Communication specialists in the LA system discussed the value of the legal aid system in Ukraine and how to build the nature of communication with different target audiences on their basis, during two-day training in the capital, conducted with the support of the project Quality and Accessible Legal Aid in Ukraine.
The event was held on June 30 and July 1 in Kyiv for communication specialists of the legal aid regional centres and the Legal Aid Coordination Centre. The training was conducted by Communication and Media Relations Expert Tetiana Troshchynska and project experts Ivanna Ibragimova and Oleksandra Tselishcheva. Larysa Denysenko, lawyer, writer, radio presenter and author of the program Gene of Justice of Hromadske Radio, addressing different issues of providing LA in Ukraine, visited one of the training sessions.
The training aimed, on the one hand, at promoting the development of the network of communication specialists in the system, formation of a common understanding of the values of the legal aid system. On the other hand, discussions, in the circle of colleagues, of the components of communication work and strategic communication in the LA system: the “role” of a communication specialist and his “environment”, influence factors of influence of communication, communicative barriers and the role of perception, formation of key messages and work with different, including “sensitive”, target audiences. The methods of work with communication “tools”, news and press releases, practical tips on how to engage the media for further cooperation, etc. were paid equal attention.
“The main values of the LA system are trust, partnership and transparency. They are crucial for the nature of communications, and the role of communicators themselves in the system is key, because it depends on them how timely and qualitatively its clients, participants and partners will be informed about the system. In this case, the LA system should speak with one accord», said Director of the Coordination Centre Andrii Vyshnevskyi.
Manager of the project Quality and Accessible Legal Aid in Ukraine Oksana Kikot also emphasized the importance of the communication direction and noted that the project aims at supporting the development of the information and communication capacity of the LA system and this is one of its three components. In particular, she noted that the project worked systematically in this critical area for the system, including expert assistance in determining the competencies and functions of communicators, supporting the competitive selection to find communication specialists, as well as their further training and involvement in the development and implementation of the communication strategy of the LA system.
During both training days, the communication specialists of the regional centres jointly with the Coordination Centre colleagues worked in the format of working groups, did practical exercises, studied various aspects of the work of the communication specialist, his activities both externally and within the system, as well as acquainted themselves with the basics of strategic communication.
The trainers stressed that for effective communication of the legal aid system, it is important to know how easily the information about it is understood and how it meets the expectations and needs of target audiences. “Public opinion is shaped by expectations of the audience”, assured communication expert, journalist Tetiana Troshchynska. Therefore, it is important for communication specialists to create high-quality and easily understood information messages and materials, to establish long-term partnerships with the media.
Larysa Denysenko, the author and host of the “Gene of Justice”, gave practical advice on working with speakers, contemplating “scenarios” of public speeches, selection of current topics for the third cycle of the radio program the “Gene of Justice”, among which, in her opinion, social issues, fight against violence and discrimination, practice of solving specific problems of migrants, headline-hitting stories of legal protection.
This event is the first on in a series of trainings aimed at strengthening the communication direction of the LA system, as well as the development of strategic planning in the system of legal aid, and is scheduled for 2016 with the support of the project. It is worth recalling that in 2015, according to the methodology developed by the project, relevant specialists were selected to the regional centres, with the selection still on-going.