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    Invite the community to be involved

    With an understanding of who in the community local government can engage, it is important to think about communication planning.

    Developing a communications plan

    A communications plan can support a strategic approach to communication from the start of your project. A communications plan should include goals and objectives that will support the wider goals and objectives of your prevention of violence against women initiatives. Your local government media and communications team may already have resources to support this. 

    A communications plan should: 

    Identify the target audience(s) 

    Identify who your target audiences are and what you know about them, for example, what their priorities and interests are. This will assist with developing the right content and messages, choosing the best channels, materials and activities, and identifying the right time to communicate with them. For example, you may develop different messages and strategies for community members, partners, staff, funders and other stakeholders.  

    Ensure key messages are clear 

    Keep the messages powerful and consistent to bring prominence and awareness to prevention of violence against women. Include a ‘call to action’ setting out what you would like people reading your message to do.  

    Measure the success of the campaign 

    It is important to define what success looks like at different stages of the project e.g. at project commencement, midway and at project end. Check if milestones have been achieved and assess whether communications need to be adapted.   

    Communicate the results 

    Communicate the results of the activities back to the community and other stakeholders such as staff, partners and funders. This will help maintain momentum and continue to inspire future progress.

    Tips for effective communications

    • Ensure prevention of violence against women messaging is clear, relevant and tailored to your target audience(s). 
    • Use pictures and messages that promote positive progress, role models and respectful relationships. Avoid violent or triggering imagery. 
    • Use inclusive language and images that represent the diversity of your community. For example, avoid gender stereotypes, include images of women, men and people who are gender diverse, people from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and include people of different ages and abilities. 
    • Provide contact details. Materials should include details of relevant local and/or national family violence services. 
    • Coordinate local government activity plans with local domestic and family violence service providers. When prevention of violence against women activities are undertaken, it often leads to a higher demand for domestic and family violence support services. It is important to let these services know in advance, so they can prepare for increased demand. 
    • Select your channels and materials based on your target audience(s). This could include the local newspaper, news channels, radio or social media platforms (for example, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, etc.). You could also raise awareness at public events. Local governments could maximise coverage by reaching out to journalists who are covering similar stories. 
    • Ensure employees across local government are informed. If you are working on prevention of violence against women activities, make sure local government employees, especially the customer service officers, know who to refer enquiries to. Providing them with a directory of services or pamphlets will help them refer anyone who is in crisis and seeking assistance. 
    • Celebrate achievements and successes! 

    Next step

    Conduct a community readiness assessment

    Supported by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.