Updates from the Communications and Social Media Planning Desk

Get to know me!

My name is Belindar Kwamboka Momanyi. I hold a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Technical University of Mombasa, Kenya. I’m a writer, social media planner, and communication professional, currently working with HCDExchange as the Communication and Social Media Associate.

In my role at HCDExchange, I support the dissemination efforts of the organisation by leveraging my knowledge on social media best practices to plan social media content and campaigns, oversee engagement on the social channels and actively disseminate communication material. Additionally, I actively engage in community outreach programs within the community engagement.

I spend my free time creating personal growth and development content on my blog. To me, writing is like yoga: a guilty pleasure that helps me align my ‘chi’ . It’s something I do to re-align my thoughts. Before you start guessing, I’m your typical introvert girl. That’s until I take sweet treats like chocolates and I’m all smiley (the cheeky smiles) with thousands of stories, when the sugar rush kicks in :wink:.

My motivation
I’m always scared of cruising through life like a headless chicken. This is why I’m deliberate with creating meaningful connections with people. Indeed, I stand guided by Tim Sanders; ‘Your network is your net worth.’ Through virtual communities like this one, it’s my hope that through our engagements and interactions, we will learn, unlearn and relearn the best ways to program, implement and communicate approaches in a user-centered approach.


The case of the Podcast

I have been working on the editing notes for the remaining podcast episodes. I have noted that populating editing notes for a raw audio is not one of the interesting tasks in the communications docket. This is especially challenging when the podcast guests have background noise, lots of filler words, incoherent speech and loosing line of thought mid way. Thus populating the editing copy, minute to minute, is not time efficient.

Perhaps it would be time efficient to edit the raw audio from the recording and give the editor a clean copy to insert the intro and outro; rather than updating editing notes.

What can I do better?

  • Build capacity to edit audios to save time on updating editing notes.
  • Train podcast host on the best practice of recording a quality podcast and remind them to treat the recording as a live episode. This way less time will be taken in the production stage.

Of Lit Social Media Discussions and Strides

I kid you not, this morning I found myself performing a giddy on-air fist bump and a happy, but shy dance :wink:. I couldn’t wait to write down our small, but mighty win on our social media. This week, Reshmi and I had a rethink of the language we use on social media, the tone of our messages and the general approach to messaging on that front. We agreed to use an accessible, simple, concise, and clear messaging format so that our audience can clearly see what the key focus for a particular post is.

By using this new approach, I have noted an increase in organic engagements on the HCDX Twitter and LinkedIn. For instance, this promotional post that went out on April 12, we had two new people commenting, saying that they are looking forward to the webinar. These people are not members of the CoP and neither has HCDX interacted with them before. This is a core point to note because it shows that we are now slowly starting to appeal to new audiences who are finding HCDX content interesting and engaging.

Fast forward to the live-tweeting session for Measuring a ‘Moving Target’ Webinar, I literally watched our Twitter page go on fire! Apart from the retweets and likes our Tweets received from our institutional partners Adolescents 360, Vihara Innovation Network, YLabs, we managed to attract the attention of other large institutional partners; Center for Applied Behavioral Science (CABS) and Knowledge Success who engaged with our Tweets. This is in addition to having new people retweeting and liking our Tweets.

Why is this Engagement an Important Thing?
Content development takes an insane amount of time. As such, we are continuously moving towards the mindset of having our users at the center of the messages we are putting out. We are trying to envision user habits and mannerisms so as to inform better practice from our communication efforts.

With that being said, communication is really effective on social media when we receive a preferable action from our audience. Thus witnessing such insane amount of engagement is a step on the right direction. I’m convinced that we have managed to hack the language and tone for our digital communications.

However, we recognise that social media is a volatile space, and we will need to adjust our approach to fit new digital trends. We also note that we have a long way to go in our communication outreach efforts but are comforted that we are biting small chunks and being realistic with our goals.

I have this small mantra with the Community team; ‘focus on the process, nail the process, the end result is not an informant of no progress, rather a consequence of the process.’ So go yee and nail the process first!

