There are very few, if any, objectives that can be achieved without communications. Prioritizing the most critical areas to spend our resources was part of the recent annual meet of ICRISAT communication specialists.
Some areas of strategizing included:
Approaches to achieve better integration of communications into research projects. Some large projects have now incorporated communications especially to achieve adoption of technologies among farmers as well as developing consumer markets for new end products especially with millets.
Targeting corporate communications more to fundraising priorities was focused on and key strategies developed to achieve this. The country strategies will be one key area to communicate, developing Big Ideas for each country. It was also seen as important to develop ICRISAT’s position (relevance and contributions) on key global issues like climate change and nutrition.
Alignment and better support between communications in the regions and headquarters was a key agenda item identifying joint priorities and ways to support the regions’ communication efforts.
Methods to capture achievements were discussed including scientific advancements as well as impacts (with data to back up claims) and human interest stories that turn the data into reality and link with the Sustainable Development Goals.
Short impactful videos will continue to be used more in communications and plans were developed. A video production training was conducted by Tony Chapman, Consultant.
Methods for tracking the impact of communications efforts were also further developed.
Many other topics were also covered and important insights on strategic communications were shared by Dr David Bergvinson Director General, Dr Peter Carberry Deputy Director General-Research, and representatives from all the research programs.
The Communications Meet-2016 was held at ICRISAT-India, during 25-27 January.