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Community Relations / Engagement,
With & Without Technology

 

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This section of my web site offers a range of advice and examples regarding community (public, media, volunteer, donors, government, partner, etc.) relations / engagement, both with and without computer and networking technology.

The advice is focused on nonprofit, NGO and government staff (paid employees and volunteer) who aren't the most tech-savvy people in the world, and who don't have intensive training in public or media relations or using tech-related tools but are expected to master these activities as part of their jobs.

This section of my web site is also focused on those who need to think about and explore emerging technologies as part of their outreach efforts, but who need advice written in very human, accessible, non-technical language.

Two documents (Basic Fund-Raising for Small NGOs serving the developing world and Basic Press Outreach for Not-for-Profit and Public Sector Organizations), are written in such a way that it can be used by NGOs working in the developing world who have little access to computer or Internet technologies.

  • Basic Press Outreach for Not-for-Profit and Public Sector Organizations
    Like fund raising, press relations is an ongoing cultivation process. Your agency strategy for press coverage needs to go beyond trying to land one big story -- you want the press to know that you are THE agency to contact whenever they are doing a story on a subject that relates to your mission. These are basic, low-cost/no cost things you can do to generate positive attention from the media.

  • Advice for Taking Photos in the Developing World
    While working in Kabul, Afghanistan, I developed a MS Powerpoint for staff on taking photos in the field. The communications office at this particular initiative relies heavily on all staff, particular Afghan staff, no matter what their job titles, to take photos whenever possible at events and workshops and during project site visits. This is because many staff are prohibited from traveling to certain parts of Afghanistan; international staff are sometimes prohibited from leaving Kabul altogether. This presentation/training touches on both the kinds of photos needed and how to take photos in a culturally-sensitive manner. This presentation is focused on a specific program and a specific country (Afghanistan), but maybe by changing the photos and a bit of text, it could work for you?

  • Questions to Ask for a Major Report from the Developing World
    Most people who write reports about their projects in the developing world rely heavily on field staff to provide information. Often, however, field staff aren't expert report writers, and struggle to provide meaningful, timely information in a coherent written form. Many report writers get around this by interviewing field staff about their work, so that needed information is provided through answers to questions. This method can also build the capacity of field staff to provide written information themselves. This is a list of questions I used to interview staff at an initiative in Afghanistan that was focused on rural projects. I based these questions on previous monthly and quarterly reports, suggestions from donors, the initiatives stated objectives, and my own need for information that could lead to stories in which the press might be interested.

  • Building Staff Capacities to Communicate and to Present
    Marketing and public relations is never just one person's responsibility at an organization, regardless of everyone's job titles; everyone at an organization will interact with other staff, partner organizations, potential supporters and the general public at some point. Therefore, everyone needs to be able to talk or to write clearly about his or her own work and that of the organization overall. This new resource describes various activities I undertook to improve the communication capacities of Afghan government staff. This resource links to various slide presentations and materials used for this endeavor in Afghanistan that can be adapted by others in different countries and situations. Included is a workshop on helping women in strict relgious cultures to cultivate their presentation and public speaking skills, a workshop and tip sheet to help staff write better reports, and a slide presentation to help staff take photos in the field that will serve a variety of communications and reporting purposes.

 


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