Media Organizations and NGOs in Serbia Use CiviCRM to Organize Protest for Press Freedom
For Press Freedom (Za slobodu medija)
On September 28th 2017, independent media organizations in Serbia protested the shutting down of Vranjske newspaper after serious political and financial pressure in a campaign called For Press Freedom (Za slobodu medija).
This campaign has since broadened and turned into a public outcry against the chilling of free speech, where majority of independent media organizations have experienced some form of pressure during the previous years.
So far more than 80 organizations (media outlets and CSOs) have signed the petition, while hundreds of organizations and individuals have supported the initiative.
Građanske inicijative was among the first organizations who signed up to beta test a localized version of CIviCRM hosted by Catalyst through the CiviCatalyst cloud-hosting service.
Their goal was to create a meeting point for multiple organizations who wanted to support the For Press Freedom (Za slobodu medija) initiative by signing the petition for press freedom; consolidate resources and act jointly. Priority was the unification of contact lists from multiple organizations which would then be informed about the status of the campaign through a regular mailing and later by SMS.
- There was an issue with multiple organizations having contacts stored on different platforms and in different formats – and they needed a way to unify them into a single mailing list.
- We needed to train users, who haven’t had any experience using CRM software, how to use CiviCRM to prepare and send out mailings.
- Everything needed to be done within two days.
Catalyst Balkans has been an avid user of CiviCRM since 2015. Given our previous experience, we knew CiviCRM could easily import contacts from different platforms, combine them into a mailing list, and a mailing could be easily created in Mosaico. The time was a factor, i.e. the ability to organize and mobilize their constituents quickly was crucial. Therefore, the speed of deployment was one of the most important criteria for choosing CiviCRM.