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Annual report UCMC 2016


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Annual report UCMC 2016

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Annual report UCMC 2016

  1. 1. Annual report 2016
  2. 2. Annual report 2016
  3. 3. OUR BACKGROUND Ukraine Crisis Media Center (UCMC) was launched in the spirit of the Revolution of Dignity in March 2014 as a rapid response to the Russian occupation of Crimea with an objective to defend Ukraine’s sovereignty and its national interests in the global information space. Since its inception, UCMC has evolved into an international strategic communications hub with active outreach to audiences both in Ukraine and abroad. OUR VISION Consolidate the Ukrainian society and the international community while pursuing Ukraine’s European identity and the creation of a modern competitive state. OUR MISSION UCMC’s mission is to generate and support the demand of Ukrainian society for substantial changes on the path to establishing a true democracy. Also, to maintain Ukraine on the global informational map and ensure positive perceptions and tangible support from other nations. OUR VALUES • Freedom • Co-creation • Honesty • Responsibility • Love of Ukraine OUR TARGET GROUPS • Media, opinion leaders, government authorities, general public OUR TOOLS • Dailypress-briefingsandmoderateddiscussionsstreamedliveandsimultaneously translated into English • A free open platform and press office support for civil society activists, state officials, and experts • Press-releases, digests, and analytical reports disseminated in seven languages to over 12,000 contacts including media, experts, MPs, embassies, and representatives from businesses and NGOs in over 20 countries • 24/7 media hotline and support • Monitoring and analyzing media trends, public perceptions and expectations OUR SIGNATURE PROJECTS IN 2016 • Decentralization Offering Better Results and Efficiency (DOBRE) (USAID) • Gov.Comms.Ua project by Stratcom group at UCMC (US Embassy, Kyiv) • UCMC Strategic Communication Project (International Renaissance Foundation) • LocalpublicandprivatemediaofMykolaivoblastforreliableinformation(Polish- Canadian Democracy Support Program) • Museum Open for Renovation (UCBI/USAID) OUR SET-UP UCMC is arranged as six interconnected operations, each with a distinct ambition and objectives. These include International Outreach, National Outreach, Strategic Communications, Art and Culture, Reforms Communication Taskforce and Digital Communications.
  4. 4. UCMC KEY STAFFUCMC BOARD OF DIRECTORS Gennadiy Kurochka Board Member Nataliya Popovych Vice Chairman Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze Board Member Yulia Shmygaleva Executive Director Valeriy Chaly Chairman Tetyana Kolosova National Outreach Tetyana Nychyporenko DOBRE project Tetyana Ogarkova International Outreach Anna Pidgorna Donor Relations Leonid Marushchak Arts and Culture Natalia Kononenko Monitoring and Analytics Vilyen Pidgornyy Security Block Olena Sypchenko Press Center Aryna Satovska Strategic Communications Vasyl Myroshnychenko Special Projects Maksym Savanevsyy Digital Communications Roman Vybranovskyy Reforms Communication Taskforce
  5. 5. PRESS CENTER The Press Center of Ukraine Crisis Media Center is a platform for constructive briefings, discussions, and roundtables. Every day we hold discussions between experts and government representatives, diplomats and international politicians, activists and journalists. The discussions center on diverse topics about Ukraine and the wider world. We discuss the budget of Ukraine and taxes, electricity and heating tariffs, scholarships and urban planning, vaccinations against polio and public health problems, decentralization and anti-corruption. Every day, UCMC provides a platform for briefings on the situation in the ATO zone; every week - for reporting briefings of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, military intelligence and the Special Monitoring Mission of the OSCE. UCMC’s Press Center relies on the professional experience of specialists who provide every event with full technical and communication support: online broadcasting, simultaneous interpretation (English-Ukrainian-Russian), light, sound, photo and video, announcing events, writing press releases, publishing materials (infographics, photos) on the UCMC website and in social media, sending newsletters to Ukrainian and international media. In the past two years, UCMC has held more than 3,600 events engaging over 8,400 speakers. Over 7,600 press releases were written and sent to Ukrainian and international media. More than 9,300 representatives of Ukrainian and international media attended events at UCMC over two years, about 11,000 journalists and experts receive regular press releases and materials from UCMC. UCMChasreached48014mlnpeopleviaTV,75mlnviaInternetand46,3mlncontacts via print media during 10 months of 2016.
