Workshop training focuses on reaching key audiences with forest-related messaging

©FAO/Detty Saluling28 September 2018, Bandung, Indonesia - Successful communication requires carefully developed messaging that ‘speaks’ clearly and directly to the most important target audiences, specialists in forest-related outreach explained during a training workshop for the Asia-Pacific Forest Communicators Network.

Twenty-two participants from eight countries are participating in this interactive workshop organized by FAO and The Centre for People and Forests (RECOFTC) in Bandung, Indonesia, with generous financial support from Austria and Finland. The workshop, ‘Getting the message across: Communication strategies for the digital age’, was designed to boost regional learning and to encourage knowledge sharing while providing state-of-the-art training in forest communications.

“Besides reaching decision-makers, it is helpful for communicators to identify and influence thought leaders and champions who are trusted in their communities, in order to effectively spread messaging,” explained Kai Lintunen, Head of International Communications for the Finnish Forest Association and Leader of the UNECE-FAO Forest Communicators Network. “Messaging should be positive, credible, relevant, clear and brief and expressed in language accessible to the audience. This can be especially important in reaching new audiences outside the forestry sector. Offer solutions, not problems.”

Maria De Cristofaro, Forestry Officer, Outreach and Capacity Building at FAO, described the importance of ensuring that gender is taken into account when formulating communication strategies and emphasized that gender equality needs to be addressed at the early stages in order to maximise outreach.

Hands-on training sessions allow workshop participants to practice new skills in effective communication, including break-out groups that ask participants to develop interview questions and answers based on forestry-related scenarios.

According to the Acting Strategic Communication Manager of RECOFTC and the Leader of the Asia-Pacific Forest Communicators Network, Detty Saluling, “Forests in the Asia-Pacific play a significant role in global social and economic development, including climate change and other key forestry challenges. It is important that forest communicators and practitioners in the region are equipped with up-to-date communication skills and tools and a strong network to effectively contribute to forestry programmes and priorities such as sustainable forests management, climate change mitigation and adaption, curbing illegal logging and forests fires, etc.”

last updated:  Tuesday, November 13, 2018