A Strategy for making media

Whether you are an individual rights advocate, a group or an organisation, this section will take you through the steps involved in creating a strategic plan for making any kind of media as part of a campaign or project. Before beginning, there are three key questions that you need to ask:

1. Do you need to make media to achieve your goals?

Media can be used to increase visibility, raise awareness, impart information and encourage action around a particular issue, but making media also takes time and resources away from the other things you could be doing. Be very clear about what you want to achieve, what changes you want to bring about, and decide if making media can help you do this. This is a crucial starting point for your discussions.

2. How will making media enhance the impacts of your campaign or project?

How can making media help achieve the changes you want to bring about? Perhaps you are trying to communicate with people you can't reach physically, or you want to reach a very wide audience and ask them to take action, or you believe making media will provide the best way to explain or express what you want to say to one specific audience. For example, if the overall strategy of an organisation is to influence policy on climate change, it may be useful to have a sustained, long-term media-making campaign that is directed at specific policy-makers. Such a campaign can run over many years and involve many different activities. Be clear about how you anticipate that making media will contribute to the change you are seeking to bring about.

3. What are you asking people to do?

As a rights advocate or an organisation, what do you want to see happen? Do you want behavioural change in communities? Do you want people to stand up and demand that a law be changed? Do you want an industry to adopt ethical practices? Knowing what actions you are asking for, and of whom, will determine what media formats you should use, the style of your media, the timing of its launch and who should be involved in producing, distributing and promoting it.

Once you have answered these questions for yourself, or within your group or organisation, you can begin creating a strategy for making your own media for your campaign or project. The following sections are not about getting mass media attention for your campaign or project; they provide simple steps to help you decide what kind of media you should be making or commissioning to create the changes you want to see.

Tips

In 'The Good Campaigns Guide' Tess Kingham and Joe Coe suggest an AIDA formula for making media with impact: 

A

Attract attention

People are flooded with information. Unless your message can attract attention in the first place, you will be unable to achieve anything with it.

 

I

Generate interest

Get your audience to relate to and care about your message or issue.

 

D

Encourage a desire to respond

People may have heard about your issue – but you want them to do something about it. Your communication needs to motivate and persuade them to act by convincing them that what you say is true and important.

 

A

Prompt action

Recommend a clear, specific action and be sure it is something your audiences feel they are able to do.

 

Source: Adapted from: Kingham, T. & Coe, J. (2005) The Good Campaigns Guide: Campaigning for Impact, NCVO Publications, London.


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