Wednesday, 6 June 2007

The Finnish EU NGDO platform: how to generate media interest?

To generate media interest about a development issue, it is essential to link up with "friendly" journalists, who will most likely write when you have something going on.

In Finland there is a special mailing list and a web page for journalists who are interested in development issues. It was set up by development people and journalists together. The list distributes articles and events for the subscribers and reaches a large group of actors.

Our Finnish NGDO Platform (Kehys) experiences include:

  • Use simple messages, as journalists are not necessarily experts on these issues, don't use jargon
  • Follow what is in the media and use it to find your angle
  • Prepare different messages for different audiences
  • Timing, don't put it out in July when everything is slow
  • Probably the best news for media is "numbers" or even better a "change in numbers". Eg. the Aidwatch report attracted a lot media attention, but long and complex processes such as the joint EU-Africa strategy are a more difficult task.
For the the 2006 Finnish EU Presidency project, we made extensive use of the media. A young illustrator made fresh images for the NGO campaign on themes like HIV/AIDS, security and migration and development. The Finnish MFA has also used cartoons for a MDG campaign. We used new types of images (cartoons) in campaigns instead of traditional photos.

Story by Anna Pollari, Kehys

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