Do have a cheerful Easter holiday folks :hugs:

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When it gets real
How well do we do when we are trying to explain a concept with the depth and seriousness it deserves?

Recently, I came across a very interesting social impact HCD project dubbed ‘real-shit’. Now ideally, this choice of words would be considered inappropriate, unprofessional, disgusting and appalling in the corporate space. However, in the context of this social impact project, it was important to trigger emotions; shame and disgust, in order to achieve behavioral change.

‘Real-shit’, is a project that was crafted by HCD designers from 17-Triggers, in Cambodia. While the country had a glaring problem of human waste and poor improved latrine uptake, communication materials to discourage this behavior seemed to portray human waste as playful. In other instances, communicators used animated graphics to encourage uptake of toilet use.

As you can imagine, this campaign bore no fruits. 17-triggers came in with a model to help Cambodians get in touch with reality swiftly and change their behavior. Real-shit came in with graphic images of real human waste, and carried out an aggressive campaign to de-romanticize poop. This real representation of a societal disaster enabled Cambodians to take up improved latrines and thus averting the poop problem.

Why it’s important to paint the real picture
While we are communicating ideas, prototypes, and campaigns, it’s integral to create a picture that is real, relatable and impactful. In strategic communication, choice of images, words, taglines and hashtags is important to fuel a narrative in order to achieve the desired results.

While we are talking about designing and shaping narratives, there is a thin line between stereotyping and strategically positioning a narrative. From my end, I’m continuously noticing the role of human-centered design in shaping better communication approaches. With HCD, you can envision how the target market will interact with the message, what their reaction will be and the expected action.

With the end-user journey in mind, we realise when its time to get upclose and real with what we say, how we are saying it, to whom we are saying and which outcome result we expect in return.

Let’s get real this week, won’t we? :wink:

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Looking forward.


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Thank you Mary. We have an upcoming event. Have you registered? You can register here.

See you there. :smiling_face:

Oh yes, the right words!

Breakthrough Action + Research hosted an interesting webinar dubbed ‘Communicating FP/SRH interventions’. In this webinar, partners in the Francophone West Africa (FWA) expressed concern brought about by the glaring gaps in the communication of family planning, and sexual and reproductive health (FP/SRH) initiatives.

In an instance that stood out for me, one speaker recounted how young and unmarried girls in FWA found ‘family planning’ to be a thing for older women who already have families to plan. But in the eyes of program designers and implementers, family planning is a tool that should help a young woman plan their future by avoiding unplanned pregnancy. In this scenario we see that family planning is used in a hybrid way but understood differently by the end users and program designers and implementers.

This begs the questions, how can communication practitioners work closely with designers to help position interventions in an accessible and clear manner.

Communication is diverse. It’s made more interesting because every individual has a unique way of communicating. Thus, in a short focal point, communication might look like a process whose main objective is to make information available to the targeted group of people. However, in reality, a successful communication objective is to ensure that the intended message is understood with the accuracy it deserves.

Seeing as matters communication is a continuing topic in the HCD+ASRH field of practice, at HCDExchange, our communication outreach and interventions are in a continuous state of growth, adjustment, learning and re-learning. This is because we have noted that in order to effectively communicate with the community of practice, we have to be compassionate, clear, direct and straight to the point.

This is why you will notice that we try to adjust and try out new editorial tones in order to have a meaningful engagement with you. Watch out for our upcoming June newsletter, which will spot a new look, feel and diverse offering of language.

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Language Diversity

Bonjour monsieur et mademoiselle

We recently put out our June newsletter that features the French language, for the first time! This is exciting progress for our team because the team here is continuously working to be as inclusive as possible.

Offering French versions in our newsletter is the first step towards fully transitioning to being a bilingual Community of Practice. We are currently working towards a dual-lingual website that will have both English and French.

Watch out for the continued additions on our website, social media and right here on this wonderful forum. And if you’re yet to, please subscribe for our newsletter.

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