Key aim of this paper is to discuss how an NGO can effectively use Public Relations (PR) activities. Taking a case study approach, this document will outline the issue of Child labour in India and how Child Rights and You (CRY) can use PR activities to better communicate the issue of child rights in the country.
Situational Analysis: India is home to the largest number of child labourers in the world – 17 million continue to suffer even after the the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, was passed as early as 1986. Child labour in general terms means the work for children which harms them or exploits them in some or the other way, either mentally, physically, and morally or by restricting them the right to education. Children according to international conventions are those aged 18 and under.
While various specialized agencies and NGOs continue to aggressively push this message in India, Child Relief and You (CRY) is the most vocal amongst all and hence chosen as a case study for this document.
PR Objectives: To successfully deliver the messages against Child labour, CRY needs to first identify the key objectives (below) that it must achieve through the PR activities.
Target Audience: Given the multi-faceted nature of the cause, it’s imminent for CRY to target a variety of groups and ensure activism can be transpired to the grass root levels.
Key Messages: As discussed above, while the campaign is targeted at a host of groups to collectively make the move against this cause a success, the fundamentals and underlying messages remain the same. The broader messages arising from this campaign must include, but not remain limited to:
Strategy & Tactics: While a variety of PR and marketing tools can be implemented, it’s important to for CRY to handpick those that offer a healthy balance between high reach and effectiveness.
Stage 1: Awareness
Stage 2: Activism
Stage 3: Action
Evaluation: Following the Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) approach, an ideal PR strategy must uses a mix of tools that work in tandem to achieve the desired objectives. In this case, while there are certain tactics that have a wider reach and can help spread the message, others help to create on-ground activism and action. For example, social media tools will be most successful to build awareness about the issue (given their wide reach) and can help to engage proactively with the audience and get comments, suggestions and their thoughts about the issue instantly. On the other hand, tactics like a press meet, sign up by local government and taking oaths help in on-ground, real-time action which social media tools cannot provide. Overall, I expect the campaign to leave a strong impression on people’s mind and help move steps closer to eradicating the issue from India.
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