COTABATO CITY—Bangsamoro Government, in partnership with the Institute of Bangsamoro Studies (IBS), continues to intensify its reach on the grassroots level by crafting a development communication plan that addresses concerns, policies, and programs often inquired by said sector.
On Feb 23-24, the regional government’s Bangsamoro Planning and Development Authority (BPDA) and Bangsamoro Information Office (BIO) contributed to a consultation workshop led by IBS dubbed “Development of Communication Messaging”.
IBS, a non-government organization, designed the program to seek inputs from media experts and the regional government, and develop a communication plan specifically on message content and delivery strategies for its advocacy project called ‘Citizen’s Engagement for Inclusive Policy and Programs in the Bangsamoro’.
The communication plan output of the activity falls under the (3) three components of IBS’s advocacy project such as policy papers for legislation, the link of the academe and Bangsamoro region, and local communications.
News correspondent/columnist Nash Maulana, Brigada News FM Cotabato radio news and public affair anchor Mohammad Ali Matabalao, and BIO-Director Mr. Ameen Andrew Alonto were among the speakers invited.
Maulana highlighted in his presentation the importance of identifying effective media platforms and workable communication channels to help bring or deliver messages to the target audience.
“In order for the Bangsamoro people to better understand the programs that the Bangsamoro Government wants to implement, it is necessary to develop a message that will open their minds to what ‘Moral Governance’ really is,” Maulana said in his native language.
“Probably many of them do not understand yet, so we will further strengthen our relationship, especially with the communities that do not receive much help,” he added.
Maulana also underscored various channels of communication that can be utilized to reach target audiences in the Bangsamoro, such as social media, community dialogue, mobilizing partnerships with communication groups, among others.
Matabalao, on the one hand, discussed how to convey messages effectively. Accordingly, writers should follow the elements of having clear, concrete, and credible communication outputs.
He said the geographical positions and diverse languages in the Bangsamoro region must be considered.
“It is essential to be practical on what the government is doing, especially on the language it uses in the delivery of the message,” Matabalao said, noting the fact that he also works as a public servant.
Meanwhile, Alonto shared essential steps in developing an effective communication plan. These include establishing the goals, defining key audience, designing key messages, building good media relations, developing materials, time frame setting, plan execution, and plan evaluation.
“If you have an advocacy program, you need to answer who will benefit from it, who is responsible for the program implementations and its funding services,” Alonto said.
He also told the participants to review their strategies and approach once they implement their advocacy’s communication plan through “making observations, speaking to their team, and asking feedback from their target audience or community.”
Once the Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) materials for the communication plan are finalized in the coming weeks, the Information Management Team (IMT) will be responsible for information dissemination to the Bangsamoro constituents in the far-flung areas.
IMT is composed of Office of the Chief Minister (OCM) – BIO, BPDA, Ministry of Interior and Local Government (MILG), Bangsamoro Communication Network (BCN), MILF Political Committee, ministries, local government units, and other key partners in the region. (Bangsamoro Information Office)