On September 28–30, 2016, a total of 45 representatives of CSOs from nine LINK municipalities gathered in Tatariv at the LINK CSO forum on partnership, networking and communication. The three-day event focused on communication and outreach as strategic tools for building successful partnerships. All the presentations and panel discussions centered on instruments that can be used to communicate messages and contribute to societal dialogue and community change. Participants were able to build partnerships and networks to support them both in their daily activities and in reaching their long-term goals.
The forum kicked off with a presentation on behavioural change, delivered by Roman Zinchenko (GreenCubator), who demonstrated how altering simple, everyday routines can bring about a positive environmental impact. During the day participants also learned about networks and partnerships at global and local levels from a presentation delivered by Jan-Gustav Strandenæs (Stakeholder Forum, Norway) and mastered their listening and communication skills during the first session of group work facilitated by Anna Valensa (New Country).
The following day, participants were invited to a panel discussion on successful networks. Experts from Ukraine and Belarus shared advice on establishing effective partnerships with other organisations. Participants then formed groups to brainstorm on opportunities to find partners for their activities at local, regional and global level. Each group was given the floor to present the results of their discussions and identify ways to achieve their goals.
The third day was devoted to an intensive training on communication and social media. Natalie Klymova (ISAR-Ednannia) advised participants on how to call for action via social media and explained why the PR manager can be compared to the cat in the organisation. Ms. Klymova warned participants not to prioritise public relations in the everyday activities of the organisation, but rather to focus on accomplishing the organisation’s mission. Participants were then given an opportunity to test their knowledge by developing and presenting their own PR campaigns.
After the intensive training session, participants were invited to join a hike in the picturesque Carpathians. According to the feedback received, participants were able to improve their networking and communication skills and were inspired by the beauty of Ukrainian nature to foster societal change in Ukraine through new and successful campaigns.