  6. 6. INTERNATIONAL OUTREACH InternationalOutreachprovidestheinternationalcommunitywithobjectiveinformation about Ukraine and ensures the presence of Ukrainian issues in the Western discourse. ThemainchallengefacedbytheDepartmentinSeptember2015was“Ukrainefatigue” in Europe. The Maidan revolution seemed “old news”, the war in Donbas entered a period of relative calm after the Minsk agreements were signed and the Ukrainian government failed to demonstrate fast reforms. The international agenda of the EuropeanmediashiftedsignificantlytowardsSyriaandtheproblemofterrorism.Thus, the International Outreach team had to do everything possible to promote awareness on the danger of Russian aggression in Ukraine, the potential of Ukraine on the path of reforms and the transformation of Ukrainian society over the post-Maidan period. The main tool was systematic work with European media, opinion leaders and politicians. UCMC provided assistance to foreign journalists covering events in Ukraine (accreditation, contacts, organizing interviews, and travel support), prepared and distributed its own analytical materials, and translated key press releases into English, German, French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese. The Department staff cooperated with Western academic and political circles to create a positive attitude to Ukraine, organized press tours for foreign journalists, ensured the participation of Ukraine in international conferences and informed foreign audiences about the situation in Ukraine by sharing multilingual pages in social media. From September 2015 to September 2016 International Outreach assisted 195 journalists and published 156 unique materials, in addition to 297 weekly analytical reviewsand1890pressreleasesinforeignlanguages,organizedsevenpresstours,and presented information at six international conferences abroad. UCMC’s multilingual pages have 26,296 followers in Facebook and 13,199 on Twitter.
  7. 7. NATIONAL OUTREACH National Outreach provides Ukrainian citizens in all regions of the country with access to objective information to fight anti-state propaganda, support and promote the development of regional media, and open independent regional press platforms as a tool to implement a common information policy. To fulfill this objective UCMC does the following: • establishes regional media centers – currently set up in Severodonetsk, Kherson, Mariupol, and Mykolaiv – with a goal to gradually build a national network of independent media. These platforms establish permanent horizontal communication between local authorities, media, NGOs and society to discuss important initiatives, pursue answers to pressing questions and find a common way for solving problems. • holdsprofessionaltrainingsandworkshopsforregionaljournalistsandemployees oftheregionalmediacenters.22trainingsandworkshopswereheldoverthepast year. • assists the media in building capacity to prepare and publish printed issues. For example, in Mykolaiv region over 60 publications appeared in newspapers and were read by over 180 thousand residents of Mykolaiv region. • organizespresstoursforregionaljournalists.67peoplehavealreadyparticipated. As part of press tours, UCMC organizes meetings with representatives of public authorities, experts, NGOs and politicians. The outcome of these meetings – access to materials that circulate in the information space of the region. • implementsthe“Spokespersonofpeacefullife”initiativetoensurecommunication with the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. 95 Skype conferences on civilian life amid the war were prepared in 2016. • Helps prepare and disseminate “Our Life” bulletin (former title “Peace in Donbas”) for the residents of the frontline areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, containing the most up-to-date material and other useful information. The bulletin has a circulation of more than 600,000 copies.
