Media is a powerful tool we can use to communicate our messages and advance our work as civil society organisations. Our media landscape is, however, largely dominated by the mass media, produced for, and in pursuit of profit. It reflects certain interests. Often it handles issues in a sensational way. It is vital that we produce our own media as CSOs; it offers us the opportunity to offer alternative perspectives and information, promoting a better, more just world.
This tool offers suggestions for both experienced and inexperienced people on media production processes and practicalities. The site makes the connection between producing your media and organisational planning and budgeting, skills development, and using service providers.
On the toolkit you will find information about:
Producing your own media:the basics
We answer the question “what is media?” and why it is important for civil society organisations to think about how they can use media to advance their work. We also look at what it takes to produce effective media.
Planning a media strategy
Many organisations produce media in an ad hoc way. Whilst you can produce effective one-off media this way, we recommend a carefully thought-out plan. This will help you become more effective. In this section we look at what a media strategy is, and we also look at resources and budget issues, as well as deadlines, distribution and evaluation of media.
When you produce your own media you open up an ideal opportunity to develop skills in your organisation. We offer some ideas on how to go about this, and look at writing, editing and proof-reading, photography, drawing and cartoons, and design and layout.
Design and layout basics
You can have the most powerful message in the world but if it is hard to read then it will be ineffective. In this section we explain what design and layout are, and go on to offer guidance around some of the different elements of design.
Quick message media
This kind of media is great fun to produce, but to be effective requires careful thought. We offer tips around producing badges, stickers, posters, banners, graffiti, symbols, e-mail and T-shirts.
Newsletters can be powerful communication tools for any organisation. Newsletters should be alive, interesting and informative. We offer substantial guidelines on newsletters from planning through to writing, editing, distributing and evaluating your newsletter.
Organisations use pamphlets as organising tools, as well as for other reasons, like offering information. We look at the process of producing an effective pamphlet from planning through to writing, research, editing, distributing and evaluating your pamphlet.
Powerful presentations have clear key objectives and careful preparation. We look at guidelines on this, including ideas for introductions and conclusions, do’s and don’ts, handouts, editing, design and layout and other tips.
Dealing with service providers
Sometimes organisations have to deal with outside service providers. In this section we offer tips on how to deal with such service providers. We include writers, editors and proof-readers, photographers, artists, design and layout artists, printing reproduction, printers and print reps, as well as distributors.
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