IMG_00882015 | Minority Rights Group

The Drama, Diversity and Development programme uses culture to promote diversity and challenge discrimination against minorities in Southern Mediterranean countries. In 2015, it provides grants to seven street theatre groups to create plays and performances to raise awareness of the role of culture in social cohesion.

In February 2015, Minority Rights Group organized a set of workshops for grantees to gain the competences and skills needed for the street theatre projects, including a half-day training on communications delivered by ON:SUBJECT.

The Training

The purpose of the training was to help participants create draft communications plans for their projects, including activities to increase their visibility, use social media and attract audiences to their performances. It was delivered in two interactive sessions:

09:00-11:00 Communications Planning: Context, Objectives and Audiences

In this session, we talk about the role of communications in making our projects a success; introduce a communications plan template to structure our work and review challenges and opportunities we are facing. Finally, we brainstorm objectives and audiences for our projects.

11:30-13:30 Moving towards Action: Channels, Timelines and Agreements

In this session, we have a deeper look at our target audiences: What would make them want to engage with our projects? How can we reach them? When is a good time to reach out? We also complete our communications plan, review the EU visibility requirements and discuss how we can support each other in making a buzz.

Throughout the workshop, participants worked on their own communications plan by adding elements to their Communications Planning Canvas.

Participant Feedback

We would like to thank you for the training. We learned today the methods of making a communication plan. We particularly like the way you have addressed the methods of communication.

We liked: the material was easy to understand and we were able to connect the project with the communications plan.

I learned today: the emphasis on priorities and the group work. I liked particularly: The communications planning sheet. One idea for next time: longer session.

This communication plan is great to have so that what is in our heads becomes organized on paper. We enjoyed the way everything was broken down into steps and all was very clear.

Observations and Next Steps

As the workshop remained driven by participants’ own project, the energy in the room was high and interactive. With the resulting communications planning canvas as a foundation, participants can now confidently develop their approaches to communication. Some key insights were:

  1. Communications depends on context. Reviewing the existing assets and challenges within each project, we learned that some are successful with media relations while others focus on social media. This presents an opportunity for peer exchange amongst grantees.
  2. Advocacy needs understanding. Many partners presented ambitious (and vague) communications objectives like changing people’s attitude towards minorities. For a successful communications strategy, this requires deeper analysis on values, barriers and calls to action for each target audience.
  3. The art is in doing less, better. While we can always communicate more, target more people and attempt to reach all possible channels, the fact is that there are only limited resources. If we want to communicate well to some people (and actually affect change), we need to consciously refrain from trying to do everything.
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