“From Traditional to Digital – Unlock Your Digital Communication”

27 October 2021

The side-event “From Traditional to Digital – Unlock Your Digital Communication”, taking place on October 19 2021, was the first event organised by the International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (IF) exclusively for Member Associations’ Communications persons.

Together with a panel of speakers and participants from all around the world, an inspiring programme was established.

After the welcoming words of the IF Communications Coordinator, Sinem Sari, who was also chair of the side-event, this first event about digital communication started.

The opening presentation was provided by Sinem Sari (IF Communications Coordinator).  In her speech, the IF Communications Coordinator shared some words about the World Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Day and highlighted the importance of a strong network, cross-promotion and learning opportunities from one another. Subsequently, she presented some benefits of social media and the journey from planning to publishing a post. An overview of IF digital landscape followed together with strategic aspects such as gaining visibility. Sinem Sari finally covered the topics of advocacy and sense of community. She highlighted that to effectively advocate on social media, it is essential to build a strong community which will help to reach out the target and to be heard by a broader audience. Words about the IF network were shared with an emphasis on its uniqueness, yet broadness.

The next session was held by Daniela Cleto Herrera, Communications officer at Fundación Mónica Uribe Por Amor (FMUPA). She delivered an overview of inspiring and successful campaigns organised by FMUPA such as the campaign about folic acid “Una vitamina para la vida” (“A vitamin for life” in English). This campaign was shared in educational institutions in Colombia to inform students what Spina Bifida is, what are the consequences and how it can be prevented. Another successful campaign was “Corre Por Amor” (“Run for love” in English, the word love here is a reference to the name of the organisation as well) which consisted in two runs for individuals with disabilities: one of 5km and a second one of 10 km. Moreover, Daniel Cleto Herrera shared strategic tips about the use of social media and how to grow their network, to reach more people, to generate interactions and gain new followers. Last but not least, she expanded on the Musical Concert Por Amor (“Noche Musical Por Amor” in Spanish) organised with their members who had presented their artistic talent. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year the event was broadcasted through a YouTube Live with a live chat.

The third speaker of the event was Jack Buckley, Communications officer at Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Ireland (SBHI). His speech was focused on strategic communication, emotional marketing and communication. He also shared an overview of SBHI digital landscape and the vast opportunities social media represents and offers to non-profit organisations. Jack Buckley went through the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic brought to SBHI and how they could overcome them. One of the main aspects he covered was the importance of having an up-to-date website, especially in time of a pandemic when this becomes the shop window of the organisation. Last but not least, he shared various useful marketing and communications tools with the participants.

The final speech was presented by Tengku Ari, Communications officer at Spina Bifida Association Malaysia (SIBIAM). The presentation covered all aspects related to the switch from a traditional to a digital setting. SIBIAM chose to pursue its activities during the pandemic by organising virtual events and gatherings with members such as educational trainings. Tengku Ari also emphasised the continuous needs for improvements as the digital world is an ever-changing world. As a conclusion, he stressed the importance of digital media and staying connected to members in any circumstances.

The International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus warmly thanks the panel of speakers from all over the world who shared their experiences and strategies with participants.

Warmest thanks also to the participants for their active participation in the question and answer sessions.

IF is looking forward to further unique events!