Communications as a tool for experience design and visitor management
VIMOMA’s project consortium and the invited protected area managers gathered in Hungary to discuss communications tools and approaches to promote natural areas and attract visitors. The fourth workshop was hosted by CEEweb at Teleki-Wattay Castle, Pomáz between the 24th and 25th of April, 2023
The first day's indoor workshop aimed to provide participants with insight into communications planning and strategies, while also introducing them to available tools that can enhance visitors' experiences and improve visitor monitoring practices in the national park. After the opening, the first session was led by communications expert András Sztaniszláv, who introduced the basics of communication planning and strategies. As a communications expert, he emphasised the importance of using the right strategic approach for effective communication. Mr Sztaniszláv explained that adaptability is now crucial in communication planning, and traditional, predictable planning methods are becoming outdated. He highlighted three key elements that should be considered in a communications strategy: the target audience, channels, and messaging. These elements play a vital role in crafting an effective communication plan.
Theoretical knowledge was effectively applied in practical exercises during the group work session. Participants received assistance in identifying their target audiences, selecting appropriate communication channels, and crafting tailored messaging based on their own unique situations. The second panel expanded on the importance of target audiences and personas. During the subsequent group work session, participants began by identifying the key stakeholders relevant to their respective areas. From the numerous stakeholders identified, three main groups were selected: students, farmers, and researchers. Personas were then created to represent each of these stakeholder groups. In addition to the group work activities, partners were encouraged to immerse themselves in the perspectives of their created personas. This exercise allowed them to consider new viewpoints and gain insights into effective communication strategies tailored to each stakeholder group.
The afternoon session of the workshop focused on communications tools utilized for visitor monitoring in protected areas. Thor Morante, a communications expert from CEEweb, along with Joseph Oppong Wiafe, an intern, presented the key communication tools of QR coding and geocaching. The session aimed to highlight the principles crucial for the successful implementation of these visitor monitoring communication tools. It also provided an opportunity for partners to discuss concerns and share their experiences with these tools in their respective areas.
Following the presentations, an interactive session on communication planning was facilitated by Andras Sztaniszlav. Participants engaged in small group discussions, reflecting on the current challenges faced by their own protected areas and developing communication plans accordingly. The communication plans were later presented, and the communication experts offered valuable feedback and suggestions to all participants.
The second day of the workshop commenced at the Pilisi Len Visitor Centre. Dr. Pál Kézdy, representing the Duna-Ipoly National Park Directorate, provided an introduction to the main characteristics of the national park. He also highlighted the ongoing projects and visitor monitoring practices carried out by the directorate. During the field trip, participants were led through the Borbás-gerinc area, which is highly protected and renowned as the exclusive habitat of the pilisi len (Linum dolomiticum), a plant species. In the latter part of the trip, the group visited Pilis-tető, the highest peak of the Pilis mountains, and had the opportunity to climb up to the Boldog Özséb Lookout Tower, offering panoramic views of the surrounding area.
As the project is slowly coming to an end, the VIMOMA partnership and PA managers will gather for the last time in Banská Bystrica in June, to discuss visitor impact monitoring in protected areas.
- VIMOMA_HU_Geocaching_Thor_Morante (0,14 MB)
- VIMOMA_HU_Communication_Strategy_Workshop_Andras_Sztaniszlav (0,16 MB)
- VIMOMA_HU_QR_Joseph_Oppong_Wiafe (0,19 MB)