Rikki Morgan, Communications Officer — Research, SANE Australia
“Storytelling is the most dependable tool we have”, says Rikki Morgan. “For the most part, it doesn't matter what the stats and facts say if people can't feel how it's relevant to them, or empathise with it. Then all the stats in the world won't really make a difference.”
As an employee of SANE Australia, a national charity working to support the millions of Australians affected by complex mental health issues, Rikki Morgan is acutely aware of the importance of effective communications.
Having completed a Masters in Social Policy at Melbourne Uni, and fueled by a love of writing, Rikki explored roles in PR, journalism and media before finding her niche in communications in the not-for-profit space.
“Communications are incredibly important for SANE”, says Rikki, “because advocacy is a key aim of the organization as a whole. Advocacy is where communications can play a vital role in really getting media to pay attention to the issues you want it to pay attention to. And also getting policy changes made by people that can make those decisions, like governments or public departments.”
“It involves so much more than just telling people what you want to have changed and why. You need to make it clear that the status quo might not be working and the impact of that status quo — and then you also need to communicate why it's actually worth them doing something to change it.”
Human experience and empathy are at the heart of compelling communication, says Rikki.
“You've got to take a step back and make sure that you've made the message something that they can relate to.”
To anyone keen to find their place in the industry, Rikki says persistence is the key.
“Just keep trying. Learn all you can. If you can demonstrate that you've put in the effort to learn about the field, then the communications part comes with that, really. It's about going that little step further to understand the subject matter that you're working with.”