NDC-Yemen communications strategy


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Communication Strategy for the National Dialogue Conference Yemen - April-July2013

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NDC-Yemen communications strategy

  2. 2. The time has come for us to leave behind anarchy and violence. Each citizen is responsible and has the right to participate in the making of the future of Yemen; for the renewed hope for a better nation, promising opportunities and collective wellbeing. The road is long, but together we can succeed. -Mission statement, National Dialogue Conference (NDC)
  3. 3. Executive summary: Yemen has reached a significant milestone in its political transition with the launch of the National Dialogue Conference on 18 March 2011 as outlined in the ‘Transition Agreement’ (Agreement on the implementation mechanism for the transition process in Yemen in accordance with the initiative of the Gulf Cooperation Council) signed in Riyadh by both sides on 23 November 2011.During the national dialogue process, it will be critical to foster an all inclusive, meaningful and participatory process as envisioned by the preparatory work of the Technical Committee in setting forth the structure and organization of the Conference. As noted in the final report of the Committee, a communications and outreach strategy will be important to ensure public participation and engagement in this process. The most pressing mandate for the National Dialogue Secretariat communications and outreach team currently is to implement a strategy for the immediate mid-term phase of the National Dialogue Conference as a means to ensure confidence and encourage participation among the citizens of Yemen. Based on seed money from the UN peace building fund, UNDP provided support during the run-up to the National Dialogue Conference, which included the logo design and media product development for the Technical Committee. The development of a clear, concise and strategic communication and education program to define both citizen and government roles during this transition will have to be responsive and iterative during the transitional process. The focus of this support is to provide a conducive enabling environment for the National Dialogue, which takes into account the differences in opinion in resolving the issues of the past, and current debates about the future of Yemen. Essential to ensuring this mandate is providing citizens with a participation/feedback mechanism through a variety of channels to not only build confidence among the public during this period but also engage and encourage citizens to take ownership of the reforms being formulated. These reforms will be a key component of ensuring success of the National Dialogue Conference and successive transition components. The success of the NDC will rely on how participatory and transparent the processes are that lead to the formulation and implementation of the reforms outlined by the Transition Agreement. Mid-term communications plan April – July 2013
  4. 4. Key highlights from launch communication activities (March – April 2013): The launch strategy objective was to generate general awareness of the NDC, its inclusiveness, values and significance for the future of the country and its people leading up to the conference launch day. Public information materials and messaging through traditional mainstream media as well as some grassroots person-to-person outreach tactics were initiated. The specifics include: Mass Awareness: •6 radio flashes broadcast by 12 local radio stations •6 television clips broadcasted by 11 Yemeni television channels •National outdoor campaign covering, 16,000 m2 of billboards, lamp posts and outdoor banners in two rounds produced by NDC Secretariat •Online advertising campaign across 21,000 Computer in 1173 Internet Café targeting 200,000 youth & students •Launch of the NDC official website with daily updates – average 1600 daily unique hits. – Rank: 22 among Yemeni websites •Development of NDC social media platforms – Facebook (14,000+ likes), Twitter (1,027 followers) and YouTube Channel •Partnership agreements with Ministries of Information, Endowment (mosques), Sports and Youth, Education and Human Rights NDC March 18, 2013 Launch Ceremony: •NDC identity and visibility materials in the venue of official opening ceremony (roll-ups, banners, flags etc.) •NDC opening song (video) •Children message to the delegates (video) •Delegates handouts (NDC kit) •Live coverage by 5 Yemen based television channels and 3 Pan-Arab channels NDC March 19, 2013 Launch of Plenary Sessions •NDC identity and visibility materials in the venue of official opening ceremony (roll-ups, banners, flags etc.) •Press Kit and Guide •Launch of the media center •Live Coverage by 5 Yemeni Channels and 3 Pan-Arab (Aljazeera Live – full coverage & Alarabiya and Sky News Arabia – selective sessions) The launch of communications activities lay the foundation for the implementation of the Mid-term strategy which provides the context for the dialogue process - bringing to the forefront the 13 core issues being discussed (by way of the 9 working groups) and providing the tools for meaningful engagement and community participation. Mid-term communications plan April – July 2013
