BY ALALEH EGHBALI
(All photos courtesy of HAKAM)
Strengthening Civil Society Advocacy Through Effective Engaging Communication
NGOs and CSOs in the new world are continuously trying to engage audiences and spread their message across the public. It may seem that it is getting harder to reach people and get them involved in civil society missions, but it should be noted means of communication have changed; Social Media has changed the game. It has now become the main source of accessing and spreading news and content.
A large number of NGOs and CSOs in Malaysia still rely on the usual traditional methods of advocacy through press statements and forums. These medium have limited capacity to reach, and a limited opportunity of debate and discussions with audiences. In light of these circumstances, HAKAM has embarked on a social media training journey since 2016, with the first workshop “Leverage on Social Media for Impactful Social Change”. The success of the first workshop, and the positive feedback from the participants, lead to the organization of a second workshop in March 2017.
In the second workshop, facilitated by cilisos.my‘s Lau Chak Onn, members of NGOs and activist gathered to sharpen their skills of content development for social media, and learn how to send their message in the most interesting, informative, and concise way possible.
The workshop was held on 25 March 2017, at 8 Avenue Business Centre. There were 26 participants, from 18 NGOs and corporate representatives, all from various fields of social activism.
The workshop was an interactive experience, with a number of exercises to engage the participants to create content, and evaluate their efficiency and quality and reflect on how social media strategy needs to be adjusted for better reach audiences and spread their message in meaningful and engaging ways.
The workshop aimed to enhance communication skills of NGOs and activists through social media, specifically through developing content that audiences relate to and would consequently spark an interest in the causes and issues raised. Participants were reminded of the limitations of traditional means of creating and spreading content, and how they would limit their reach to audiences, and as a result, reducing their power of attracting people to their causes.
Through a series of exercises, Chak Onn engaged participants to recognize the intricacy of content development, and learn to improve their own material to be more powerful, yet readable and concise.
HAKAM would like to thank cilisos.my’s Lau Chak Onn for the support and understanding he gave for this workshop, and sharing his experience and knowledge with all of us.
HAKAM also thanks all the participants who came to this workshop and made the day productive, entertaining, and educational for everyone.
* List of participating NGOs and businesses in alphabetical order:
- Amnesty International Malaysia
- EduNation Malaysia
- National Human Rights Society (HAKAM)
- Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS)
- Malaysian Centre for Constitutionalism and Human Rights (MCCHR)
- Oriental Hearts and Minds Study Institute (OHMSI)
- Project Liber8
- Projek Layang-Layang
- Rakan Mantin
- Sisters in Islam (SIS)
- Surya Women
- Tindak Malaysia
- Women Association for Development & Innovation (WADI)
- Women’s Aid Organization (WAO)
– Report dated 27 March 2017