With the support of PLEDDG, a series of webinars on crisis communications was held for the representatives of partner-cities local governments, their press services and communication departments of city councils. The course was conducted by Dmytro Konyk, an experienced communications specialist, Associate Professor at the National University “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”.
“We have approached the preparation of the curriculum carefully because of utmost importance of communication activities of local governments during the crisis. In the face of uncertainty due to the crisis, it is the press services and communication departments of the city councils that have taken on serious responsibility. Local governments find themselves in a situation where every communication mistake or omission can cause significant reputational damage. That is why our primary task was to provide answers to the urgent requests of communication specialists”, said Igor Lepyoshkin, Senior Expert/Program Lead, PLEDDG.
The training consisted of three parts and covered such issues as organizing information work with the public, communication with the mass media and communication in social networks during the crisis. The reference material for the training was a practical manual from the library of PLEDDG publications “Local Governments’ Communications”.
“Participation in a series of webinars on crisis communications was extremely useful. During the training, we gained practical skills on establishing a system for collecting, analyzing and distributing information, which is highly important during a crisis. I would like to thank PLEDDG experts for the opportunity to study remotely, gain new knowledge and improve our professional skills,” Lyudmyla Ravlyuk, Director of the Ladyzhyn Agency for Local Economic Development, shared her impressions of participating in the webinar.
After each session, participants received homework assignments, the completion of which allowed them to acquire practical skills in the field of establishing a communication system for local government bodies. All works were carefully checked, and the results were reviewed jointly during online sessions. Such approach allowed participants to model the consequences of making certain decisions in communication.
“The topic of crisis communications is extremely relevant today. Mr. Dmytro Konyk gave us practical advice, in particular, regarding combating fakes and effective tailoring of information messages during the crisis. It was also important for us to receive constant feedback on completed practical tasks within the course. This feedback allowed to improve the communication skills of participants significantly “, said Olexandra Grygorovych, Head of the Municipal Marketing Department of the Melitopol City Council Executive Committee, a participant of the training.
Gained knowledge and skills will help the press services and communication departments of the local governments of PLEDDG partner-cities to act effectively during a crisis, taking into account the specifics of communication channels, target audiences and information context.