  5. 5. Key insights to date: During this National Dialogue period, issue-specific and targeted messaging will be key to providing the NDC with necessary legitimacy. Glossing over issues with generic messaging will undoubtedly allow openings for detractors to criticize the process by capitalizing on the NDC non-specific messaging (e.g. Southern rejection to the generic outdoors in the first round was beyond 70% of the NDC publicity materials, while with southern-focused messaging, the rate dropped to only 27% of all materials across the south. This represents 5.5% of the overall campaign materials produced to date). The next phase will address these issues by segmenting the messaging and producing regional specific communications tactics to address these gaps. During the launch phase there were numerous timing and resources (bodies and dollars) constraints. That said, the launch communication activities were successfully deployed despite the circumstances. The public information campaign was centered on a passive marketing framework. Passive marketing seeks to simply state messages, selling ideas as products, while forgoing engaging the public directly in producing and contributing to an end outcome. This must be reformed for the mid-term period. In order for the next phase to effectively focus on public education and trigger participation during the working group phase of the National Dialogue Conference, a focus on generating accurate, insightful and useful content in conjunction with the creation of feedback mechanisms to facilitate participation is critical. From a content generation perspective: •Making the rules and the procedures of NDC understandable to all Yemenis - segmentation of audience by region & dialect •Introduce an ongoing editorial around the NDC 13 core issues – simplified content •Introduce an ongoing editorial on the potential outcomes (i.e. Federalism, parliamentary system vs.. presidential system, etc.) Moving forward the key challenges for the team are: 1.Geographical with difficult access to rural areas 2.Yemenis access to various media outlets are varied (urban vs. rural media access) 3.Having the required resources necessary to monitor and create ongoing accurate and informative content 4.The budget required to build multi-faceted engagement platforms Mid-term communications plan April – July 2013 KEY FACTS • 62% of Yemenis are illiterate • 83% of Yemenis consider television as their main news source • 52% Mobile phone penetration (11.7 million) • 2% Online penetration (550,000 connections)
  6. 6. Mid-term Strategic Communication Objectives: 1.Education and Mobilization Continue to generate awareness of the NDC as a whole and the ongoing education of the dialogue mechanics. The critical communication mandates for the mid-term will be providing broad access to the issues being discussed and the ways for key stakeholders to meaningfully engage in the process – mobilizing the discussions. 2. Informing and Outreach To provide the ongoing and timely flow of accurate information for all key stakeholders in the continual effort to guide through the NDC process, comprehend the issues being tabled and importantly, targeted outreach initiatives to facilitate relevant messaging and participation. 3. Participation and Engagement Develop multiple platforms (analogue, digital and face-to-face means) for the genuine exchange of ideas and feedback per key stakeholder groups. The feedback loop is essential in building confidence amongst key stakeholders of the overall process and encourage ownership of the reforms being formulated. Mid-term communications plan April – July 2013
  7. 7. Key stakeholders to engage 1. Public representative of all groups aged 15 years and above with particular focus on youth, women, marginalized, minorities, and the less-literate population in rural areas. 2. Delegates to the NDC with particular focus on independent constituencies: youth, civil society organizations and women. 3. Media covering the NDC. Mid-term communications plan April – July 2013 • Geographical representation of all Governorates • Demographical representation • Political representation inclusive of all parties
  8. 8. Guiding Strategic Communication Principles 1. Inclusiveness 2. National ownership 3. Participatory and community minded 4. Tangible and accessible information speaking to real outcomes 5. Transparency in communicating all aspects of the NDC process 6. Neutrality vis-à-vis issues on the agenda Mid-term communications plan April – July 2013
