Yesterday, INPUD communications team held a teleconference, enlisting the help of its worldwide communications team, and bringing together a range of expertise in campaigning, IT , the ever changing realm of the internet, as well as journalism and knowledge of the User Press, to forward to goals of INPUD.
The global INPUD Communications Team stands at:
>New York (Les) – Better World Advertising
>UK : (Mat, Erin & Rupert ) – Mat INPUD, Erin, Black Poppy UK, Rupert at RELEASE
>France (Pierre) – ASUD France
>Macedonia (Vito) – INPUD and Comms Team Leader
Netherlands (Denis) – World Aids Campaign
>Bangkok (Greg & Dean) – World Aids Campaign
An all round approach to communications means various things; branding – to ensure the name INPUD is instantly recognisable and that what it stands for is universally understood , the overarching message succinct and translatable. Campaigning is another branch to the Comms Team as after the success of The Drug Users Peace Initiative, there will be many more campaigns, protests, petitions and lobbying to tackle. Networking – using Blogging, Facebook, Twitter, campaigning will be essential in bringing new members to INPUD as will reporting on the various important issues and concerns that affect the Drugs community every day around the world. As of yesterday, we are certainly getting another step closer to these goals.
Les Pappas from Better World Advertising, a socially conscious advertising agency told us they are keen to share their campaigning expertise and resources. ‘Better World are committed to INPUD and looking for ways they can be a part of things’, he said. Designers of the artwork, website and collaborators on the media campaign for INPUD’s 2009 Vienna Drug Peace campaign, Les talked about how important marketing was as a whole for INPUD in order to put its messages across. It was clear for the team that the INPUD Logo also needed re-branding and BWA will now go ahead with this and put forward its ideas to the Comms Team for final a decision.
Rupert from Release, the Drugs Law and Human Rights Charity, will be looking at the technical side of things and told us that their Talking Drugs site would act as an ‘Incubator’ until a website is up and functioning. This would mean that the much needed E-Forums could now exist on the TD site, taking on the different memberships types and operating in up to 23 languages (10 languages are currently functioning well). Using one of the new models of website programmes called ‘Droople’, the Talking Drugs website will ‘incubate’ INPUD’s E-Forums until such time as an INPUD website is fully launched and the various strands pulled together onto one site.
Currently of course, there is the Google group that is operating as a discussion list for the board and membership, and the website that was a basis for the Vienna Drug Users Peace Initiative, and currently still holds the link to INPUD’s International Diaries blog, here on WordPress. Erin, who has been overseeing the blog, has been pleased with its progress. “It has been a really good way to let INPUD members and others see what INPUD has been doing around the world, and it has meant people feel a bit more involved in what’s going on”. Twitter is also being used in order to alert people to the latest blogs. However, an international calender of important events for INPUD was requested, and will be added to the Talking Drugs site temporarily, so Bloggers can keep abreast of what events people attend on behalf of INPUD and to write up their work and experiences during/after attending.
Mat talked about the funding for the expansion and development of INPUD communications as being looked at and he feels very hopeful that we will see some support forthcoming in this crucial area. Facebook is also another useful tool and Mat has been experimenting with this in his own area in the West Country of England, bringing together a wide range of people who use drugs for campaigning and networking. This will be monitored closely and could be yet another tool for INPUD’s networking.
It has been clear for some time that we need a fairly adaptable and powerful website / database programme to ensure INPUD online is able to cope with an international membership and utilise the variety of cyber networking technologies. Developments are currently underway to ensure we will soon have a varied and a fully functioning website – to be accessible in different languages but until then, we will be strengthening the different arms of INPUD, to finally be brought together in one place.
Interviews held with the media, gathering a list of quality and sympathetic journalists to the cause, letters to editors, writing up articles in the worlds User Press, and an online INPUD newsletter, will also be looked as issues to focus on in the foreseeable future.
Thanks to everyone in the Comms Team, please forward any ideas on comments below as we would love to hear what you think.
Erin O’Mara Black Poppy Magazine UK