Effective Communication Strategies for MFIs
Communication Strategies for MFIs

By Ekayana Media (www.ekayanamedia.com),

Microfinance Focus, January 23, 2012: In recent years, success within the financial sector has become synonymous with the effective use of technology. The essential goal of any MFI is providing financial services to the world's poorest communities, and communications technologies, such as websites, newsletters and networking, can help MFIs convey their mission and increase public support.

Developing a message is the first step, but communicating that message to the world is equally important. A clear message is at the heart of a successful communications strategy. According to Ritu R. Sharma, a researcher at Support for Analysis and Research in Advocacy (SARA), a message captures what an organization wants to achieve.

An MFI's mission could be clear to employees and clients, yet inaccessible to the public. Without effective communication, MFIs can become invisible or misunderstood, and as a result, have access to fewer resources.

Websites, e-newsletters and social networking sites can help MFIs make aspirations clear and gain visibility.  Using a website, an MFI can convey their mission to millions of people as well as provide a history of the organization for viewers. The MFI might also choose to display on their website current projects, future goals and how they will achieve them. For more detailed descriptions and research, e-newsletters and digital magazines can be made available for download, or e-mailed to interested parties.

Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Linked-in will be increasingly important for MFIs in order to advertise their services and connect to individuals and organizations that can help their business grow. Although web technologies are perhaps the most crucial part of a modern communications plan, print publications should not be underestimated.

If possible, MFIs should buy advertisement space in print and online publications, and use software to ensure web search engines, such as Google and Bing, navigate people towards their site. This will help an MFI gain visibility and international support. All of the above-mentioned strategies are a few examples of the many ways an MFI can improve communications.

Communicating a clear message is especially important in today's microfinance industry. Microfinance is a relatively new invention, and still in the process of developing models to solve a complex problem. Microfinance is often misconstrued in the media as a "silver bullet" that will end global poverty and suffers much criticism as a result. After the crisis in Andhra Pradesh, it is especially important to communicate news, reforms and difficulties pertaining to the microfinance sector. Without communication technologies, MFIs cannot share achievements when business is good nor protect clients during a time of crisis.

There are countless different MFIs working to alleviate poverty, some more effectively than others. An MFI will stand out if they develop an honest message, provide quality services, account for tribulations and provide solutions. This is not possible without good communication. Investors support companies they believe to be reliable, efficient and focused on the best interest of the client.

At every step of implementation, MFIs should make sure new technologies are user-friendly, professional, and true to the mission of microfinance. While communication in the business world is normally used to maximize profits, an effective communication strategy for an MFI means more business and less poverty.

About the Author:
Ekayana provides microfinance industry with its Microfinance Communication 360° Pack. This comprehensive pack is all you need to manage your corporate communications and branding. Our expertise lies in our comprehensive integrated solutions of web consultancy, content development, creative design and conference support for both private and public sectors.
To know more, visit www.ekayanamedia.com


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