  9. 9. Mid-term strategic communication approach The overall mid-term approach is to promote the acceptance of diversity and differences in views and participants. The managing of content and messaging to create an inviting environment for dialogue is key in ensuring the effective participation of all identified key stakeholders through the various channels for engagement and public participation. 1. Education and Mobilization •Urban centres: Continued mass media vehicles to reach majority of Yemenis and keep the NDC mandate top of mind. Leveraging the main platforms for delivering messages to the Yemeni public are television, radio, print, outdoor advertising, SMS and web-based social platforms and media. The delivery platforms are listed in order of importance in achieving mass public reach. •Rural centres: While the urban populations have readily available access to the above mass media vehicles, rural populations must rely mainly on TV and radio; and also on face-to-face communications at mosques, government buildings, local meetings and social gatherings. Meeting these challenges requires producing and using culturally relevant means to penetrate the rural areas. •All messaging should not only continue to educate and inform the Yemeni public but motivate them to participate in the process and dialogue. 2. Informing and Outreach •Develop original content and editorial based content for mass consumption (e.g. Radio & TV programming and NDC website) •Distribution of content and creation of segment focused outreach initiatives revolving around the core issues being discussed by the 9 working groups. The key intent of these initiatives is to provide both the knowledge and associated mechanisms to participate in a meaningful manner – weaving the public’s voice and actions into the overall process. •Develop training and programs that educates key interest groups on how best to get involved with and/or report on the NDC activities, the issues being tabled and the impact those issues have on the country. Mid-term communications plan April – July 2013
  10. 10. Mid-term Strategic Communication Approach 3. Participation and Engagement •Participation in the absence of context or knowledge is counter productive to the process. Education & Mobilization and Informing & Outreach activities provide the necessary basis to meaningful dialogue. •Establish and encourage modes of two-way communications between NDC and key stakeholders. The first phase of communications was more generic and focused on creating awareness of NDC. The mid-term plan will move from passive forms of communications to activation and mobilization. •Driving action with participatory based interactions with citizens using analogue , digital and physical means. Mid-term communications plan April – July 2013
  11. 11. Mid-term communications plan April – July 2013 EDUCATION & MOBILIZATION INFORMING & OUTREACH PARTICIPATION & ENGAGEMENT PUBLIC •Radio •Television •Outdoor •Public Transport •Newspaper advertising •Online advertising •Events/Grassroots •Working Group Hearing Sessions (with visibility materials) •NDC Website • Printed materials • TV & Radio editorial programming • NDC online platforms (Website, Social media) • NDC Website • Social media – Facebook, Twitter and YouTube • SMS polling • Dialogue advocate initiative • Dialogue tents INDEPENDENT CONSTIUIENCIES Youth •NDC online platforms (Website, Social media) •Communication & media capacity building Youth •Web program •Youth competition •Workshops/Forums/focus groups Women •NDC online platforms (Website, Social media) •Communication & media capacity building Women •Workshops/Forums/focus groups CSOs •NDC online platforms (Website, Social media) •Communication & media capacity building CSOs •Workshops/Forums/focus groups LOCAL MEDIA • Training & orientation workshops on NDC issues and processes • Virtual news rooms via NDC website • World Press Freedom Day (3rd of May) activity (with local & international partners) • National Forum: Media in the Future Yemen (with the Syndicate and local media development NGOs) Mid-term strategic communication approach The following chart provides an overall snapshot of the key activities to be deployed across each of the strategic communication objectives. The pages following provides the specifics and details per executional vehicle.
  12. 12. Mid-term communications plan April – July 2013 Working measures for success for the Mid-term communications phase: Generic Targets: •Maintain the momentum •Reduction of damage of outdoor visibility in the south from 27% to 15% in our third round •300,000 entries form the public through different channels by end of July 2013 •Expanded coverage to all demographic and geographic entities Specific Targets: •News articles in Arabic and English: 1600 piece •Pictures: 2000 by end of July •Videos uploaded and shared: 620 video clips by end of July •Website: Now ranked 22  among10 websites in Yemen by end of May (NDC web specific metrics to follow) •Facebook: Now 14K  50K by July •Twitter: Now 1,027 followers  4,000 by end of July •Live Broadcast of plenaries: 400 hours by end of July
  13. 13. www.ndc.ye www.facebook.com/ndc.ye www.twitter.com/ndcye www.youtube.com/ndcye Mid-term communications plan April – July 2013