  8. 8. STATE STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS CHALLENGES: Public communications in most state authorities were considered a minor technical function. Communications were largely reactive and without a focus on the result. Besides, there was little interagency coordination in communicating issues that fall within the competence of several public authorities. The situation was particularly dangerous under conditions of Russian information warfare and with the need to communicate on the conflict in eastern Ukraine and reforms in the country. OUR ACTIVITIES: • Introduction of a strategic communications function in pilot authorities; • Introduction of a pilot system of interagency coordination of communications; • Improvement of efficiency of current communications and implementation of special projects. PROJECT: REFORM OF GOVERNMENT COMMUNICATIONS: INTRODUCING STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS, TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT TO THE UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT AGENCIES The objective of the project was to improve national communications in the short term (during the project) through horizontal cooperation, proficiency enhancement, analytical and resource support of public agencies, implementation of special projects, etc. Additionally, using the example of some agencies and activities, the project demonstrated the new standards of public communications, which can be a foundation for the comprehensive reform of public communications at the central and regional levels. ACHIEVEMENTS: • Trainedmorethan50spokespeopleinkeygovernmentpressservicestobebetter communicators. • Developed a system of values, competencies and effectiveness assessment of spokespeople., HR projects to improve efficiency of spokespeople. • Increased public confidence in many agencies, e.g. in the Armed Forces and decreased the number of negative coverage about the Armed Forces in mass media from 61.8% in February 2015 to 4% in June 2015.
  9. 9. PROJECT:GOV.COMMS.UA PROJECT BY STRATCOM GROUP AT UCMC The project aims to enhance the communications capacity of Ukraine as a state focusing on the two critical institutions with the high impact and potential – the Parliament of Ukraine and the EU integration Vice Prime Minister’s (VPM) office. Setting up efficient communications in these institutions will both yield immediate results and lay a ground for sustainable strategic communications, contributing to a democratic, inclusive and efficient dialogue of the state with its stakeholders and general public both in Ukraine and abroad. ACHIEVEMENTS: • Introduced a new approach to coordinating Parliament’s communications units catering for better efficiency and absence of overlaps. • Motivated Parliament staff. • First functional and HR-audit of the communications units within the Parliament with restructuring on track for 2017. • Instituted an all-new Twitter and Facebook accounts for Parliament that was noted by the local social media community. Almost 400% more interactions on Twitter and over 250% more interactions on Facebook. • Kick-startedaninternationaloutreachfortheParliament,introducinganEnglish- language newsletter and a contact point for international media. • Carried out a special project of guided tours - more than 650 people visited the Parliament in 2 days. • State program Communicating NATO in Ukraine (2017-2020) developed within Office of Vice Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine. • Identified and set up key communication mechanism with all key donor funded projects related to EU integration. • Preparation of strategic documents on communication regarding EU and Euroatlantic integration. STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS AT THE PRESIDENTIAL ADMINISTRATION OF UKRAINE CHALLENGES: A fundamental change of communication by the Head of State and his Administration with media and civil society is the main challenge for the Strategic Communications team at the Presidential Administration. In other words, our task is to ensure the openness of the President’s Office. OUR ACTIVITIES: • The Presidential Administration is no longer a secret outpost of a privileged few but a place where journalists and opinion leaders are always welcome. For their comfort, the press center has been refurbished with a comfortable media lounge where people can work quietly even after press events, with fast Internet and a cup of coffee for inspiration at hand. • For the first time since independence, art exhibitions open to the public at the Presidential Administration. These changes help bring the country’s top leaders closer to those for whom they ultimately work. • The President of Ukraine and his Administration officials regularly communicate with the media on topics of highest concern to the society. This helps counteract the large amount of Russian propaganda targeting Ukraine.
  10. 10. OUR ACHIEVEMENTS: • Creation and implementation of a new systematic approach to celebrating important anniversaries in Ukraine – • Implementation of more than 20 national information campaigns covering more than 80 million contacts each. • Over7,000averagecitizenswereofferedtheopportunitytovisitthenewlycreated art space “Second Floor ArtCenter” as part of public tours to the Presidential Administration. • Reduction in response time to media inquiries from five down to two days. • Active communication with international media and doubling of unique publications about Ukraine and Presidential interviews. • A major increase in the number of subscribers of APU pages in social media, increase in user activity. DECENTRALIZATION OFFERING BETTER RESULTS AND EFFICIENCY (DOBRE) THE CHALLENGE Arguably, of all the reforms currently faced by Ukraine, decentralization is the one that is most dependent on effective communication. Its success will be mainly determined bythelevelofpublicsupportandengagementinthedecentralizationprocess.Although communicationiscruciallyimportantfordecentralization,atthistimeitistheweakest component of the reform. This shortcoming leads not only to a lack of active support for the reform, but sometimes – to complete opposition to it. PLANNED ACTIVITIES Ukraine Crisis Media Center is a communication partner of Global Communities in the implementation of USAID’s five-year, $50 million Decentralization Offering Better Results and Efficiency (DOBRE) program. DOBRE works in seven target oblasts: Dnipropetrovsk, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kharkiv, Kherson, Kirovohrad, Mykolayiv, and Ternopil. The program will select and provide direct assistance to 75 consolidated communities in these oblasts.
