footage if you took the time to greet and explain what you’re doing.
- Embrace the silence. Some of the most provoking and emotional moments happen when someone is thinking or laughing. Don’t feel like you need to film someone talking all the time.
Types of videos we make:
VIEW EXAMPLES OF OUR VIDEOS
09 SOCIAL MEDIA
While we still keep things pretty professional, we think of social media as a place where we can demonstrate personality, have fun, and relate to supporters.
Our posts are typically full of hope, celebration, and gratitude. We try to create connections both to our work and the people who make it possible.
Some tips for social media:
1. Don’t think of social media as an opportunity to advertise or promote; think of it as a place to provide memorable moments that inspire and inform.
2. Be a cheerleader. It’s not just about our story. We want to share and celebrate what others do and overcome in our organisation as well as our partner organisations.
3. Be thankful. We use social media to show gratitude to our donors and volunteers for making what we do possible.
4. Be direct. We dont have to post lengthy captions but rather ones that are to the point and well spaced.
5. Be conversational. We want to engage viewers not just talk to them but get them talking to us about their passions. We share and promote content that is relevant to our work such as articles on community development or new technology in the NGO sector etc. We are interested in having a dialogue around relevant areas with our audience. We ask questions and respond to comments.
6. Always use the copywriting guide in our language tone.
7. #Hashtags. We use a handful of hashtags. Some general ones and some program-specific ones.
#BuildingLives #BuildingTheNation #BuildingLivesThatWillBuildTheNation #EmpoweringPeople #WeCanAllDoSomething #CaringForOurCommunity #Impacting Lives #HAF2Care
8. Tagging. We believe we are stronger together and so we tag individuals or organisations that appear in our photos. We follow back our volunteers and team on social media. It’s about community and our social media platforms are a way to strengthen that connection.
9. Have a clear call to action. Every post must have an action for the viewer to take which leads to one of our 3 goals (see our Goals section). These can be either to make contact with us or direct to our website.
10. Plan as much as possible. Our social media calendar is planned on our Google sheet template. This is so we know what key events are coming up and what content needs to be created in advance. There are also many times where the social media plan will be adjusted or interrupted for unplanned circumstances.