Adult learning

Adult learning is a specific methodology for education of professionals and adults. It differs from the methods used in the formal education system as adults learn best when:

  • learning is accomplished through dialogue
  • they feel respected as responsible self directed learners
  • they feel their knowledge and experience are valued and can be shared
  • they feel able to trust, sense safety in the learning environment
  • they see how the skill or information is relevant to their lives or their work
  • when they see that the information or skill is immediately useful in  performing tasks or to deal with problems they confront in their lives.


Those forms of PR and marketing communication aimed at the influencing and /or promoting purchasing behaviour with regard to the services and products of the organisation. Successful advertising is based on principles such as “perception is the only reality”, “one pictures is more powerful than a thousand words”, “emotion is what triggers action”. Advertising tools range from billboards and TV spots to direct mail.

Capacity building

Capacity building is the creation of an enabling environment with appropriate policy and legal frameworks, institutional development, including community participation (of women in particular), human resources development and strengthening of managerial systems. Capacity building is a long-term, continuing process, in which all stakeholders participate (ministries, local authorities, non-governmental organizations and water user groups, professional associations, academics and others. Capacity building are activities which strengthen the knowledge, abilities, skills and behaviour of individuals and improve institutional structures and processes such that the organization can efficiently meet its mission and goals in a sustainable way.


When we communicate, we send a message to one or more people or organizations. The ideal form of communication is a two way process aimed at mutual understanding, sharing of values and action. For governments the two-way exchange of information is a means to gain cooperation of groups in society by listening to them first and clarifying why and how decisions are made. In an instrumental approach governments use communication with other instruments to support biodiversity conservation to address economic constraints and to motivate action. Governments also use one-way communication to inform audiences about policies and legislation.

Communication strategy

A communication strategy sets the communication goals, chooses the right media and messages and sets out the method of evaluation. One first analyses the management or biodiversity issue one wants to address. The second step is to analyse what communication obstacles have to be addressed to reach or change the relevant stakeholders. The third is to define for each group of stakeholders one needs to communicate to (the target group) the communication objectives, the messages and the means.

Communication objectives

Communication objectives are different from the organization, policy, project or program objectives. Communication as an instrument for the organization, policy, project or program may have the following objectives: setting agenda, forming opinions, raising awareness or creating involvement, generating support, changing knowledge, changing attitudes, changing behaviour.

Corporate communication

A management instrument that is used to harmonise all forms of communication in such a way that the Ministry acquires and/or retains the image it wishes to acquire and/or retain among its target groups and customers (both internal and external). Two key concepts in relation to corporate communication are image and identity. In successful organisations corporate communication is a priority of the top executives.

Focus group

A major tool for listening is the use of focus groups. A focus group is a non-directive type of interviewing a specific social group: a segment of consumers, voters or stakeholders in a policy issue. It is a technique in commercial and social marketing. It draws on group interaction to gain greater insight into why certain opinions are held. Focus groups are used to improve planning and design of new products or programs, to provide means for evaluation and to provide insights and qualitative data for communication and marketing strategies. Good consumer-orientated companies have been using focus groups for years. Increasingly they are used in politics, policymaking and policy implementation.


Framingis a process of selective control over the individual’s perception of media, public, or private communication, in particular the meanings attributed to words or phrases. Framing defines how an element of rhetoric is packaged so as to allow certain interpretations and rule out others.


Language used by people who share a professional background or work in a specific area. You can use it to express ideas and concepts that are frequently discussed between members of a group. Because members of the group know the meaning, you need less explaning. In many cases this causes a barrier to communication with those not familiar with the language of the field. Jargon is also used fort his purpose to shield a group from new members.


Those corporate activities aimed at systematically identifying, satisfying and creating the needs of current and potential market parties. The optimal form of marketing is a mix of product, price, place and promotion (marketing communication). Marketing is connected with continuous research of the market, the current and potential customers.


The message of communication is the content one sends to the receiver. In communication planning one formulates the message in terms of the desired residue of the communication in the mind of the receiver. These are often one-liners, with an emotional undertone appealing to the values of the receiver and inviting him/her to the desired attitudes or actions. The message is always transmitted by a person or by other means. The body language or the choice of the medium has to support the message, if not the result can be counter productive (“the medium is the message”).


People and organisations which have interest in the changes you strive for. They are vital to the success or failure of your efforts to reach your goals. Stakeholders are the parties you need for permission, cooperation and financial support  It are the groups who are affected by your activities. For instance:

  • Municipality
  • Mountaineering club
  • Local community
  • Police

Strategic communication

Strategic communication is to have a realistic and well defined objective and a strong plan with coordinated, effective actions to reach it. It is based on understanding of your issue, stakeholders & target audiences. In most cases, a joint effort with your stakeholders is needed. Only rarely you can accomplish your goal alone. Strategic communicators design messages tailored for their target audiences. And select and design means which reach them and connect. They use feedback to improve and fine-tune their strategy.


Strategy is to have a realistic and well defined objective and a strong plan with coordinated, effective actions to reach it. In most cases, strategy also requires a joint effort with stakehold-ers and early stage involvement off target audiences. Only rarely you can accomplish your goals alone.
Example of a realistic objective: visitors of our nature park, stop camping on the fragile mead-ows with rare flowers during the yearly celebration.
Bad example: people should value our nature park and embrace the importance of biodiversity.
Example of a strategy: work in joint effort with all stakeholders to make the desired behavior attractive and the wrong behavior impossible, costly and socially unacceptable.
Bad example: let’s make a movie to prove the value of our nature park.

Target groups

A target group is a group of people which you need to reach with your communication in order to realize a result (see communication objective). For communication purposes is better not to view them in terms of statistics but as people of flesh and blood. It is best to segment the target group as far as possible and identify the opinion leaders (name, address etc.) to whom face to face communication is possible. It is important to explore how the target group relates to the biodiversity issue and what would motivate them to act as desired. One has to realize that for successful communication their perception of the issue is the starting point. Information about scientific facts will not convince them. Most probably our issue might not even interest them: it is a fact of life that for any issue there are always many more people not interested in it than that are interested.