With fake news and social media trolling now firmly part of the everyday media landscape, a growing challenge for human rights groups is to develop new and effective ways to communicate with journalists and with the community.

This challenge was the starting point for a media and communications workshop with the Commission of Human Rights of the Philippines, held in Quezon City from 14-16 February 2018.

A group of 24 senior managers and staff from across the Commission took part in the two-day program that encouraged frank discussions about the difficulties of communicating in an environment where human rights have increasingly been framed as a barrier to safe communities

James led a series of discussions and practical activities focused on:

  • Translating human rights into plain language
  • Communicating with shared values
  • Using storytelling to connect people to ideas, emotions and action
  • Developing campaign goals, messages and tactics.

The workshop also looked at different ways to engage audiences on the Commission’s social media platforms, as well as strategies for responding to a media crisis.

In addition, there were small group sessions for staff of the Commission’s strategic communications team on writing for the media and on digital storytelling.

“The discussions gave me new perspectives on how to deal with social media comments from trolls, how to combat fake news and how to encourage support from netizens.”