Starting YLNM's Comms Working Group

HR Hannibal Rhoades Public Seen by 472

The way we communicate can be a powerful tool for advocacy and changing mindsets, providing we are strategic in the way we do it.

This working group is tasked with:

a) Reviewing and analysing YLNM's current communications across different platforms.
b) Developing a more coherent, manageable communications strategy for the network that takes into account our key purpose and aims, including supporting YLNM's network members and working for a world beyond extractivism.
c) Overseeing the implementation of this strategy and making changes as necessary.


Hannibal Rhoades Thu 4 May 2017 10:31AM

Hi All, to get us started in this working group, I'd like to give a brief appraisal of where we are in terms of communications in terms of our platforms and how and what we communicate on them at present.

Comms platforms:

-YLNM Website: http://www.yestolifenotomining.org
-YLNM Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/YestoLifeNotoMining/
-YLNM Twitter: https://twitter.com/_YLNM
-YLNM list serv: ylnm@googlegroups.com

Comms user management/CRM systems:

-YLNM Google Group: Contains all YLNM member group representatives and some other members whose organisations are not members, but who find it useful.
-Mailchimp: Used for official mailings and newsletters. Contains all public 'pledge' sign ups from the YLNM website and all YLNM member group representatives (drawn through from Google Groups).

A few notes on what we communicate and how, so far:

-YLNM Website: Used mainly to highlight and share a) positive stories of resistance and victories (written and video), b) useful toolkits for communities and the public, c) campaigns from within the network.

-Facebook and Twitter: Mainly share YLNM focused news; news and campaigns from YLNM's members; stories of success and resistance from the YLNM website.

-YLNM List serv: used to share YLNM news; YLNM 'round-ups' of stories of success and resistance; solidarity initiatives e.g. letter sign ons, petitions; funding opportunities; questions between network members.

N.B. YLNM does not generate most of the news and toolkits it shares. These mainly come from either YLNM members or third-party news sites.

This whole system is up-for-grabs, and I know we already discussed what needs to change for sure (e.g. the user management systems) so please don't hold back.

Two notes from me:

-It has always been important for us to be emphasising victories, successes and people power to build morale, as well as sharing tactics and tools for success. These have been commented on by numerous of YLNM's supporters as being very useful. For me the aim has to be to build on this and make sure our comms provide a real service to our membership by setting some strategic goal based on the feedback we got in the survey conducted prior to our meeting in Spain.

-On a practical note, as we have done with Facebook, we need to ensure a) that coordinators who want to can access online comms platforms, b) that our comms are accessible to our network, which means improving our translation capacities.

Should we set up a call to discuss this as a group?


Guadalupe Rodríguez Fri 9 Jun 2017 4:29PM

Thanks Hal for starting the discussion. I add the names of the coordinators that currently are taking part of this group (please make corrections if wrong): Michelle, Hal, Wale, Natalie and Guadalupe

I have a couple of ideas in the case that helps and I agree with the idea of a meeting on the communications issue:

We should compose a list of the kind of informations we want to share, for us to be able to easily decide if informations belong or not on the YLNM website and communications strategy.

If necessary: a calendar or some indications when each of us is allowed or recommended to post ourselves in which of our platforms, for the informations not to interfere between them.

We should think which changes the startsite and webpage needs to be more friendly to users, and how to better classify the different informations. (by country or region, posts about successes, tools, or even by member organisations or networks, by raw material involved in the mining conflict...)

Would make sense to ask ourselves if we can ask member organisations for contributions for the website (and present this information as original information from YLNM)?

Would be usefull to find a way to generate YLNM own informations?

And it could help to spread our word more widely, to send a specific post with all our communication platforms, asking members to distribute our web, facebook and twitter and ask interested people to follow us?


Hannibal Rhoades Tue 13 Jun 2017 4:14PM

This is a great start Guadalupe! Let's discuss how we coordinate discussions about all this on the call tomorrow.


Guadalupe Rodríguez Wed 28 Jun 2017 8:10AM

General questions, raised by Hal, aimed at building a communications strategy on our first meeting.

  1. What is the big, strategic story we want to tell as YLNM (if any) and how can we do this?
  2. Which are our principle audiences?
  3. What specific communications do we want to produce regularly for these audiences? e.g. mailings, action alerts, themed toolkits...
  4. How can we manage our communications?
  5. Do we need new systems?
  6. How can we tackle the translation issue?

Two overarching questions:

  1. What might we need some money from our remaining budgets/future fundraising for?
  2. How could volunteers support this programme?

Guadalupe Rodríguez Wed 28 Jun 2017 8:12AM

Members of the group are at the moment: Michelle, Hal, Wale, Natalie, Juliana and Guadalupe


Guadalupe Rodríguez Thu 19 Oct 2017 5:12PM

Hi! My thoughts on possible issues to discuss on next Comms Meeting (2nd), probably to confirm on 25 Oct.

Just to start the agenda and/or discussion - We are now more clear about how we commmmunicate and what kind of stories we want to share:
1. Priorizing stories of YLNM members, and also sometimes distributing stories of other friend organisations not part of YLNM.
2. We want to focus on positive, success, solidarity, tools. BUT, sometimes these are not "ready" for an international context (local organisations writing them are not explaining the case from the beginning, or not mentioning in which country is the thing happening). How can we adress or handle with this?
3. Should we create as comms group our own news/own solidarity calls/ lobby actions based on the information of the members? (I feel we have very irregular and changing capacities!!)
4. Strengthening YLNM Social Media and social media strategy.
5.What to do and how with the Website.
6.The bulletin: how to organise its ellaboration as last time Hal had to do the whole work (I think).