  11. 11. AS A RESULTS OF THE CAMPAIGN IN AUGUST – DECEMBER 2016: • Started development of communications strategy to extend and strengthen decentralization in Ukraine. List of stakeholder groups of decentralization have been defined and analyzed. Guides for focus-groups and in-depth interviews for collection insightsfromkeystakeholdergroupshavebeendeveloped. • DevelopedthemethodologyandlaunchedregularMediaMonitoringondecentralization • In cooperation with the 5th Channel developed and conducted Local Self-governance TV-marathon “Time of Opportunities” devoted to the day of local self-governance which hosted heads of amalgamated communities from different regions of Ukraine, decentralizationexperts,representativesofministries. • Two trainings on decentralization in Dnipro and Ternopil and press-tour to amalgamatedcommunitiesinTernopilhavebeenconductedfor journalists; • To amplify the “demonstration effect” of amalgamated communities UCMC started the project “Communities’ Spokespersons” since the middle of November, 2016 and already conducted six press-briefings in order to promote the amalgamation of other communitiesandcitizens’understandingoftheprocessandtheirroleinit. • ontinues to track the progress of decentralization reform and attract the media attentiontocriticaleventssupportingorcounteractingthedecentralizationprocesses. InthisregardUCMCinitiatedandconductedseveralpress-briefings; • Web-sitepageofDOBREProgram(withintheUCMCweb-site)created andFacebook page launched. REFORMS COMMUNICATION TASKFORCE Since the onset of 2016 UCMC’s communication team faced an unexpected challenge: state officials and key agency staff began shifting away from open communications with the public. This situation is dangerous because by avoiding to discuss unpleasant decisions government jeopardizes credibility of the reforms themselves. To tackle this challenge UCMC has set up a special communication unit, that is set to explain to local and national media the real impact of reforms. The unit worked through: • organizing and moderating issue-led briefings and discussions; • using UCMC website and social networks to disseminate easy (but competent) explanationsoftheissuesandchallengesofthereforms:infographics,longreads, op-eds, comments. • aximum synergy and partnerships with the independent NGOs and independent think-tanks, that were actively involved in planning and implementation of the activities. • maximum feedback from the media in planning and format implementation
  12. 12. Special attention was paid to the energy reform challenges, given massive resistance to the highly needed decisions from the monopolies (private and state-owned), opposition and even some government officials. UCMC reform communication team also followed new budget preparations, clearly explainingtherealimpactontheeducationalandhealthsystemintheseriesofevents/ longreads. This issue is especially important given decentralization challenges. Feedback from the media in the regions, and synergy of the competence in economical and decentralization issues allowed the team to step up into anticorruption activities from the unexpected entry point: local budgets and control of authorities. Our proactive work with the journalists in the regions demonstrates, that local media are highly motivated to cover new challenges, but extremely unprepared to tackle the issue. Thus the UCMC team worked on strengthening local media and creating a long- term network of the motivated outlets. This is especially vital given huge demand on the “open data” and “big data”, created by successful Prozorro case, followed by numerous projects. But these mechanisms are far from understanding by non-specialized, general media, that rarely work in economic issues and rely on the public activists in anti-corruption.
