Internews Kosova successfully increases NGO capacities on communication through social networks
27 local civil society organization, whose work focuses on gender-based violence and women’s rights, have benefited from Internews Kosova’s training program for building their capacities to communicate with the general public.
The capacity building of these NGOs included basic knowledge of communication through social media, and it also included editorial and technical assistance in order to enhance their presence on social media.
As such, over 40 participants gained knowledge on communicating with the public through social media. In addition, the NGOs received security auditing and visibility of social media by Internews Kosova’s expert of social media.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way NGOs communicate with the general public and their audience. I/KS had concluded that a large number of NGOs had developed direct contact with their audiences, hence ignoring the development of virtual communication and the communication through social media. As a result of the lack of these capacities, small NGOs started to lose contact with their audiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a result, our society has been faced with challenges in the health system, attempts for economic recovery, new internal and external political affairs, and a fragile education system, among others. However, the most overshadowed yet utmost important effect of the COVID-19 pandemic has been its implications in the inequality between genders. Given the traditional gender roles, women have been at risk of losing or have lost their jobs, due to the closure of schools and social services for dependent adults. Consequently, the pandemic highlighted unpaid care and work, which more than often is carried by women. Furthermore, the social norms and the power relations present in our society have undoubtedly placed women in an uncertain economic position. That being said, due to its political instability and the accompanying delays in budget review and allocations, Kosovo was not properly prepared for the emergencies that arose as a result of the spread of the pandemic.
A large number of organizations and shelters that work on tackling gender issues have been subject to the aforementioned challenges that arose as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to limited resources and support, the implementation of the activities of these organizations did not reach the targeted audience and were therefore not as effective as they should have been. More specifically, one of their main necessities has been using social media properly in order to increase their outreach, better interact with constituents, promote their work and success stories and use social media to fundraise and sell products online, depending on the needs of each specific organization.
In this reference, within the framework of the project “Enhancing the Capacities and Resilience of CSOs Furthering Gender Equality amid the COVID-19 Pandemic,” Internews Kosova (I/KS), in close consultation with the Kosovo Women’s Network (KWN), provided tailor made trainings for 27 individual organizations on using social media to increase their outreach, better interact with constituents, promote their work and success stories and use social media to fundraise and sell products online, depending on the needs of each specific organization.
Firstly, I/KS held one joint training for the KWF grant recipients. The aim of the joint training was to introduce all KWF grant recipients to the basic principles of journalism, mass communication and media, prior to continuing with the trainings based on their individual needs.
In this reference, the joint training covered the following topics:
- Journalism principles and mass communication
- Building an organisation’s profile
- Building relationships with media
The training sessions were delivered by Kreshnik Gashi – Editor in Chief at KALLXO.com.
After the joint training was held, each of the 27 KWF grant recipients underwent a one-day training based on their individual needs.
Each training consisted of one shared content framework, which included:
- General information on social media
- Using Facebook as a social media platform for campaigns
- Using Instagram as a social media platform for campaigns
- Using Twitter as a social media platform for campaigns
- Understanding the security features of social media
- Developing and managing control mechanisms on social media
- Practical work: creating social media accounts, building brand on social media, and building a social media presence for all KWF grant recipients that will be subject to the trainings delivered by I/KS
More specifically, the individual training sessions addressed the individual-based needs of the participating KWF grant recipients. As a result, in addition to the aforementioned content framework, the KWF grant recipients received assistance on, but not limited to, creating social media pages, enhancing their existing social media pages to an advanced level and creating various content in support to their campaigns.
The individual training sessions were delivered by Naim Krasniqi – Editor at KALLXO.com, who focused on media communication and communication with the public, and Granit Mavriqi – Social Media Editor at KALLXO.com, who focused on using social media for campaigns, understanding safety mechanisms in social media and developing and managing control mechanisms in social media. Consequently, the last part of the individual training consisted of practical work, during which the I/KS team assisted the participating KWF grant recipient on their needs.
The individual trainings proved to be efficient and beneficial to the KWF grant recipients. As a result of the high number of problems that the KWF grant recipients had been facing prior to holding the individual trainings, the help they received from the I/KS team was of paramount importance to their work. In this reference, the KWF grant recipients provided positive feedback after each individual training that was held.
The direct impact of this activity was visible from the very first days. In the beginning of the activity implementation, the NGOs refreshed their social media pages by changing their profile pictures, enhancing their social media security and their managing forms. In addition, the posts and infographics produced have created a new visibility for these NGOs, thus contributing to the increase of their reach.
Data shows that the number of followers on these NGOs’ social media pages, as well as their online activity, have started to increase.
Internews Kosova will continue the “on-the-job” training program, in order to support the work of these NGOs.