Mobile journalism (MOJO) is an essential aspect of the ICRC’s communications approach at both the local and international level, and Cook is adamant about building up her team’s competencies. Her aim is for the ICRC to create native content on the same devices people use to consume information in today’s virtual world.
“One of the big time-savers with Spark is that our teams don’t need advanced skills in Photoshop or video editing software to resize content for different social platforms, like Instagram and Facebook. The features ensure they create content that works for every channel, so they can focus on the story,” she says.
“In a world flooded with information, especially online, the ICRC doesn’t just compete with other humanitarian organisations for attention. We’re constantly competing for people’s attention in a very crowded digital space. To reach them, you have to tell stories specifically curated to that platform – the format, the tone, the feel of the visuals. And this is constantly evolving,” she stresses. “The only way to capture our audience’s attention is to reach them on the channels they use and in a visual way that resonates.”
The ICRC’s pilot programme with Adobe Spark has validated this thinking. Cook and her team now hope to roll out the programme more broadly and ignite this creative spark into full-scale transformation.
Reflecting on her five years at the ICRC, Cook recalls her first day as Photo editor, when the organisation didn’t even have an Instagram account. “Today, our teams can create and share beautiful digital content across a range of channels, with no need for specialised training or equipment. It’s been quite a dramatic transformation, and there’s so much more we can do,” she added.