Communication and its tremendous transforming power in society

April 30, 2019
Communications Colunga Foundation

How can we strengthen and amplify the voices of civil society? More than 150 communicators, directors and representatives of social organizations from Santiago and regions, participated in the successful conversation "Communicate to transform", held at ColungaHUB, which sought to answer this question and delivered the first diagnosis of the sector, which gathers opinions of communicators from 15 Chilean NGOs. 

Presentación "Comunicar para Transformar"

The activity, carried out by the organization Communication and Social Change with the support of Colunga Foundation, brought together various actors like Adriana Delpiano, former Minister of Education and National Assets, former Mayor of the Metropolitan Region and director of foundations, today President of the Education and Citizenship Foundation; Paula Molina Radio Cooperativa journalist; María José Guerrero, Executive Director of the Observatory Against Harassment Chile (OCAC), and the Board Advisor of the Community of Solidarity Organizations (COS), Alejandra Pizarro

Directors' conviction about the importance of communications, the crisis of traditional media, digital transformation and transparency are some of the main challenges that civil society organizations face at the moment of communicating, and that today they were presented to a hundred communicators and executive directors of various citizen organizations.

These findings are part of the diagnosis results "Communicate to Transform: communicational challenges of NGOs and foundations in Chile". The document addresses the main challenges associated with communication in four key areas -organizational, relationship with the media, new technologies and credibility-, and summarizes the most relevant points gathered in two days in which communicators from 15 recognized institutions of the third sector, such as America Solidaria, Greenpeace, Intelligent Citizenship, Colunga Foundation, the Observatory Against Bullying Chile and the Jesuit Migrant Service, among others.

From Fundación Colunga, Arturo Celedón, Executive Director, highlighted the impact that this area can have on civil society: "Communication is a variable of social change, it is to give scope and scope to the changes we are making in the field".

The interesting panel talked about this topic:

"For the third sector, it is essential to transform the entire organization or institution into communication agents", Pointed out the former Minister, Adriana Delpiano. And he also emphasized that organizations must communicate their methodologies and learnings to influence public policies.

From OCAC Chile, María José Guerrero told how she could become a spokesperson for a social movement and learn to communicate effectively"It was a challenge to understand how to communicate, how to go from being a sociologist and speak 'in difficult' to becoming a spokesperson, a representative of an organization and a cause, because in the end we have to communicate for citizenship."

But this communication must be aware and ethical According to the COS Consultant, Alejandra Pizarro: "Communications are a tremendous contribution, but as civil society organizations we have enormous challenges in ethical terms. We must be careful not to fall into communication from pity, but from the recognition of the other as a subject of law.

The discussion also contemplated the look from the media, where journalist Paula Molina highlighted the voices of civil society: "Journalists are constantly looking at their social networks, seeing what issues are installing well beyond the trend. Social networks allow us to get closer and find their voices. " He also commented that the studies produced in the social world are highly valued, and therefore a way of approaching the media: "Civil society and journalists have in common the challenge of false news. When someone who knows delivers a report, an information based on evidence, for us it is gold. "

Study and communication challenges

The diagnosis is thought as a fuel for reflections and actions that take communication from civil society to the next step. It provides a vision of the future, especially in regard to digital transformation, as well as various recommendations for the third sector, executive directors and communicators.

An important challenge highlighted by the study is the measurement of results in the Communications area. In the third sector, there is no standardization as it does exist in retail, and yet it is essential to evaluate the effectiveness of the actions.

With this type of meeting, we are convinced of the need to have a visible civil society, with its own voice and capable of mobilizing citizens to achieve a better quality of life for all. So much call and repercussion had the activity, that we even went trendic topic.

Download the diagnosis here.

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