ICRC: dealing with media in armed conflicts'



             Workshop Media 21,
              Geneva 19.05.09
Public communication: why ICRC
communicates:
 gain understanding, acceptance and support for the
  ICRC and its work;
 g...
Public communication for the ICRC (2) :

 b) How we communicate:
     manage the known and prepare for the unknown
    ...
Public communication environment for
the ICRC (3) :
 more and more actors communicating about issues of
  humanitarian co...
Public communication environment for
the ICRC (4) :
 perceived relevance of ICRC, its work and IHL can
  have a decisive ...
Understanding & managing the ICRC’s
identity


   global  organisation, different identity regionally and
    between sta...
Challenges for communication (1):

Neutral & independent humanitarian action
 evolution of humanitarian quot;world & busi...
Challenges for communication (2)

manage reputation & risks
positive attitude towards ICRC & RCRC
   often   no real di...
International Humanitarian Law: key
elements

Distinction: between combatants, civilians
 and objects
Proportionality: p...
Challenges for humanitarian action:

to clearly understand the diversity and
 complexity of the environments in which we
...
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Icrc

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Icrc

  1. 1. ICRC: dealing with media in armed conflicts' Workshop Media 21, Geneva 19.05.09
  2. 2. Public communication: why ICRC communicates:  gain understanding, acceptance and support for the ICRC and its work;  gain access to victims of armed conflict and raise awareness of their plight/needs;  gain respect for international humanitarian law;  engagement with stakeholders on humanitarian issues of concern to them -> quot;symbolic contextsquot;;  perceived relevance and impact of ICRC, its work and IHL can influence opinion of audiences & their support.
  3. 3. Public communication for the ICRC (2) :  b) How we communicate:  manage the known and prepare for the unknown  integrate communication into entire decision-making process at HQ and field;  recognise ICRC organisation with worldwide reach/presence -> communicate with several audiences simultaneously;  adapt means of communicate and delivery of messages to respective context and desired impact;  principle: what organisation and its staff say must at all times reflect what ICRC does;  principle: interests of those affected by armed conflict must come first;  differentiation from other humanitarian actors.
  4. 4. Public communication environment for the ICRC (3) :  more and more actors communicating about issues of humanitarian concern, armed conflict/IHL;  differentiation of ICRC and its approach NIIHA  stakeholders communicating on/about the ICRC;  globalisation of media - networks in all major languages  audiences connect to outlet that represents a culture they recognise; managing information - immediacy, communicate in real time but speed vs quality of information  multiplicity of stakeholders who can have an impact on ICRC acceptance, access and security;  IHL more present in public domaine, relevance and applicability scrutinised;
  5. 5. Public communication environment for the ICRC (4) :  perceived relevance of ICRC, its work and IHL can have a decisive impact on the opinion of audiences;  analysis of global, regional and local essential in making communication decisions;  scan media and web environment for mentions of ICRC, risks/issues for ICRC's reputation and licence to operate;  monitoring - mentions of ICRC and issues in public domaine  symbolic contexts;
  6. 6. Understanding & managing the ICRC’s identity  global organisation, different identity regionally and between stakeholders  «institutions » no longer protected incl. humanitarian  shift from quot;trust mequot; to quot;show me-prove itquot; vs. confidentiality  quot;influentialsquot; & environment changing  perceptions impact on reputation transparency, consistency and predictability  consistent staff and corporate behaviour
  7. 7. Challenges for communication (1): Neutral & independent humanitarian action  evolution of humanitarian quot;world & businessquot;  Donors & private philanthropy  UN, NGOS, RC/RC Movement  modus operandi & fundamental principles  no monopoly on terms  neutral -> perception  impartial -> quot;win hearts and mindsquot;  independent -> differentiate from NS  different modus operandi - quot;confidentiality with limitsquot;  need for neutral intermediary role  demonstrate added value
  8. 8. Challenges for communication (2) manage reputation & risks positive attitude towards ICRC & RCRC  often no real differentiation unless Crescent quot;Top-of-mindquot; awareness of the ICRC currently high plus high level of credibility.  limited general public knowledge about ICRC core activities
  9. 9. International Humanitarian Law: key elements Distinction: between combatants, civilians and objects Proportionality: precaution to minimise incidental loss of life Limitation: on the means and methods of warfare Humanity: limit suffering and protect human dignity
  10. 10. Challenges for humanitarian action: to clearly understand the diversity and complexity of the environments in which we work, to respond effectively to the multitude of needs faced by affected populations, maintain recognition and capacity of humanitarian organisations to function  differentiationmilitary role/objective & humanitarian role  the neutral intermediary role of the ICRC

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