Entertainment for democracy, social justice and reconciliation
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The Transformative Power of Story-Telling: An Edutainment Guide for Social Change - Step 8: Promotion

A Collaboration between Imaginario Foundation, Heartlines and The Communication Initiative, with the support of DW Akademie

"The beauty of successful Edutainment is that its popularity opens up new avenues that allow you to further communicate your messages to your audiences."

This chapter outlines the basic principles for the promotion of an evidence-based entertainment education (EE) production that addresses situations of complex social justice and reconciliation. Publicity aims to drive audience numbers and interest in your campaign before, during, and after the EE product is aired. Steps include:
  1. Initial marketing and pre-publicity: How you advertise your EE product depends on the scale of your project, but here are some general pre-publicity ideas:
    • If you haven't done so already, decide on your logo and a tagline, and pre-test these items to make sure they are relevant and appropriate and resonate with your audiences.
    • For a TV or radio show, think of a catchy theme tune to build brand recognition and identification.
    • Use popular or famous people.
    • Carry out a conventional advertising campaign that uses a variety of media to encourage people to watch/listen, such as billboards, adverts on buses and bus stops, newspaper and magazine adverts, and radio and TV promos.
    • Enlist the support of journalists to give positive media coverage of your EE production before it starts. (On that note, consider having an official launch, which can not only cement campaign partnerships but also generate media coverage, especially if there are dignitaries or celebrities present.)
    • In the case of a local small-scale EE project, engage people to go from door to door to invite audiences to the event, a loudspeaker to announce the dates and times of your performance, or posters in shops and schools and other public places.
  2. Consolidation: Continue to promote your EE once it begins:
    • Carry out ongoing publicity, using any of the tools you used in pre-publicity.
    • Use more than one medium, employing a strong brand name that ties everything together.
    • Hold competitions to sustain interest in your EE production, link your different media, and serve as a research tool to tell you whether people are learning from your EE endeavour.
  3. Capitalising: Once the popularity of an EE initiative has been built up, other initiatives bearing the same name will ride on, and benefit from, the credibility and popularity of the brand. Ideas include:
    • Engage popular characters from your EE iniative as role models or advocates, such as by creating opportunities (e.g., events or community dialogues) for the actors to connect with audiences. You need to prepare the actor so that what they say is in line with your message brief.
    • Attach your brand name to other small media initiatives that relate to your messages. T-shirts, mugs, caps, and condoms, for example, can all carry messages/your brand.
    • Use social media to keep your brand and campaign alive in both public and private spaces and drive audience numbers and interest in the series - before, during, and after you air it. Remember: Don't force the conversation or try to control it. Keep it fun.
Case studies include:
  • Colombia: As Imaginario's "Rompiedo el Silencio" television series had not been produced at the time of writing this manual, there was not a promotion and distribution strategy yet. However, fundraising activities and preparation for broadcast screenings (estimated for mid-2023) have prompted the development of several pieces of communication, such as video profiles.
  • South Africa: Heartlines held a launch event and used a full suite of marketing tools to promote and publicise the film "Beyond the River". The team developed a logo and corporate identity for the film, in addition to a full corporate identity for the #WhatsYourStory? campaign. One of the most successful elements of the campaign was a YouTube video of Israel Makoe, the actor who plays Oupa in the film, telling his own personal story at a facilitated session.
Lessons learned from Step 8 experiences:
  • Include promotion and popularisation in your budgets from the beginning.
  • Use all the resources at your disposal: paid advertising, free press, influencers, launch events.
  • Adjust an advertising campaign to the characteristics of the strategy: If it is national, promote nationally; if it is aimed at closed audiences, do not promote in mass media; if it is aimed at a specific audience, choose the media that this audience consumes.
  • Define a period to promote the EE product, choose the media, and establish a budget (media plan).
  • Work with established networks, local media, civil society organisations, and others who have similar interests to those of the strategy.
Publication Date
English, Spanish
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Information sent to The Communication Initiative by Juana Marulanda, Fundación Imaginario, November 22 2022.

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