This exploratory qualitative research examines the role of digital platforms like a responsive mobile website in non-profit and charitable sector including social. The community is acknowledged by its relationships to an organization and rises in reaction to what an organization does or says (J. E. Grunig et al., 1992; Rawlins, 2006). Thus, when considering non-profit charity work, various communities must be identified that engage with, affected by, and have an emotional impact on the organization. In practical, non-profit segments have various publics that they engage with and reply to, including donors, volunteers, clients and the community at large (Waters et al., 2011). Wilson (2000), in his theory, identifies three theoretical kinds of people involved in strategies of communication: key people, intervening people, and influential. Key people are those whose contribution and support are fundamental to achieving an institution's goals (Wilson, 2000). Intervening people pass the info along and play a role as disseminators of content and opinion leaders. The success of many charity calls is dogged by the power of interactions with intervening people (Rawlins, 2006). The third one, Influential, affect the feat of communiqué exertions and can also support the exertions of the institute or work contrary to them.
Political, social, cultural and technological scenarios are continually in flux, and public relations philosophy and practice need innovative ways to hypothesize the relationship between businesses and public. Through a case study of the Bahar-E-Madina, this research will examine how a digital platform like a responsive mobile website can provide a platform for a charity organization to magnify its calls and manage member relationships, and in return how public and members can response and work to convey onwards the message of the institution. Bahar-E-Madina is chosen for this study because it is a newly established UK based charity, which is operating in the UK. The organization has emerged from grassroots exertions and provides support internationally (focus Kashmir and Pakistan). Further focus will be on other small and large charities including Muslim charities such as Islamic relief, Muslim Hands, Ummah Welfare Trust, KIRF and KORT (both small charities focusing on Kashmir).
This research will be analysing the role of digital platforms such as a responsive mobile website for Bahar-E-Madina to raise its platform strategically.
This research aims to contribute to understandings of online strategies used to promote and empower the non-profit organizations and outreach for social change, incorporating the following objectives:
• The main objective will be guiding this research is an exploration of how charitable institutions are using its digital platform strategically in ways that facilitate engagement with members and which empower the community to carry out the work of the organization.
• This case study will argue that digital platforms, particularly mobile websites, are influential platforms for non-profit organizations, which can function as a device of amplification of members' interaction and outreach when working with specific communities.
• This research will engulf the before and after effects of having digital platforms on charitable institutions.
• Furthermore, the analysis will also incorporate views of the public who have been tied up with the charitable organisation on how they feel about raising awareness through digital media.
The fierce competition and high demand for technology highlights innovation as being a key weapon in competitive markets (Davila et al, 2012). From this, it can be seen that it is necessary for a company to meet the increasing demands and to be at a steady position with competition in order to grow and stay in business.
One of the key ways for a company to hold firm with competition and use modern technology for survival is adopting the business model innovation. This is the delivering of existing products produced by existing technologies within existing markets (Girotra and Netessine, 2014) in order to boost business value. George and Bock (2011), further highlight that the business model innovation is particularly important for new organisations as it guides their competitive position, thus, influencing the likelihood of survival. From this, it can be understood that for Bahar-e-Madina to keep competitive and survive amongst both small and large charities, they must adapt to the business model innovation.
Introducing the responsive mobile website will mean that existing content will be made available to members with existing technology. According to Roger's theory of innovation, Bahar-e-Madina would fit into the segment of ‘Early adaptors', leaping in when benefits start to become apparent (Rogers, 2003). This is due to them innovating in the form of introducing a responsive mobile website to overcome the current issues in regards to their online presence. Bahar-e-Madina can be characterised under this segment, as they will leap into the innovation already knowing the benefits of accommodating the mobile market, particularly, through a mobile website.
Moreover, more and more people are joining the growing market of being a mobile user. Research highlights that mobile users are consistently increasing year on year; 2014 being a year where it is seen that mobile users would exceed the number of desktop and laptop users (Minato, 2012). The high upturn in users indicates the significance and opportunities behind adapting online mobile presence. Thus, it could be understood that digital existence is key for both, meeting the demand and building relationships for non-profit sector.
