Introduction to communications

Communication is sharing ideas and information. An effective community group communicates with a variety of audiences including their own staff and volunteers, the local community, stakeholders and the public. Your group can communicate about your goals, services and activities. Effective communication helps:

  • raise awareness about an issue and influencing change
  • informs people know what you're doing
  • advertising and promotes services, products or events
  • attracts new members, supporters and donations.

Communication resources in the Community Resource Kit

This section covers various aspects of communication, including:

  1. Communications planning
  2. Communicating via the media
  3. Communicating with central government
  4. Communicating with local government

While this section focuses mainly on communication activities that allow community organisations to raise concerns on behalf of their group and their members, the information can be applied to any communications, regardless of purpose.

Communication tools

You can communicate with internal and external audiences through:

  • written material, e.g. annual reports, fact sheets, articles, newsletters, pamphlets, posters, media releases, petitions, organisational policies, minutes of meetings, your website, general emails, social media and blogs etc. Key documents can be provided for staff and visitors in reception areas and on your website
  • news media, e.g. newspapers, radio and TV
  • phone calls
  • direct public influence e.g. protests, public meetings, staff meetings, promotional events, speeches/public appearances
  • advocacy (including lobbying and forming coalitions)
  • submissions (written and verbal)
  • networking (formal and informal)

This section explores the use of some of these tools, while others are covered by other sections of the Community Resource Kit - Meetings and Information Technology.

 

Next page: Your communications plan 

Contents of the Community Resource Kit