Case study: Money Advice Liaison Group

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The Money Advice Liaison Group (MALG) is a not-for-profit membership organisation that brings together money advisers, creditors, regulators and others in the common goals of ‘working together to improve the lives of people in debt’.

As its 30th anniversary year (2017) approached, Chair Liz Barclay and new Executive Officer Bob Winnington wanted to ensure that it was relevant and fit for the future, introducing new streams of membership that would widen its participation and strengthening member benefits.

Engage Comms was tasked with re-positioning and re-launching the organisation, bringing to life the new branding that had been created by MALG member company Marston Holdings and developing/implementing a marketing strategy that would significantly increase awareness, influence, credibility and engagement with key stakeholders.

We were also appointed to design and build a new content-led website that would become a hub for sector collaboration and engagement, and to deliver MALG’s 2017 conference with a completely new look and format, making it a ‘must attend’ event in the financial services conference calendar.

As a not-for-profit that needs to become financially sustainable as well as deliver on clear social objectives, our focus is on a low-cost, innovative approach that gives the greatest return on investment. Through the new people-focused website and fortnightly ‘Bob’s Blog’ (which is emailed to a large database of contacts as well as published on the website and shared via social media), we have given the organisation more of a ‘face’, which has increased levels of engagement with existing and new target audiences. We are also using Twitter and LinkedIn to ensure that MALG has its ‘finger on the pulse’ of the latest developments in the money advice sector and beyond.

Our strategy for the 2017 conference was based around securing support from sponsors and exhibitors that will add real value to delegates as opposed to just ‘sell’ to them. The mechanisms for delivering the conference were streamlined to cut costs and it was a virtually ‘paperless’ event with the focus on high quality content and networking opportunities. Engagement with high profile speakers was also a key part of our role, as well as liaison with the venue to make the most of the flexible space available.

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“When I joined MALG as its new Executive Officer in 2016, I could see the potential for some transformation in terms of the brand and the proposition. As a not-for-profit company, budgets were tight and when we initially put the organisation of our annual conference out to tender, it was clear that outsourcing to an events company wasn't going to be affordable. Engage Comms challenged our brief and came to us with a completely different proposition encompassing an integrated branding/marketing strategy for both the conference and the organisation as a whole. They were able to demonstrate a clear understanding of our vision, the sector we're operating in, our ethos, and how they would deliver quality with an ambitious return on investment. MALG's Chair Liz Barclay and I both immediately felt that they were the best fit and we have never looked back. Bringing Engage Comms on board was the best decision we could have made and they are now a core part of our team, delivering everything from our new website, to strategic use of social media, printed materials, member engagement, email marketing, thought leadership content, and the organisation and promotion of the conference. They've already helped us to secure new members, and conference sponsorship/speakers, and members/stakeholders are commenting that our new look/ongoing engagement activity has brought us up to date and made us into a more relevant, 'future fit' organisation. To top it off, the Engage Comms team are friendly, down to earth, and go the extra mile to get things done. A real breath of fresh air!”

Bob Winnington, Executive Officer,
Money Advice Liaison Group

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