Hi, I'm Sho Konno.

These are some things I do.

I am a freelance communications advisor 
for activists. 

I love to find people who have something important to say but are not listened to, and help them make sure they are heard. 

I like to experiment with different ways to communicate.

I have dabbled with podcasts, a graphic design diploma, and training techniques. I am no specialist, but I publish what I learn so others can build on it. 

You can sign up here to my occassional emails about what I’m learning from work, my experiments, and life after leaving the UK. Examples here.

 

My experiments.

A ‘Creative Emergency Kit’ to break free from bad brainstorms. 

With lego, word magnets, and 12 other simple activities, it is designed for all those meetings where someone asks for “creative thinking”… but does not bring any.

A summary of the latest research into framing/narrative in a Bluffer’s Guide to Framing for busy activists who might need to use it for real.

Also: tips for young people’s public speaking, and what ‘Comms for Development’ should mean.

Experiments from my graphic design diploma, including techniques from 1960s protest signs updated for todays issues: lino-cut printing about police brutality, dioramas for migrant rights, etc.

‘Shiver Down Spine’, my podcast miniseries about how people make speeches.

Talking to a dictator’s spin doctor, a student debating club, and travelling from the UK to Lebanon, Turkey & Egypt.

My work.

I ran remote workshops for consumer groups across four continents. We co-created a narrative theme for reclaiming their cultures from mass consumerism. Now I am their comms coach for these campaigns.

I led an advocacy strategy for a campaign to revolutionise learning in the 21st century. I created content (podcasts, interactive articles, etc) and organised lobbying which influenced policy at the UN, EU, and in Silicon Valley.

I trained a group of sexual rights activists from Honduras to Nepal in using storytelling for advocacy. We then co-created a guide where their voices narrated how they used the techniques for real in their campaigns.

I supported 19 young women from across southern Africa to tell their story as they created a regional strategy for women’s power with Oxfam. I provided comms coaching for four months and at workshops in Malawi & South Africa.

I facilitated British Council staff in Khartoum to identify audiences, come up with creative ideas, and design and publish a ‘Pocket Strategy’ to celebrate a new era for the Sudanese people (all in two half-day sessions).

I helped policy staff from an alliance of NGOs to use lego, improv, and cartoons to find more persuasive ways to talk about sexual rights in emergencies. Then I turned it into an online messaging kit for their colleagues.

I lived in Lebanon for four months: learning Arabic; writing speeches for the UNDP director on refugees and torture; and giving comms training to Lebanese anti-racism activists campaigning for domestic workers’ rights.

I set up and managed a youth NGO’s first comms team across eight countries. I led a change of strategy so communications were youth-led, with hackathons, youth as media spokespeople, and ‘Mobile Journalism’ in Delhi slums.

I helped young activists prepare for events so they could avoid being used as photo ops: from the UN Sustainable Development Goals Summit to TV interviews. I have replicated this training for activists and NGO staff from 15 countries.

I have delivered crisis communications training for multiple NGOs including the Mines Advisory Group. I have myself led crisis comms for situations from volunteer fatalities to government crack-downs on civil society

I was deputy to the MD for a
digital communications startup agency which grew to 8 staff and £500k turnover in two years. A pension campaign I led changed policy and won the European Digital Public Affairs award.

First as a PR consultant and then in-house, I have delivered 100+ mainstream media stories across four continents: from front-page exposés to primetime TV to a global launch with media coverage in Nepal, UK, USA, and Uganda.

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