“With one aim, as one foundation – promoting Freedom!”
“Freedom means change. Our Foundation is changing and this is our message” began my colleague Daniela Oberstein, International Press Officer at the Communications Department of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) in Berlin. She was addressing the Communication Officers based at FNF’s project offices over a joint call during the global roll-out of our new brand identity a couple of months ago. We realize that only if we change, we will find tomorrow's answers to today's questions. We want to live up to our aspiration as liberal forward thinkers. That is why we have initiated a foundation-wide process that sharpens our messages internally and externally and strengthens our powers of persuasion.
At the Foundation, we take pride in being a creative innovation platform for the promotion of Freedom – not just nominally, but also in practice. With this clear message at the core of our work, supplemented by the launch of our new brand identity, it was of strategic importance to bring together the Communication Officers to learn and create something together. With one aim, as one foundation – promoting Freedom!
K for Campaigns
Twenty of us gathered for a five-day boot camp at the Foundation’s Head Office in Potsdam, Germany to understand the new goals of our communications strategy. The discussions and presentations led by the Communications Department (K) centred around two ongoing campaigns, #FemaleForward and #ClapforCrap. With the immense success of these two online campaigns, the focus was to design similar campaigns in the local context for a global audience.
Designing a blueprint for a global campaign for 2020 on the extremely current topic of disinformation was one task for our group. My colleagues presented various out-of-the-box ideas in several innovative formats - we are super excited about getting started! So be prepared to see some exciting communication products showcasing individuals, organisations and our solutions to combat the twin menaces of disinformation and fake news in most democracies.
We also learnt how to conceptualize and execute a successful online campaign. Brandon Oelofse, Manager and Trainer at RNTC based in The Netherlands moderated the workshop. He shared deep insights into basic elements of an online campaign including how to define your target audience, creating a story, various formats and mediums. The hands-on assignments were helpful in learning these concepts. Brandon specializes in persuasive storytelling and behavior change, which is crucial in the planning phase of any campaign. In one of his presentations, he emphasized, “If you don’t have an emotion in your story, you can’t form a long-lasting memory, forget bringing a change”.
The importance of influencers in communicating our messages also took the center stage. Influencer marketing continues to be a mega-trend across brands worldwide. The Foundation also enjoys a strong influencer network from human rights activists to journalists to liberal politicians. The emphasis on influencer marketing as an effective tool led me to realise that the Regional Office for South Asia in New Delhi can definitely leverage its networks and use influencers more systematically as catalysts in spreading Freedom.
As I return to office after the workshop, I am happy to share my learnings with my colleagues and I am confident that together we will implement these concepts in our daily communication efforts. On this note, I would like to thank the International Academy for Leadership (IAF) and Communications Department in Germany for providing a great avenue to co-learn and spend some incredible time with my colleagues at the mothership.
Vineeti Singh is the Communications Officer at the Regional Office of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) in New Delhi. She recently attended FNF-IAF's leadership program at our Head Office in Potsdam, Germany on Digital Campaign Strategy Boot Camp for Social Changers. In this report, she is sharing her personal thoughts.