06 Dec Third # PRacka conference – how to avoid the pitfalls of modern communication in the civil sector


Belgrade 24-25th November 2016TACSO by Civic Initiatives, together with the organization Serbia on the Move, organized the third #PRaćka conference on trends in communications in the nonprofit sector, where organizations from all over the country had the opportunity to share their experiences, the current problems they are faced with and come up with the best solution to communicate their results to the public.

This year’s #PRaćka was engaged in storytelling, because the way we talk about ourselves, our work, activities, campaigns and projects, has a great influence on how people see and understand us, and thus the main topics of the conference were change of public narratives and PR skills.

jak_4981Bojana Selaković (Civic Initiatives), Nataša Čorbić (Serbia on the Move), Vildana Drljević (Foundation for New Communications Dokukino) and Ivana Todorović (Societe Generale Bank Serbia) opened the conference.

On the first panel discussion, “The image of CSOs in public: change of the narrative“,  Maja Stojanović (Civic Initiatives) drew attention of the participants to the fact of how is OCD currently perceived by the public and said: “We are foreign mercenaries and local traitors, because we demand respect of  Serbian laws “. Vidan Danković (Serbia on the Move) stressed the positive aspects of the functioning of non-governmental organizations: “Accessibility is a clear indication if the society in which we nurture our children takes care of its weakest.Dobrica Veselinovć (Ministry of Space) drew attention to the importance of monitoring the current needs of society: “We do not need to explain to our aunts what we do, but our aunts should tell us what to do and deal with.” The speakers agreed on the matter of their previous experiences and observations when the image of organization the public is concerned. General conclusion of the discussion: although OCD deal with citizens and represent their interests, do not communicate in the right way. Consequently, citizens create the wrong image about us, which is a major problem and a source of confusion. One of the suggestions on how to change the current situation was to develop a culture of dialogue of civil society, the state and the media, by which OCD will have a distinctive role.

The conference continued with training on the Public narrative, where participants, with mentor support of facilitators of Serbia on the Move, had the task to tell stories so that everyone wants to hear them. The general conclusion of the training was that the existing narratives have a great impact on the public attitude towards the organizations.


Marija Vujković (Civic Initiatives) drew attention to the fact that the way we communicate own stories must be inspiring and encouraging: “Let’s tell the story so that everyone wants to read it!” and Marija Stevuljević (Serbia on the Move) stressed the importance of clarity, comprehensibility and topicality of the story: “The story has to explain to the public why you precisely are the relevant one to tell it,” and with their presentation opened  the second day of the conference, which focused on storytelling as a PR skills.

Ljiljana Boljanović added to the subject by presentation of PR in crisis situations. On this occasion, she presented the current tactics for overcoming crisis situations: “We need to stop thinking that all people are our enemies, and to start thinking about whom we can reach. The biggest misconceptions are that crises can be prevented and controlled, that they come and go. Crises can not be controlled, but we can control how we react to them“.

dsc_0052The next segment of the conference was reserved for the panel discussion on „How companies recognize a good story?Jelena Vasilev (Erste Bank Serbia) said that the “most important thing is idea and its potential to develop,Miloš Đuričanin (Serbian Association of Managers) pointed out that ” organizations could be better heard of if coupled with companiesDarko Bogojević (Microsoft Serbia) said that companies and civil society have common themes and fields of action, saying that the goal of the company he represents is to “educate those who do not have access to innovative technologies and that NGOs share their interest.” Ivana Todorovic (Societe Generale Bank Serbia) in the focus of discussion put the question: “How can business sector help civil society organizations?“, to which Nikola Papak (Delhaize Serbia) answered saying that: “The civil and business sector share many values just need to recognize them at each other,” and that “companies should open their doors to the non-governmental sector.

The conference ended with a segment dedicated to Cause Marketing, where Uros Bonsek (CNVOS) highlighted one of the main principles of cause marketing, “by doing good to another, you do good to yourselves“.

More photos from the #PRaćka conference 2016 can be viewed HERE.

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