Entertainment for democracy, social justice and reconciliation
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The Transformative Power of Story-Telling: An Edutainment Guide for Social Change - Step 5: Designing a Multimedia Strategy

Mon, 11/28/2022 - 04:45

"Think about how the different campaign elements can be used to bring about real, measurable social change for individuals and the communities in which they live."

This chapter focuses on developing an integrated communication strategy as part of an evidence-based entertainment education (EE) initiative to address situations of complex social justice and reconciliation. It explains the advantages of the multimedia approach to extend the reach and impact of your EE campaign into other media channels. It looks at how to select media formats and examines story development, including plot and characters, and how to use them effectively to shift attitudes and drive behaviour change.

The resource outlines considerations for: a strategic planning workshop, optimising reach and impact, formats, and different media options (including some information on edutainment opportunities in the most commonly used media). It also explores the possibilities presented by complementary strategies, in light of the fact that meaningful change may require creating nurturing environments, strengthening services, developing individual and community skills, and advocating for changes in public policy. Alternatives that are explored include: advocacy strategies, educational strategies, social mobilisation strategies, knowledge management strategies, and digital strategies. Another major step in the planning process that is covered here is the definition of the concept and brand.

Case studies include:
  1. Colombia: Keeping in mind the ways people consume media today, Imaginario and its partners decided to create a transmedia strategy around the TV series Romper el Silencio ("Breaking the Silence"), where the narratives of the different media complement one another and simultaneously to expand the impact of EE through complementary strategies: social mobilisation, education, and knowledge management. To cite only one example, a series of six podcasts navigates the history of the armed conflict through the voices and musical expressions that have emerged in different communities and regions to break the silence imposed by the war. The 45-minute episodes use a narrative journalism format that includes dialogue with experts and musicians and features a range of popular music.
  2. South Africa: Heartlines' movie "Beyond the River", which tells the story of two men from different backgrounds who meet and team up to compete in a grueling marathon canoe race called the Dusi was used to drive the campaign at a national level. In addition, the strategy aimed to encourage the sharing of stories by ordinary people through the #WhatsYourStory? social mobilisation campaign in churches, schools, and workplaces, as well as a two-day programme using storytelling and dialogue as tools to build bridges among key leaders that was supported by a social media campaign and videos.
Lessons learned from Step 5 experiences:
  • Consult again the formative research and the message brief, which are your best resources for designing the strategy.
  • Think carefully about what you would like each component to achieve in terms of meeting a specific objective in the strategy.
  • Remember that each component must be complementary within the general framework of the strategy's objectives.
  • Ensure that all components have campaign unity (i.e., have the appearance of being part of the same strategy and not have a totally different graphic language).
  • Include the image of the strategy (logo, slogan, etc.) in each component.
  • Include participatory components, and identify partners for implementation.
  • Work with professionals specialised in the different formats and audiences in each medium - e.g., scriptwriters with experience in television for teenagers and young people, or digital strategists oriented to educational topics.
  • Include fresh minds, new ideas, and new generations in your work teams.
A Collaboration between Imaginario Foundation, Heartlines and The Communication Initiative, with the support of DW Akademie
Publication Date
English, Spanish
Number of Pages

Information sent to The Communication Initiative by Juana Marulanda, Fundación Imaginario, November 22 2022.

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