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Communicate about your work

3 minutes

Communication is the way to spread the word about your work and connect with others to help build momentum.

A media and communications plan will help you to prepare effective and consistent key messages about your work and the prevention of violence against women, target them to the most relevant people and ensure that you use the most appropriate channel to deliver your message.

Below are some ideas on what to think about when you make your plan.

Objectives

At the start of planning, outline your key communications objectives (no more than five).

What are you trying to achieve? They should be short, easy to understand, achievable and measurable. Here are some examples of possible objectives: 

  • Generate 100 successful enrolments in the new gender equity training program for workplaces. 
  • Let 200 relevant stakeholders know that the new gender equality resource is ready. 
  • Produce two articles for the website and achieve 500 page views. 

Audience

It is tempting to try to reach everyone when promoting a new piece of work but this may not be realistic from a time, resources or media interest point of view.

Select a primary target audience and be sensitive to their needs, interests and habits. This target audience should be aligned with the key stakeholders you have already identified for your prevention work. 

Examples of possible target audiences are: 

  • staff and leaders in your own organisation or in partner organisations 
  • staff in your key settings or participating in program activities (for example, workplaces, schools, broader community) 
  • researchers and academics in gender and violence against women. 

Key messages

Draft up to 10 phrases based on your key objectives. Spell out what needs to be said to each target audience.

Key messages need to be clear, brief, appropriate and easily understood by each target audience. 

Some examples of possible key messages: 

  • Violence against women and their children is a complex social problem, but one that can be prevented. 
  • While there is no single cause of violence against women, current evidence tells us that it is more likely to occur where gender inequality is ingrained in social, cultural and organisational structures and practices. 
  • Everyone has a role in preventing violence against women by challenging gender stereotypes and calling out sexism. 
Stylised illustration of objects that symbolise the media such as a computer, a phone, a radio, an email, a tablet, a remote control.

Methods

A media and communications plan can have many different elements depending on the objectives, target audience, time, resources and budget. The below covers some of the most widely used communications methods. 

Media release

A media release is a good way to notify journalists about your work. The aim of a media release is that a journalist will pick up the story and write an article about it.

Before you write a media release make sure there is something newsworthy about it, such as an announcement about a new program. 

Social media

Social media refers to platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn that let users create and share content and participate in an online dialogue with anyone else on the platform.  

Social media can be a great way to communicate with people interested in your cause. It is fast, easy to use and can help build lots of interest and momentum.  

Each platform has a unique style, language and etiquette. To make your content ring true for the platform, you should research the differences between platforms and conform to their protocols. 

E-newsletters

An e-newsletter is usually called an electronic direct mail, eDM or just ‘newsletter’. The upside is it is a quick and easy way to communicate with a large group of people. The downside is that most people get a lot of email and cutting through the ‘noise’ can be difficult. 

Events

Having an event can be a good way to engage with a very targeted audience and to celebrate an important achievement. However, events are generally expensive, time-consuming to organise and there are no guarantees that people will attend.

Here are some tips for producing a successful event: 

  • Be clear about your purpose and audience for the event – is the aim to raise awareness, advocate or gain support for your program or further work?  
  • Carefully consider who you will invite to speak at your event and include women as speakers, leaders and/or experts. Work towards shifting gender inequality by elevating women’s voices and experiences. 
  • Ensure that family violence and sexual assault support service information, such as www.1800respect.org.au, is available.  
  • Make sure the venue and presentation are accessible with disabled access, enough space for people who use wheelchairs, chairs for people who may prefer to sit, disabled toilets and an inclusive presentation style. 

Communications planning and strategy

Designing good communications for everyone