Media Relations Guidebook for Civil Society

The democratic public policy decision-making process relies on an informed, educated, and engaged public. Academic experts, government officials, businesses, financial analysts, participants in a specific event, and – most importantly for this guidebook – volunteer non-profit civic groups, often known as non-governmental organizations and civil society actors, provide information to the media. This guidebook takes this factor and the role of the latter as a key premise in building its targeted instructions and practical examples.

Whether NGOs specialize in environmental issues, political corruption, children’s health issues, or drug abuse, these public policy champions have two things the media needs: reliable information and a point of view. Nongovernmental organizations may challenge misinformation, educate the public, set the political agenda, and develop public support for initiatives if they have reliable information. However, NGOs’ facts and viewpoints are useless if they do not or cannot disseminate them to the general public. To gain access to the most important information pipeline – the media – NGOs must first understand the needs of the gatekeepers in the media, then learn the skills and techniques required to effectively present information to the media, and then develop strategies to mobilize their media advocacy resources.

This guidebook provides an in-depth look at the role of civil society and the media, their role in a democratic society, the most effective means of cooperation between the two actors, and how they can complement each-others work in order to create long-term synergies.

The guidebook also provides examples and exercises for the best practices in building marketing plans, social media strategies, communication guides for press releases, and interviews, as well as a comprehensive examination of the “Save the Blue Heart of Europe” campaign and its achievements and best practices.

For more tips, please find the video below: 

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For Understanding and using Environmental Law.

Albania’s measures to prevent the deterioration of the environment and to respond to environmental change have been increasingly driven by commitments under multilateral environmental agreements on the one hand, but also by domestic needs on the other. This requires government officials not only to understand how to implement existing international commitments but also how to contribute to the negotiation of new international commitments.

A precondition to that is a good understanding of the development, features, functioning, and implementation of multilateral environmental agreements. On the other hand, civil society actors, and environmentalists often face the inability to understand the legal complexity of international environmental law and how to use it in their daily work.

The purpose of this handbook is to provide an overview of international environmental law, focusing on some important multilateral environmental agreements known to the general public.

To help CSOs understand the basics of international engagement, this handbook is divided into several sections. In the first part, is given a general information on international environmental law and its historical development. While in the second part is given an explanation of environmental conventions about the entry into force, their functioning, and implementation. In this section is also given a practical guidance to CSOs so they can understand the mechanism of compliance and the conventions’ implementation in practice.

Based on this information, the third part provides an overview of environmental law in Albania focusing briefly on horizontal environmental legislation. The fourth part is built around the practical implementation of national and international environmental legislation focusing on the case of the Vjosa River and the legal battle followed by EcoAlbania.

The target audience for this handbook is basically the CSOs that work in the field of environment, but it can also be practically used by other stakeholders that seek to understand commitments under multilateral environmental agreements.

For more tips, please find the video below: 

The manual is produced in Albanian and English.

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