Therefore, based on the initial literature review, the following research questions will conduct and will be achieved through various methods of data collection to complete the study.
Q1: How can Bahar-E-Madina utilize digital media?
Q2: What can people do on organizationally created responsive mobile website?
Semi-structured questionnaires involving both closed and open questions will be featured as the primary data collection method to meet the following purposes of this research:
• To find the main drives behind adapting mobile presence, more specific for charities
• To establish if mobile technologies can increase user engagement and communication
• To find out if personalisation of material (cookies, live updates, direct marketing) will enhance user experience
• To see if mobile technologies can increase donations alongside building and retaining long term relationships
• To find out how effective are innovative ideas for fundraising and sustainability for charities
DiCicco-Bloom et al. (2006) highlights that “semi structured questionnaires methods in which the individual questioned is more a participant in gist making than a channel from which data is retrieved” (DiCicco-Bloom et al., 2006).Thus, it is evident from the purpose of research that an in-depth analysis is a requirement in order to gather useful and relevant Information. Semi-structured questionnaires are often the sole data source for a qualitative research project that combines a pre-dogged set of open questions - questions that prompt debate - with the chance for the researcher to explore specific subjects or answers further (DiCicco-Bloom et al., 2006).
Using this qualitative method, appropriate closed and open questions will be designed in order to address the required areas. Semi-structured questionnaires are used to apprehend how intrusions function and how they could be enhanced. It also permits respondents to argue and raise questions that may not have deliberated (Ayala et al., 2011). Questionnaires will be conducted face-to-face with the existing Bahar-E-Madina Members. However, if respondents are not available face-to-face then the means of telephone and email will be used to reach the respondents to result in the similar study.
Data Analysis Plan:
The data collected from qualitative research method will be evaluated whilst comparing it to the literature review that will again anchor and direct this study. The data analysis comprises theoretic underpinnings, which will guide the data gathered, and charts and graphs will be utilised to illuminate the collected information followed by the proposed conclusions.
Limitations to this research include:
• This can be time consuming to collect and analyse data in this qualitative research method
• The ambiguous answers that will be obtained through semi- structured questionnaires involving both closed and open questions can be misinterpreted and can mislead the research findings.
• Furthermore, limitations for this research also include the different geographical horizons in which Bahar-E-Madina works. Both countries have different digital approach as compared to direct marketing and public relations.
Time Scales and Project Plan:
Task Name Start Date Duration End Date
First Information Form 28/09/2015 4 days 01/10/2015
Meeting 1 – Project overview discussion + recommendation 26/10/2015 5 days 30/10/2015
Meeting 2 – Ethics and Project Proposal 01/11/2015 9 days 11/11/2015
Meeting 3 – Guidance on Literature Review 23/11/2015 1 day 23/11/2015
Literature Review Chapter 26/11/2015 12 days 11/12/2015
Meeting 4 – Guidance on Methodology 14/12/2015 1 day 14/12/2015
Christmas Holidays 15/12/2015 16 days 05/01/2016
Methodology Chapter 10/01/2016 16 days 29/01/2016
Meeting 5 – Guidance on Questionnaire Design 04/02/2016 1 day 04/02/2016
Questionnaire Design 05/02-2016 7 days 15/02/2016
Conducting Interviews 17/02/2016 8 days 26/02/2016
Compile Main Study Results 01/03/2016 4 days 04/03/2016
Meeting 6 – Discuss and Review Main Study Results 07/03/2016 4 day 10/03/2016
Presentation of Findings 11/03/2016 3 days 15/03/2016
Meeting 7 – Data Analysis and Conclusions 17/03/2016 8 days 28/03/2016
Meeting 8 – Writing up 01/04/2016 11 days 15/04/2016
Meeting 9 - Editing and Binding 18/04/2016 8 days 27/04/2016
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