Capacity Building: Crisis Communication
In September, FNF Turkey hosted a 3-day program with Lead Facilitator Brandon Oleofse from Media Development Collective, who prepared an intensive but timely program. After everyone had settled in on the arrival day, the team carried out various team-building activities to give the participants the chance to get to know each other. This was an excellent chance for partners to network to build trust and a robust base for future cooperation.
The initial training day focused on identifying groups and situations that might pose a risk to our communities and our work. Participants shared their previous experiences in managing crises and worked in groups to better understand the profiles of their stakeholders and influencers. Understanding their perspective gave participants a chance better to calibrate their political communication strategies, craft key messages, and develop counter-narratives to create change.
On the second training day, methods of communication in a crisis were discussed. With the help of Brandon Oelofse’s facilitation, the participants could understand the problems they might face and the possibilities they have in preparing for these scenarios. Afterwards, they went into crisis simulation groups where they would decide on strategies to manage an actual crisis. During the reflection, they understood what they should be focusing on when there is a crisis at hand.
Participants reflected on what they had learned during the last three days on the final training day. Everyone had their final remarks and discussed the applicability to the Turkish context. Participants also shared their existing crisis strategies and discussed possible future crises. Finally, the group decided on their next steps within their organisations and agreed on establishing a shared crisis communication beyond the borders of their organisations to come up with a typical response for the possible threats lying ahead.
Summing up, the participants had the chance to share their mutual experience of dealing with crisis and crisis communication throughout the 3-day program. They learned from each other’s strategies and received valuable input to improve their existing strategy. Furthermore, they understood how to craft a key message and build up a counter-narrative when necessary. Next to the learnings of the intense program, they had the chance to network with other actors in civil society and exchange experiences in a setting far away from their daily business.