Effective communication and working with the media


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Presentation on effective communications and tips for the CSOs on how to work with the media by Andrew Chetley, MeTA Secretariat, during the MeTA Uganda CSO workshop, April 2009.

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  • Soc for technical communication lists 125 definitions; this is one that Exchange uses
  • Effective communication and working with the media

    1. 1. Effective communication and working with the media Andrew Chetley Communication Director MeTA Secretariat Civil society workshop Jinja, Uganda April 2009
    2. 2. Objectives <ul><li>Identify what effective communication looks like </li></ul><ul><li>Outline key communication principles </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasise the importance of a communication strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Understand the role journalists and media can play </li></ul><ul><li>understand key principles for effective partnership with journalists and the media </li></ul><ul><li>Practise drafting a press release/giving an interview </li></ul>
    3. 3. What are the characteristics of good communication? <ul><li>Listen to what people say </li></ul><ul><li>Invite questions and encourage interaction </li></ul><ul><li>Be aware of people’s concerns </li></ul><ul><li>Understand words and concepts that people commonly use and use appropriate language </li></ul><ul><li>Share ideas and information in ways that help people understand and correct misunderstanding </li></ul><ul><li>Build on what people already know </li></ul><ul><li>Stick to the important points </li></ul><ul><li>Be specific about what action to take </li></ul><ul><li>Motivate people </li></ul>
    4. 4. What is communication? <ul><li>‘ a process for partnership and participation that is based on two-way dialogue, where there is an interactive exchange of information, ideas, techniques and knowledge between senders and receivers of information on an equal footing, leading to improved understanding, shared knowledge, greater consensus, and identification of possible effective action.’ </li></ul>
    5. 5. Fundamentals of communication A P C <ul><li>A = audience = Who? </li></ul><ul><li>P = purpose = Why? What do you want to achieve? </li></ul><ul><li>C = content = What do you want to communicate? </li></ul>
    6. 6. Six critical questions
    7. 7. Getting started - A <ul><li>WHO? What audience (s) are we trying to reach? What do we know about them and their understanding, their information needs and their preferences? What secondary audiences are we also trying to reach? </li></ul>
    8. 8. Getting started - P <ul><li>WHY? What purpose do we have in mind? What are we trying to achieve? What do we want the audience(s) to do? What are our objectives? </li></ul>
    9. 9. Getting started - C <ul><li>WHAT? What information or messages – what content – do we want to convey in order to achieve our objectives and to motivate and mobilise the audience(s)? </li></ul>
    10. 10. Looking for opportunities <ul><li>HOW? What communication channels or media will be most effective in doing this? What combination of channels will work best? </li></ul><ul><li>WHEN? What critical timing is involved? Are there key windows of opportunity? Are there key dates by which something needs to happen? </li></ul><ul><li>WHERE? In what settings will our communication be used? Do we need to adapt our approach for different settings? </li></ul>
    11. 11. Why develop a communication strategy? <ul><li>moves attention from communication products (leaflets, posters, booklets, discussion lists, websites, videos, workshops, events) to communication processes (how interacting, networking, involving, participating, encouraging, enhancing, empowering can best be achieved) </li></ul>
    12. 12. Working with the media: what can journalists do? <ul><li>Journalists can: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>be important and informed advocates on health issues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>help you to get information across effectively </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>simplify complex issues and relate them to people’s lives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>but can also undermine or misinterpret your message </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. How to make effective use of the media <ul><li>Understand the context of the news room </li></ul><ul><li>Know what you want to get across </li></ul><ul><li>Pay attention to how to get it across: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Interesting topic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accuracy and clarity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accessibility and interest </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Simplify the work of the journalist </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cultivate personal contacts </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. What about a “bad press” <ul><li>Possible reasons: </li></ul><ul><li>You identified the wrong journalist </li></ul><ul><li>You offended the journalist </li></ul><ul><li>You made a poor impression and did not get your case across </li></ul><ul><li>Powerful interests are against you </li></ul>
    15. 15. Legal issues – you can be vulnerable <ul><li>Don’t break the law </li></ul><ul><li>Watch out for slander and libel </li></ul><ul><li>Only use good data </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid quoting people without permission </li></ul><ul><li>If you are quoting from a source make it clear </li></ul>
    16. 16. Your rights <ul><li>to know what questions will be asked or topics covered </li></ul><ul><li>to check and correct </li></ul><ul><li>not to be misquoted or misrepresented </li></ul><ul><li>to be off the record if this has been agreed </li></ul>
    17. 17. Ethical issues <ul><li>Journalist responsibilities: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>accuracy of information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>respecting reasonable privacy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>protecting their sources </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Consumer and community advocates </li></ul><ul><ul><li>providing accurate information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>acting in the interest of group they represent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>respecting the privacy of individuals </li></ul></ul>
    18. 18. Press release <ul><li>The five Ws: </li></ul><ul><li>What is happening? </li></ul><ul><li>Who is doing it? </li></ul><ul><li>Where and how is it happening? </li></ul><ul><li>When is it happening? </li></ul><ul><li>Why is it happening? </li></ul>
    19. 19. Press release continued <ul><li>The style of your press release: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use active verbs rather than passive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use short sentences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be positive rather than negative if you have a choice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid abbreviations and jargon </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use quotations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be clear, brief and to the point </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>And don’t forget: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>embargo if relevant </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>details of who to contact for more information </li></ul></ul>
    20. 20. Preparing for an interview <ul><li>Be properly prepared </li></ul><ul><li>Know your message and keep going back to it </li></ul><ul><li>Use simple language and relate what you are saying to people’s ordinary life – avoid jargon </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t argue with reporters </li></ul><ul><li>Anything you say in an interview is on the record </li></ul><ul><li>Whatever the last question is, go back to your key message with a clear statement of what is important to remember: “…and as I said earlier, the three key points to remember are …” </li></ul>
    21. 21. More information <ul><li>www.medicinestransparency.org </li></ul><ul><li>www.asksource.info </li></ul><ul><li>(Source is an international information support centre which strengthens the management, use and impact of information on health, disability and other development topics.) </li></ul>