Internet notebook about my work: deep listening to facilitate positive change


Saturday, 19 November 2011

Best practices in communicating forests

Know your audience – Is your message packaged appropriately? This was one of the lessons learned by foresters. The theme of one of the plenary sessions of the Asia Pacific Forestry Week was communicating forests. The organizers had agreed to let me do an interactive session instead of yet another presentation. The two hundred people in the room turned their chairs around and started animated conversations around: What are good examples of communications that support positive change? What are do’s and don’ts? This is what they came up with.

Lessons learned
*Targeting people who will respond to your message
*Simple message
*Don’t let foresters communicate – well, not all the time
*Forest media specialists are in short supply
*Media is a participatory process

*Start young
*Have a clear goal and get stakeholders onboard
*Know your audience – Is your message packaged appropriately?
*Tailor your message for your audience and keep it simple
*Be creative
*Be positive where possible
*Offer solutions where possible
*Make technical information practical
*Get your hands dirty - make sure we capture what is happening on the ground and at the community level
*Choose your spokesperson carefully
*Get to know the media (personal contact)

*Don’t push
*Try not to be exclusive
*Keep your enemies list as small as possible
*Don’t just summarize – Focus
*Don’t tamper with the drivers of change?
*Don't threaten

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