Answering your organisations’ Why, What and How? Use a Message House

Working on a good communication plan to get more women involved in Moldovan liberal politics. That was the question of the Oranizatia Femeilor Liberal (OFL), the women’s movement of the Partidul Liberal (PL) of the republic of Moldova. And so, a small taskforce of VVD Trainers departed to Moldova from 9th till 11th December 2016 to help our liberal sisters.

On arrival in Moldova the VVD trainers joined forces with our usual partner the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF), since they are also active in this region of Europe and have valuable inside information. This helped in sharpening the  training programme.

The Friday started with the first introduction and getting even more intel on OFL, PL and the current situation of the women’s movement for the participants. We made a SWOT analysis to get a good base position of OFL and listened to each other’s personal incentives to take part in the seminar. Taking this all in consideration the group moved on to a ‘golden circle’ exercise, before we would start with the message house method. With the ‘golden circle’, organisations can decide on their purpose, or WHY they exist, and from there work on the process to accomplish their purpose – in other others words the HOW. Finally, the ‘golden circle’ exercise leads to the WHAT, or the results an organisation intends to accomplish. These three key elements form the basis of a message house.

During the entire weekend, we worked in small working groups to get a maximum stream of input from all the 30 participants, combined with plenary sessions to get the results in a funnel and filter those ideas that worked for the entire group. This was done for the golden circle, the three pillars of the message house and the complete message house. It took to the last morning to get everything wrapped up. With a small core group with members of all the working groups the complete message house was finalised, while the other participants focused on all (social) media types that could be used to reach the Moldovan women (and men), who could help OFL in its how and what.

In the end, the message house for OFL was the following:

WHY: “OFL is THE organisation that can identify and solve gender-based issues in Moldovan society. OFL is the voice of women in Moldova.”

HOW: “To make this happen, OFL actively promotes 1) women in leadership positions, 2) provides training and development opportunities and 3) provides (better) access to quality education.”

WHAT: “Together, OFL and the women of Moldova are a force.”


Next to having developed a solid message house, the participants also were made aware that they all are an ambassador of the Oranizatia Femeilor Liberal. With this thought and a strong plan for implementation everybody left on the Sunday afternoon to work on a bright future for Moldovan women in politics.

Sander Janssen is a trainer for VVD International / Haya van Somerenstichting. Sander was joined in Moldova by fellow trainer Lydia Datema.