Our “My Community” Approach

From the earliest human existence, stories have helped us to understand and shape our world, enabling us to share our experiences with one another. Stories inspire us, teach us, move us, and in so doing… they change the world. Entertainment-Education programs draw on our deep affinity for stories to reveal worlds of new possibilities, where dramatic conflicts and decisions are tied to real world consequences. The choices that characters make center on critical social issues, illuminating pathways to change, adoption of new behaviors, and ultimately lead to a world of hope. Targeted social, health and environmental issues are key plot elements in Entertainment-Education programs. Characters serve as role models to bring these concepts to life. Audience members become emotionally tied to program characters, and these ties influence values and inspire behaviors much more powerfully than direct appeals for change.

How it Works

Phase One: Coalition Building & Formative Research

PCI Media Impact identifies and recruits a diverse group of coalition members who are critical for understanding the context, culture, language and needs of local communities. Coalitions drive formative research, which includes a review of legal frameworks, existing research and literature as well as an evaluation of compatible programs and partners.

Phase Two: Training and Program Design

PCI Media Impact hosts in-country workshops, bringing together coalition partners such as thematic experts, media professionals and community members. The workshops include analysis of the formative research, training in using communications for social change and Entertainment-Education processes, development of a communications strategy for the program as well as tools for effective community engagement and mobilization.

Phase Three: Mentoring and Production

PCI Media Impact mentors coalition partners, supporting the creative development and revision of scripts and other media materials, to produce Entertainment-Education serial dramas using the media resources available in radio, television and digital media.

Phase Four: Broadcast and Community Mobilization

PCI Media Impact provides both on-site and distance mentoring during broadcast and implementation of all components of the My Community program.  This support typically includes training, design and implementation of interactive radio and TV call-in shows as well as community action campaigns.

What A Typical Program Looks Like

E-E Serial Drama:

The core of a program is the production and broadcast of a serial drama addressing critical social and environmental issues, using the most appropriate media platform to reach target audiences.  Key messages are developed carefully through formative research and are integrated into an entertaining product. With a content mix of 70% entertainment and 30% education, the drama tackles the most sensitive subjects in a non-threatening manner, which stimulates discussion in communities, promoting attitude and behavior change and reaching millions of people including geographically dispersed, illiterate and other marginalized segments of the population.

Radio or TV Call-In Show (Magazine):

Interactive call-in shows contextualize the issues presented in the drama and provide opportunities for listeners to engage in discussion. These call-in shows include interviews with experts, information about locally available resources, reports on local activities, public service announcements, audience opinion, the opportunity to ask questions and other interactive components. The shows use music, competitions and prize giveaways to energize community-wide dialogue, influence public policy and connect a diverse audience.

Community Mobilization Campaigns:

Community Mobilization Campaigns provide audience members opportunities to directly engage in the behavior change promoted in the drama and interactive call-in show. Whether it’s a community fair, a school visit or the distribution of promotional materials, these locally-driven activities are integral in engaging the community and inspiring behavioral change. Leveraging the resources of community networks, such as academic, religious, governmental institutions and mobile and online platforms, these campaigns seek policy support and engagement of service providers. Campaigns catalyse action at the community level.