“The Marketing and Communication Polyclinic” is a capacity-building program for the RAF’s partner NGOs. It aims to improve the organizations’ performance in public relations and communications in order to increase their impact in communities and at the national level, with focus on a learning-by-doing approach.
RAF programs seek to generate systemic change, for which wide support in the community is needed and important resources must be allocated. To gain this support, in addition to proposal writing and project implementation, organizations need coherent and smart marketing and communication programs.
Most civil society organizations see communication as a support tool for programs, to be delegated within or outside the organization. In order to garner support and generate the expected results, communication must become an essential part of an organization’s strategy, as a cross-cutting component. Without a strategic anchor (“why do we communicate?”), it is almost impossible to decide the “what” and “how”. Therefore, communication must be integrated as a key-position in every organization’s strategic planning.
The Friends for Friends Foundation (FFFF) involves industry specialists from branding to public relations, social media and writing in the “Marketing and Communication Polyclinic” program to assist some of the not-for-profit RAF partner organizations.
Since 2015, FFFF has worked with 42 RAF beneficiaries, including the Food Hubs. With the help of the Polyclinic, the food hubs developed 39 communication campaigns, marketing strategies and communication plans; seven ecotourism destinations received MarCom mentoring; NGOs participating in the program received training and consultancy on positioning and key communication topics. In addition, FFFF created and offered online courses on the program platform, www.policlinicaelearning.ro.
The current stage of the Marketing and Communication Polyclinic program aims to increase the capacity of RAF partners to communicate better to strengthen their relationship with stakeholders (beneficiaries, donors, partners, volunteers, friends and supporters, suppliers, consumers, the community that I serve her).
In the period 2022-2024, the program has three complementary capacity-building components:
- POLI DATA: Increasing the communication capacity for five RAF beneficiaries using a customer relationship management (CRM) tool to improve their relationship with stakeholders.
- POLI SERIES: Carrying out four thematic events to increase the level of awareness and understanding between NGOs (from the RAF portfolio, but not only) and the business environment and to encourage medium and long-term cooperation between the two sectors.
- POLI FOOD HUBS: Increasing the sales of the 4 Food Hubs by implementing communication and marketing campaigns to increase customer retention and increase the value of the shopping basket.