Campaign activities that raise the profile of fundamental rights and keep them in the public eye are an important part of a communication strategy. A campaign or similar form of activity also provides an opportunity for the general public to support fundamental rights initiatives.
In 2008, Herefordshire Council and the Primary Care Trust worked together on promoting equality policies across all public services in the region. This resulted in the first countywide Herefordshire Equality and Human Rights Charter. It was signed by different services, including the police, emergency services, the local hospital trust, and a range of voluntary and civil society organisations.
To promote the Charter, a launch was organised that reached out to the public, media, local politicians and also colleagues across Herefordshire services. This was followed by a campaign called ‘No Discrimination HEREfordshire’.
Individuals living in the community were actively involved in communication design and delivery. For example, disability groups produced a Dignity Code that was widely read and adopted.
Source: Regional focus group 2011, Herefordshire, United Kingdom
A formal and public document such as a charter or memorandum can help communicate a political commitment publically. Inviting individuals and institutions to sign up to the charter helps to raise awareness of and commitment to fundamental rights.
A public launch can attract attention, add currency for journalists and raise awareness of fundamental rights activities. A launch will attract media attention and provide a platform for local counsellors, mayors or national parliamentarians to support the initiative.
Communication materials should include an easy-to-read summary or leaflet that sets out the objectives and primary activities of any fundamental rights initiative.
Individuals living in the community can be a source of creativity and imagination. The Dignity Code produced by disability groups in Herefordshire was more successful in raising awareness and promoting the charter than the official materials produced by the city council.
Remember to involve the target audience in designing communication activities. They know their communication needs and preferences best.