Countering Misinformation with Digital Transformation: Using CRM for Better Community Outreach

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Project title: Countering misinformation through digital transformation: Using CRM for better community outreach

Donor: Foundation for Internet and Society METAMORPHOSIS

Implementation period: February 16, 2024 – August 16, 2024

IJAS role: project partner

Project partners:

Catalyst Balkans (Catalyst Foundation) – project holder

Partners Serbia

Europolis

Budget: USD 14,828 (total project value for all partners)

The self-propagating nature of misinformation, especially in the social media era, means that an active, well-informed community is key to combating it. In other words, an organization’s ability to respond to future disinformation campaigns depends on its ability to build and maintain its community and inform it in a timely, efficient, and cost-effective manner. The project builds that capacity for two organizations (IJAS and Europolis) that already have significant communities (of members, supporters and activists) and helps them use technology to strengthen and develop their communities, but also to establish a more direct way of communicating with communities.

 

Europolis brings local activism and community influence, which is essential for mobilizing support and fostering resistance to disinformation. IJAS contributes its professional media experience and wide network, which is vital for the dissemination of accurate information. Catalyst Balkans offers specialized skills in CRM implementation and digital transformation, providing the technological backbone for effective communication and community engagement. Partners Serbia, with its expertise in legal matters, ensures that project initiatives are ethically sound and legally compliant, dealing with issues of privacy and data protection.

 

This joint project seeks to address the significant gap between the enormous community potential of IJAS and Europolis, two influential CSOs, and their current limitations in communication capacity. IJAS, the main force of independent media in Serbia with over 2,500 members, currently lacks the digital tools necessary for effective engagement and quick mobilization. Similarly, Europolis, despite having a strong local activist base, primarily relies on social media and direct communication, methods that may not be as effective in crisis situations or in combating disinformation.

 

In order to tackle these challenges, we implement digital solutions adapted to the needs of IJAS and Europolis in the form of a CRM system. These systems are specifically designed to strengthen IJAS’ capabilities to manage member information and improve information dissemination, while providing Europolis with a single and more efficient contact platform.

 

Recognizing the obstacles of resource constraints and technical expertise that typically accompany such digital transformations, the project is set to focus on affordable, open source CRM solutions, complemented by comprehensive staff training. This approach not only ensures the successful integration of these digital tools, but also guarantees their sustainable and adaptive deployment within organizations. Through this initiative, the aim is to strengthen the capabilities of IJAS and Europolis to effectively use their community networks and counter disinformation.

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