Using Media for Development

Course for NGO staff - not for professionals from media organisations.

Using Media for Development

In this two-week course, experienced NGO staff explore how to work with media effectively, increasing impact and awareness. The rich theoretical and practical content enables you to tell better stories in many formats, using your own audio and video content. This course is for NGO staff and not for professionals from media organisations.

This is a 2-week course.

This course takes place at the RNTC training centre and studios in Hilversum, which is about 20 minutes by train from Amsterdam Central Station.


Course fee: 1,950 Euro
Early- bird discount: 1,750 Euro. Discount valid until the 20th of November 2016.
All-in-fee: 3,350 Euro (incl accommodation, meals, etc.). Please note that if you need a visa for the Netherlands you will need to choose the all-in fee in almost every case.


  • The skills you learn during this 2-weeks course give you the confidence and tools to use media for development work with individuals, communities, and organisations.
  • By the end of the course, you will understand how to maximise the opportunities of working with local media to achieve any communication objectives.
  • At RNTC, you will learn hands-on how to reach the communities you need to educate using various media formats and combining them with story.

Course dates

Monday, January 16, 2017 - 09:00 to Friday, January 27, 2017 - 17:00


Why taking this course

This course increases the impact of what you do, by making more effective use of media and building a mutually beneficial relationship with local media. We explore how media works and how to engage effectively and propose collaborations with all types of media. Through hands-on experience you will learn how to create your own audio and video content.

The course also addresses how NGOs can reach a wider, more diverse target audience. Through exploring story theory, you learn how to replace messages with story and why this is the most effective form of media communication. Using format theory, you learn to develop many different ways of telling powerful stories. We explore persuasion and target audiences to ensure that you reach the people you need to reach. We examine the strengths and weaknesses of various media platforms to enable you to advise colleagues on their use.

The course will place emphasis on combining theory with practice through individual, group, and plenary activities, presentations, discussions, role-plays, exercises, content analysis, and mini-assignments. We favour learning-by-doing, so we will be getting you to work with a camera, to script, and to make your own stories, using text, photos, and video.

Course outline

The course increases the impact of what you do, by making more effective use of media and building a mutually beneficial relationship with local media.

Week 1:

The first week includes several small group interactive sessions and workshops to ensure that you learn by doing. It includes:

Know your target audience module:

  • Where do ideas come from?
  • How to zero in on an audience
  • Mapping your target audience
  • Influencers, agreed realities, and emotional payoffs
  • Using mapping to discover target audiences
  • Using social media for insights
  • Developing target audience statements
  • Pitching target audiences

Persuade your target audience module:

  • What is learning and why this is important to understanding audiences
  • How do people learn? Information, skills, and behaviours
  • The ingredients of persuasive aims
  • Why you need different credible sources
  • Why you should craft emotional appeals
  • The benefits of formulating a logical approach
  • Investigating examples – persuading target audiences
  • Applying persuasion to your own context

Storytelling for media professionals module:

  • Narrative journalism versus information journalism
  • The eight essential elements of story
  • Symbols and universal truths
  • Studying real examples illustrating the eight essential elements of story
  • Story detective sessions: develop your own story
  • The micro story: story in a tweet
  • Create characters to engage audiences
  • The importance of character: identifying people like us
  • The types and tropes of drama characters
  • Character histories and how to craft them
  • Hero journeys and creating powerful character growth

Creative formats to engage audiences module:

  • How do we tell stories using media?
  • Ten engaging formats and what makes them unique
  • Which formats are good for conveying information versus conveying emotions?
  • Types of formats and the ideas box
  • Combining ideas creatively
  • Investigating formats: interviewing
  • Investigating formats: the discussion
  • Practice: engaging audiences with the discussion format


Week 2:

We explore how media works and how to engage effectively with all types of media to reach a wider audience. Learn by doing to create your own audio and video with hands-on experience using story, persuasion, and format theory.

The modules include:

  • Understanding your media context
  • Working with the traditional media: the day in the life of a journalist, working with journalists
  • Constructing powerful press releases
  • Pitching your ideas to the media
  • Interviews and discussion panels: how to engage and use the media to tell your story
  • Working in online and social media:
  1. Blogging, micro blogging, and writing for online audiences
  2. Using social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others) for purpose
  3. Strategising online and offline campaigns for behavioural change

We examine effective case studies of how development agents have used the media and understand the stories, formats, and aims used to effectively target their audience.

Dates and deadlines

Course dates:

  • January 16-27, 2017

NFP scholarship deadline:

  • July 22, 2016
Admission requirements

Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • You are currently working in or for a development-oriented NGO or civil society organisation and have a minimum of one year’s experience working in communications, some of which involve the use of media (for instance in media campaigns).
  • You are able to provide the original proof (or a properly certified copy) of your most recent educational qualification in secondary or higher education.
  • You have sufficient skills in spoken and written English as this is the working language for our courses.

After you have completed all the course sessions and assignments you will receive an RNTC certificate and join the ranks of our more than 3,000 RNTC alumni worldwide.


You may qualify for a scholarship for an RNTC course. The most commonly used scholarship for our courses are the NFP and MSP (MENA) scholarships.

NFP stands for Netherlands Fellowship Programmes (NFP), MSP stands for MENA (Middle East and North Africa) Scholarship Programme. NFP scholarships are available for 50 countries, MSP scholarships for 9 countries. For more information see visit our scholarships page.