  13. 13. ARTS AND CULTURE The main impetus for bringing Arts & Culture to UCMC in May 2015 was a desire to shift the focus from covering war in Ukraine to matters of peace and culture. Arts & Culturefocusesontheprogram“CulturalDiplomacyBetweentheRegionsofUkraine”, aimedatusingmodernartasatooltoboostthedialoguebetweenresidentsofeastand west Ukraine. The objective of the initiative is to draw public attention to cultural and humanitarian issues, to actively involve citizens, and to form an effective long-term national cultural dialogue. In 2016, Arts & Culture projects covered such topical cultural and social issues as decommunization, public spaces, historical reflection, self-definition, contemporary art, cultural diplomacy, museum reform, revitalization and participatory approaches. The geography of the activities focused on Donetsk and Luhansk regions, in particular, the front-line zone and the south of Ukraine. The main challenges stem out of the stereotype that, at a time of war, art and culture is not a priority. Moreover, it is widely believed that people on the frontline do not need any cultural initiatives because they have more important things to think about. Such prejudices, however, only provided additional motivation for the project team to implement their projects. Damaged infrastructure of the frontline cities (transport, hotels, restaurants, etc.) and unfavorable conditions for organizing projects (lack of proper locations, exhibition halls, facilities, etc.) presented further obstacles to project activities. However, UCMC not only achieved its project objectives, but also developed methods of cultural work in the frontline areas and became a medium for other organizations who increasingly take the initiative to work in eastern Ukraine. In addition to an impressive list of implemented projects, UCMC also helped improve communication between local NGOs, activists, cultural workers, public authorities, Ukrainian experts and artists, international diplomats, and journalists. Culture and contemporary art are the best tools to find a way out of the crisis, to rebuild bridges, to overcome negative stereotypes, and are common ground that hold us together. Without waiting for a ceasefire, UCMC’s Arts and Culture march on.
  14. 14. DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS Since Ukraine Crisis Media Center was established, the digital team’s task has been to organize an effective process of delivering information via the Internet. Over an extremely short period of time a number of communication channels were created, including online broadcast, website, and pages in social networks. Since the first days of work, UCMC launched YouTube streaming. For nearly three years every event that takes place at UCMC can be viewed online in two languages - Ukrainian and English. The UCMC website was created within three days in several language versions (currently there are eight of them). The website is constantly changing simultaneously withthedevelopmentoftheorganizationtomeetitsneedsandfullyreflectitsactivities. One of the highlight projects of 2015-2016 was Ukraine Under Attack - a news hub that brought together all the news on Russian aggression in Ukraine. The website worked in two language versions - Ukrainian and English, and was aimed primarily at foreign journalists. Since the earliest days of its activity, UCMC is present on Facebook and Twitter. The English page is one of the best Facebook resources about Ukraine for foreigners. UCMC’s online resources have been the main source of information for foreign journalists at times of aggravation of the situation in Ukraine (MH17crash, Russian invasion of Donbas, Crimea annexation, etc.). AnotherimportantchannelofcommunicationisUCMC’semailnewsletter.Newsletters andrepresentationinsocialnetworksaresegmentedbycategoriesandlanguages-so our followers get information interesting and relevant for them. An important focus of the digital team is media monitoring. We track trends in news andsocialnetworks’moodtorevealinformationthreatsandchallengesandtorespond to them quickly. We work on various forms of presenting information for the best interaction with the audience. Multimedia production develops visual solutions and videos for social networks as well as interactive pages for the website. Multimedia presentation of information helps involve more users and increase UCMC’s Internet audience. An important part of our work is sharing experience. We provide technical support and communications expertise to the newly established regional centers of UCMC. The digital team considers its priorities to be tracking the latest trends, continuous development and finding the most effective solutions in digital communications.
  15. 15. CONTACT US: Address: 2 Khreshchatyk Street, Ukrainian House, European Square, Kyiv, 01001, Ukraine Hotline: +380 50 157 81 59, +380 97 41 22 622 E-Mail: Facebook: UCMC | UaReforms | UCMCF Youtube:UACrisisMediaCenterTwitter:@uacrisis|@ru|@de|@frTwitterUaReforms: @ua | @eng