Communicating the Cause: NGOs, Social Media and the Need to Reach Out

The importance of communication can be well understood by the fact that the most evolved among all mammals, the humans, also have the most sophisticated natural forms of communication. It is this tool of communication that sets us apart from other animals. NGOs have a key role to play in “communicating” the cause which they are working on to the masses. If people don’t know something exists, people will not be able to understand it, use it, promote it or act upon it. At the same time, it is important for the those raising awareness to maintain a two-way channel such that those who may have their queries can get it resolved. For this, the concerned agency may use systems like the conventional 0800 numbers or if rely on the low rates of mobile calling, hoping their target audience gets passionate enough to call them.

This is especially because it is now increasingly recognized that people’s active participation is an essential component of inclusive as well as sustainable development. Any intervention with the intent of achieving a real and sustainable improvement in the living conditions of people is doomed to failure unless the intended beneficiaries are actively involved in the process. Unless people participate in all phases of an intervention, from problem identification to research and implementation of solutions, the likelihood that sustainable change will occur is slim. Communication enables people to go from being recipients of external development interventions to generators of their own development.

To keep people interested, you need to inform them about your work. This could be through any form of communication that modern day technology has introduced. One of the communication strategy is through telephonic conversation, and though one may follow any strategy to reach out to people, one of the most successful strategies to hear back from people is definitely the telephone, a number, any number. Generally, no man is an island, and therefore everybody needs one another; be it in our various homes, organizations or the community as a whole.

Managers and employees need to be effective communicators to achieve positive results. Likewise, any NGO with a good and noble cause needs to remember that by merely working for the cause, it may not always be possible to bring about change. It is of critical importance that those working for a good cause reach out to the their target audience, be it for seeking or receiving information, encouragement,  selling ideas, talking to different levels – to individuals, to groups, to departments and to media,  policy makers and other professionals.

Image courtesy Flickr by C. Campbell over Creative Commons

Aastha Kukreti

Aastha Kukreti holds a Master’s degree in Environment Management and her areas of expertise range from waste management, pollution ecology, green audits, ecofeminism, environmental equity and social justice.

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