NAMBTS Staff become SDGs and social media savvy through UNCG training

Staff members of the Blood Transfusion Service of Namibia (NAMBTS), participated in an engaging training session on the importance of social media in the workplace and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on Thursday, 6 April 2017.

The training session was facilitated by the social media savvy United Nations Communications Group (UNCG) Namibia, who educated the participants on the importance of creating a ‘relationship’ in the digital media world and how social media can be used to achieve development agendas.

NAMBTS is a non-profit healthcare organization with the mandate to collect, test and issue blood products to all patients in Namibia. The organization recognized the importance of social media in reaching their target audience as well as for their employees to have the skills to create social media messages consistent with their brand and their policies. To cement this, NAMBTS solicited the help of UNCG Namibia to enlighten staff through an engaging training.

Participants were led through various aspects of social media, such as; setting clear goals and objectives for online campaigns, determining who the target audience is, creating engaging and dynamic content, encouraging interaction on social media platforms and monitoring social media messages.

“It is important for your audience to have a relationship with your brand. For this reason, it is important to communicate with the same voice, tone and words, so that your audience immediately knows the message is coming from you. Your work and mission will become familiar to them,” said Nicola Gallagher, the UNCG Namibia facilitator.

“Likewise, it is important that messages are clear and to the point to ensure that your audience is receiving the message you would like them to receive,” emphasized Gallagher.

Through an interactive practical session, participants also learned about the 17 Goals comprising the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and were then tasked to demonstrate how they believed the SDGs can be applied to their work context by creating an interesting social media campaigns.

The NAMBTS staff had the chance to present their campaigns, demonstrating the vast knowledge they had gained about social media and the SDGs and weaved it with their every day work.

One group came up with the #YourBloodYourFreedom campaign, demonstrating their understanding of how SDG 16, which promotes peace, stability, human rights and effective governance, can be applied to their campaign to raise awareness on the right to freedom of choice the public exercises when donating blood, in that it is a voluntary process.

“There are so many great stories out there, and this training has provided us with useful tips on how to interact with our donors on social media and share those stories,” said Zita Tobin, the NAMBTS Head of Recruitment, Promotions and PR.

Her sentiments on the usefulness of the training were echoed by all her colleagues, with one colleague emphasizing that the training, “was very informative and will enable us to reach more donors on these platforms”.