Communication in a legal charity: beyond the jargon, learning from people

image from Canva representing human rights and justice

 

by Annamaria De Felice 

People often ask me what a comms person does or even better they ask me what I do as Senior Comms Officer at JustRight Scotland.  

Explaining my role in communications is quite complex! First, I differentiate between internal and external communication. Then, I highlight the value of marketing and multi-purpose content, such as fundraising. Next, I stress the importance of social media planning and analysis, media relationships, and maintaining a well-designed website for brand consistency. Lastly, I emphasise the need for a comprehensive communications strategy to achieve goals. But what’s next? I delve into how these plans serve a specific purpose at JustRight Scotland (JRS).

Let me walk you through my role!
My communications role relies heavily on support and input from JRS staff, partners, and clients. They enable me to create content, collaborate on campaigns, organise events, and raise awareness about the issues we address — our mission to defend and extend people’s rights across Scotland. 

What’s the point? I’m highlighting a crucial aspect: no role operates in isolation, especially in the third sector. Teams elevate you to your best and support you at your worst.
That’s why, in this blog celebrating my 2 years at JustRight Scotland (Thanks for your best wishes!), I describe my role through the work produced with the support of JRS’s talented, dynamic, and tireless human rights defenders. 

Let me start!  

I work daily with four legal centres: the Scottish Women’s Rights Centre (SWRC), the Scottish Refugee & Migrant Centre (SRMC), the Scottish Just Law Centre (SJLC) and the Scottish Anti-Trafficking & Exploitation Centre (SATEC).
This means that I closely work with all our legal teams, as well as our policy, comms, participation and ops specialists: they tell me about their highlights and the community groups they have met; the cases they are working on and the projects they are developing. Thanks to this core team, I’m able to write stories representing the issues our clients face; I also can set up events, launch a campaign or populate our digital platforms. Let me share some clear examples with you, so you can get to know the people behind these roles!   

Francesca, Ronan and Eilidh are our solicitors: they care deeply about their clients, they share with me the ups and downs of this work and – although they all have very different personalities, they all work so hard to make good on their belief that everyone deserves to access justice and to have their human rights respected.  

Anushya, Farida and Lyndsay are our senior associate solicitors: they support and lead a lot of the work in our legal centres, and their skills and expertise in their specialist areas are so inspiring. They support me to plan and deliver events and campaigns which are informed, relevant and impactful for the communities we serve.
Antonia, Eeman, Maisie, and Constance are our legal caseworkers but what do they do?

Eeman once told us that they represent “a safe pair of hands for the team”: they support clients during the legal process, they research about a legal case, they inform our policies and above all, they can explain very clearly how the legal system works and why accessing it is so valuable.  

Then, we have our Operations Team, the name says it all…our organisation can’t function without Siddra, Heather, Dan and Natalia. And let me tell you something more…they are the ones who are the most involved with my projects and they love it…so they say…
From event day to podcasting, from video content to designs, from training to office planning, should I add more?
And every digital event I have ever organised at JRS couldn’t have happen without the skills, expertise and support of Laura and Ricarda from our digitally-focused social enterprise, JRS Knowhow. 

Then there is our Executive team, Emma, Andy, Jen and Barbara – the people who take responsibility for us all, and run the show!  

Last but not least, there is my team: I work with Sabrina, Mariam and Jen, as part of our participation, policy and comms hub. I love their enthusiasm, their ideas, their willingness to say yes even if I ask to produce a new video in 3 days, or set up a last-minute activity in a day!
You may have noticed I mentioned Jen twice, that’s because she is not only my line manager, she is the person who taught me the most how to understand legalese! Believe me, legal jargon is cryptic sometimes, so I want to take this opportunity to thank her for putting up with me for over 2 years now!  

Why did I explain all of this to you?
Because these two years are not just about me. They are about the campaigns we have won thanks to the collaboration with grassroots organisations and community groups we have worked with like #FreeBusTravel campaign, thanks to landmark legal cases we won like Ola’s case, thanks to our innovative approach who saw us talking at Ministerial events, being panellists about Artificial Intelligence, launching new digital projects and above all, being brave in challenging circumstances.  

I won’t add more, but if you are still curious, visit our Podbean page, scroll down our social media accounts, visit our campaign page, listen to our interviews, or just read about us in one of the national newspapers.

Posted in Uncategorised
JustRight Scotland is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SC047818) which provides legal services through its limited liability partnership, JustRight Scotland LLP which trades as JustRight Scotland (SO305962). This firm has been authorised to act as solicitors by the Law Society of Scotland (Registered No 53703).

Our Registered Office is:
Room 1, 1st Floor, Libertas House
39 St Vincent Place
Glasgow, G1 2ER

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