Thursday, April 26, 2007

PSC Skills Build Workshop updates

April 21 - Nonprofit NGO PR and Outreach

This workshop focused on the various concepts surrounding PR and outreach campaigns used by nonprofit NGOs to garner support and participation for their events and projects. The reasons for necessity, the different forms that PR and outreach campaigns take, and the reasons for these different forms were discussed as an introduction to the topic. The workshop continued from this overview into a discussion of planning a strategy for a PR or outreach campaign. The importance thinking your scenario through carefully, and thoroughly adapting to the target audience was the tone of this discussion. Knowing yourself, your group’s objectives, your audience, and how to reach your audience with the desired information were the core discussion points. The group then focused on creating effective press releases and media advisories, and discussed how to best attract and communicate with people working in the media. Such skills may prove useful for any groups wishing to broaden the reach of their events and audience appeal.

April 24
An Introduction to Advocacy Techiniques

The fourth workshop in the April Skills Build workshop series focused on using advocacy to influence decision makers and mobilize the public to directly bring about tangible social change. The workshop began with a discussion of the definition of advocacy, and the requisites for an effective advocacy strategy. It then moved on to a more hands-on approach by breaking advocacy down into a series of steps, through the phases of planning an advocacy campaign, involving the development of a concrete issues, defining specific goals and outcomes, data gathering and fundraising. This was followed by an overview of interest analysis of supporters and decision makers as well as of those opposed to the campaign goals. In the implementation phase the project’s execution was discussed, and this included a review of specific tactics, volunteer training, public relations, and community outreach. Strategies for working with the media, and ways to persuade and apply pressure to opponents were introduced. The final steps, the evaluation of campaign effectiveness and monitoring of progress throughout the campaign were included in the final discussion.

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