A regional online training on Storytelling and Efficient Communication, primarily dedicated to the PR, visibility and communication officers from Civil Society Organistions (CSOs) from the Western Balkans and Turkey, was organised by EU TACSO 3 on 31 May, 1 and 2 June. The objective of the training was to increase the capacities of CSOs in basic communication skills and to enable them to prepare attractive stories delivered through different channels to a general audience and specific target groups.

Beside the opportunity to listen about storytelling from prominent guest speakers, the participants also attained insights about the principles of storytelling and writing for media, elements of feature stories, writing and telling success stories, communication channels and the differences in the approach. The basics of public and media relations and efficient communication, interpersonal communication, giving feedback and tips for public and media relations were also lively and productively discussed during the training.

In the sessions dedicated to individual work, participants, with hands-on assistance, produced feature/success stories related to the work of their organisations. During the sessions of group work, they produced examples of key messages, social media posts and worked on a scenario for preparation and delivering a statement for the media.

“You should never forget that you are part of the public, that you are representing the public, and that you are communicating on one side – within the public and on other – towards the authorities”, said Boris Dezulovic, journalist and winner of the European Press Prize 2013, to the participants of the training. In his story about the role of CSOs as check and balance who should press the authorities in the fields they are working in – human rights, LGBT rights, minority rights etc., he emphasized that the best communication tool are the stories. Simply because stories can deliver emotions, gather empathy and self-identification, and deliver the messages.

The former was just one part of the three day training. In another lecture, the guest speaker Dusan Zica, narrative designer, copyrighter and storyteller, spoke about infotainment, gaming and marketing, mobile applications, state of play and new communication trends during COVID – 19 and beyond. He concluded that the new media and gaming industry are the new and appropriate platforms for delivering messages to all generations. According to the data presented, taken from a survey from Deloitte, for example, during the mandatory lockdowns, isolations and social distancing, 43% of boomers (age 55 – 73) used a cloud gaming service. The trends (2015 – 2023) are showing that the number of smartphone users will grow 6.7% per year up to 3.5 billion. The expanding of mobile networks across the globe is expected, as well as an influx of new platforms and subscription services. Zica provided many creative examples of how the CSOs can utilize these new platforms for gathering attention, delivering messages and the creation or the altering of opinions.

Due to high interest, EU TACSO 3 plans to organize another training on the topic of storytelling and efficient communication in forthcoming period.