This collection of practical recommendations will help committees ensure media coverage of the activities of the legislature, and promote interaction with citizens

Kyiv, 6 October 2020 – The manual "Effective Communications" for the secretariats of the committees of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has been presented in Kyiv. The manual was developed in cooperation with the CSO Internews-Ukraine as part of the EU-UNDP parliamentary reform project initiative to increase the Ukrainian parliament’s communications capacity.

The manual is based on the principle of "minimum theory, maximum practical advice." Its 12 sections include: the basics of creating information materials; digital communications; features of visual content; the role of video in modern communications; tips for working with journalists; and more.

The manual also gives examples of successful international practices, shows how to set up an inter-committee partnership for the implementation of a "one voice" approach, and gives a communications  algorithm for various information platforms based on the example of one law.

Natali Vatamaniuk, the Parliamentary e-governance and transparency specialist in the EU-UNDP Parliamentary Reform Project, said that previously citizens learned most information about the activities of the Verkhovna Rada from the work of MPs in the session hall.

"A huge amount of expert work of MPs is carried out in committees, but this work often went unnoticed, because the committees did not have personnel responsible for communications."

For five months (March-July 2020), the EU-UNDP Parliamentary Reform Project, together with experts from the CSO Internews-Ukraine, provided practical professional support to the secretariats of the Verkhovna Rada committees in implementing effective communications. In particular, each committee was assigned consultants who helped its representatives develop media plans to cover the work of their committees, create communication products, write texts for various purposes, work with video, and manage pages on social networks.

The training course consisted of 10 sessions on preparing information materials for various target audiences, principles of communication in social networks, anti-crisis communications, working with photo, audio and video content, media planning, tools for interaction with citizens, features of an effective dialogue with the media, and much more. Specialists from the Press Office and the Information Department of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine also took part in the training.

“This manual is one of the results of this joint work,” said Vatamaniuk. “We’re confident that it will be a good addition to our practical support and training, as well as help the Verkhovna Rada become more open in its communications and understandable to citizens."

Media enquires: Mykola Yabchenko, EU-UNDP Parliamentary Reform Project, mykola.yabchenko@undp.org

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