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IJC Training: NGO Representatives Studied the Elements of an Effective Communication Strategy

29 October 2019
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Several civil society representatives discovered interesting ways of structuring their communication strategies, were trained to use storytelling, to define their target audience and manage communication during crisis situations at a training organized by the Independent Journalism Center on 25 and 26 October 2019 in Chisinau. The trainers – Cristina Lupu, Executive Director of Independent Journalism Center from Bucharest and  communicators Sorina Stefarta and Ludmila Andronic from Chisinau – helped participants to understand better the role of communication in promoting NGO’s messages.

At the beginning of the training, Ina Grejdeanu, IJC Deputy Director for Strategic Development, stressed the need of effective communication for NGOs and mentioned that ‘we can be the best organization in our field of expertise, but if we fail to communicate effectively about our activities and results, this will remain unknown to the audience.’
Cristina Lupu urged participants to persuade their colleagues not to underestimate the role of communication. ‘An NGO must gain its place on the market. We cannot afford to be different from companies,’ she warned. Given that most of organizational communication is done separately for each project, the trainer recommended to communicators to find the ‘golden thread’ that reflects the institution’s vision and ensures consistency and continuity of messages. In this case, a well thought communication strategy would gather all various segments under one umbrella.

In her turn, Sorina Stefarta advised communicators to avoid technical language and to use brief headlines in their materials, of up to two lines. The communicator also urged them to collaborate with bloggers, vloggers and influencers, local media, and to use new communication networks, such as Instagram, WhatsApp or Telegram. Organizations must conduct unusual events, in order to ensure media presence at civil society’s events.

Ludmila Andronic explained to the audience the structure of a communication strategy. Her key words were: mission, vision and values. In her opinion, these concepts need to be formulated clearly and concisely, and must be stated on the organization’s website and in its strategies. An inspirational resource in this regard can be the site topnonprofits.com. Defining the target audience, which can help organizations to adjust appropriately their messages, is another key element of the strategy.
 

‘A communicator has as much power and influence as he or she is able to achieve,’ said Ludmila Andronic.

 

Daniela Padure, coordinator at Education for Development Association, especially appreciated the exercises of identifying the target audience and formulating the vision, mission and values of the NGO. ‘The training was consistent in terms of content and dynamic in terms of form. Basically, I got all of my questions answered during those two days. The trainers gave us energy and confidence that many things are possible in communication’, the participant shared her impressions.

The training will be followed by an in-house consultancy program, during which four NGOs will be helped to develop or update their communication strategies.

The training is organized under ‘Strengthening the capacities of civil society organizations through the professional development of their communicators’ project, implemented by the Independent Journalism Center with the support of Soros-Moldova Foundation.