Communicators in development cooperation, speak to your teams about principles, not just tools!

You want your communications efforts to have an impact. So engage more with your audience.

Credibility, engagement, relatability and continuity are widely viewed as critical factors for impactful communications today — in general, not just for social media.

Here’s a reflection on how applying these principles will make a difference to your efforts:

🤜  Credibility

You’ll lose out on credibility when you only communicate positive details about your project. Same with when you use only one hundred percent favorable testimonials or when you quote only your own sources. That simply won’t crack it with your typical target groups in development cooperation. Basically, everyone is media-savvy nowadays. People easily see through your helpless attempts to shine a purely positive light on your project. This is a way consumer advertising operates, not open-minded PR in international cooperation.

Giving a balanced view of your project and its initiatives becomes especially important once your team decides they want to move beyond simply relaying information towards convincing audiences to take some sort of action.

🤜  Engagement

Engagement means that you join the conservations of others. Quote and comment on other people’s information. Give a valuable professional reflection and do it in a meaningful and caring way. Say something that reflects on what they have to offer. Show some empathy even. Not just fluff like “Great initiative”, but positively critical and appreciative of the content.

🤜  Relatability

Relatability can mean showing that your organization is operated by staff. People, who have human sides to them. Feature their faces and don’t aim to make them look perfect. In terms of stories show your ups and downs, your failures as well as successes. Ideally, be a mensch.

🤜  Continuity

Continuity means that you produce regularly, constantly delivering more on your set value proposition angle. You take care of your online relationships by being present and available when someone is looking for you. Pretty much as you would do in the “physical world” (IRL)