Communication strategies tool
The communication strategies tool will help activists and NGOs not only to plan their counter narrative or alternative narrative campaigns based on human rights values and principles, but also be a guideline on what to do – and really, urgently, not to do. The tool is here to nudge you in the right direction and provide some helpful tips – but in the end, it is on you to run and implement the campaign.
Running a campaign should, first and foremost, be fun and exciting; it is the opportunity to be creative and innovative. Everything is possible, you can experiment and go above and beyond what you know – and don’t worry if it turns out as expected. No, not everything is possible, after all we can learn from mistakes just as much as we learn from successes.
The general outline of the tool provides insights and tips on what to consider when planning, preparing and running an ideal campaign: everything goes smoothly and exactly as initially planned. However, more often than not, circumstances change, especially as we do not live in an ideal world. That’s life. Maybe during the campaign period things come up or something happens that requires an immediate and spontaneous response – go for it.
Whether it is a long-term campaign or a spur of the moment-kind of campaign: This tool can be helpful either way, just skip ahead or back to the sections that you need. Therefore, we provide you with the opportunity to jot down your thoughts as you go through the tool – but if that is not your thing and you just want to skip through to the sections relevant to you, be our guest.
Communication strategies 101
Time is always scarce, so in order to keep it short, we identified the most important steps when planning and implementing a campaign. So be sure to check these out!
For the most part, whether you are an activist or an NGO, you have a general idea what kind of message or values you want to address with your human rights based counter or alternative narrative campaign. If you need help to turn your idea into an actual message and campaign, our Human Rights-based Narrative tool might be helpful.
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Your human rights based-narrative campaign should be designed for your target audience – so always (!) keep the people in mind you actually want to address. Even the best planned and most creative campaigns can fail, simply because it talks past its intended audience. Thus, your target audience is the starting point when choosing the tone of your messages, the possible messengers as well as the platform you are using to share your content.
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Choosing the right platform is crucial when planning a counter or alternative narrative campaign. This is closely related to the audience selection as well as you need to be active on the same platform as the people you want to reach. The platform selection should also consider the type of campaign you want to run as one platform might be better than the other to reach your objectives.
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Prior to launching your counter or alternative narrative campaign, you should take measures to ensure that you as well as your team and NGO are safe, digitally, physically as well as mentally. Establish moderation guidelines to facilitate community management, discuss security protocols and, most importantly: Keep in mind that your mental health should be a priority. Make sure that team members and activists know that they can talk to you about challenges but also ensure that you, as a coordinator or the person responsible, can speak with others.
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An often-neglected aspect when launching and running digital campaigns is the monitoring and, after finishing your campaign, the evaluation of the campaign’s performance. Ideally, the monitoring of your campaign’s perfomance takes place while your campaign is already up and running so you make adjustments once you realise that the campaign, for example, does not yet reach the target audience or formats do not fulfil their potential or the messaging is flawed.
Don’t forget to have fun – and why you are doing this. Don’t be discouraged if it turns out that you cannot do everything by the book (or in this case: the tool) as sometimes not sticking to the book is what might work best.