was something that activists from civil society organisations of Dnipro, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia and the cities of these oblasts were trying to learn. The training course on mastering the tools for effective communication and public relations gathered more than 50 participants. The training was held within the project “Support of the territorial communities of Ukraine due to the increase in the number of internally displaced persons” and is one of the German Government “Initiatives of the Infrastructure Programme for Ukraine” implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft f?r Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. The initiatives are aimed at helping the areas with the highest number of internally displaced persons, namely: Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporizhzhia Oblasts.
The agenda of two two-day workshops – led by IRMI experts – integrated the basic concepts of PR with the practical skills: stage-planning, implementation, tools, analysis and output assessment.
The participants noted it was important to discuss the principles and approaches public relations are based on. How PR is different from other communicative practices like marketing, advertising and propaganda, the aims that are behind each practice and the tools being applied.
The case studies, role plays and practical assignments helped the participants refine their communication skills. As, for instance, the “elevator pitch” game, where the task is to present your idea in a few minutes while the elevator is moving and to be able to hook up the person you are presenting to. How do you create target audience-oriented messages? How do you ask questions and answer them? How do you hold a press conference and how do you participate in one? How do you give an interview? How do you build a communication strategy, based on research and target audience segmentation? How do you design an effective low-budget campaigns? A relevant issue for CSOs with a tight budget. Addressing those questions via assignments completion and, what is even more important, discussing them together, sent the participants off to reassessment of their own work.
I liked the workshop for its minimum theory and maximum relevant practice. Interactive assignments stimulated logical thinking and imagination. It was interesting to work in groups. I learned lots of new useful things! – said Olga Volynska, Head of media for Sich Human Rights Group.