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New Priorities for NBU Communications: New Strategy, Establishment of Expert Platform, and Brand Development

New Priorities for NBU Communications: New Strategy, Establishment of Expert Platform, and Brand Development

The National Bank of Ukraine (the NBU) presented its Communication Strategy to the expert community during a theme-specific event today. During the discussions, Director of the NBU’s Communications Department Nataliia Bondarenko and her colleagues explained how the central bank will adapt its communications to the requirements of this day and age. The document was praised by representatives of the NBU’s international partners, commercial banks, and other participants of the financial ecosystem.

“Until recently, central banks had not communicated with the public directly,” emphasized Nataliia Bondarenko in her speech during the meeting. “They had only used media channels. But we are living in a world of new technologies where users of social networks turn themselves into media channels and conventional media lose their power, rendering traditional approaches obsolete. The NBU prioritizes direct dialogue with various groups of its customers and partners, from businesses to banks to consumers of financial services, and even people with no access to such services.”

Role of Communications at NBU

Communications are an integral part of the NBU’s operation. They constitute an efficient policy instrument aimed at ensuring price and financial stability to promote economic growth and reach goals set in the medium-term Strategy of the National Bank of Ukraine.

The new Communication Strategy identifies specific goals and ways to achieve them. Introducing the Strategy will improve the NBU’s transparency, make the regulator’s communications more efficient and clear for customers and partners, and enhance its institutional capacity. Once introduced, the Strategy will reinforce confidence in the regulator, maximize the NBU’s influence on the target audience, and reduce economic uncertainty through provision of information required to make informed decisions.

“Transparency is one of the five priorities of the NBU. The NBU is focused on being proactive in its dialogue with customers and partners, staying responsible and accountable to the society, and explaining what we do and what we intend to achieve. All this is set out in the Communication Strategy,” said Nataliia Bondarenko.

What's New?

Being a modern-day institution, the NBU intends to build mutual understanding not only with a narrow audience of experts, but also with the general public. Accurate targeting is an important requirement for effective communications. With this purpose in mind, the NBU studies the needs of its target audience and builds its communications in a manner that enables it to speak to each target group in their own language.

Visual and audio content is the most accessible communication tool in a world overwhelmed with information. Communication tools such as this are what the NBU strives to develop. Thus, the NBU builds a direct, plain-language, intermediary-free dialogue with the general public.

Meanwhile, clarity is the two-way street whereby content should be adapted to various audiences and the content’s users should be ready to understand the information sufficiently well. That is why the NBU is stepping up efforts to improve financial literacy as per the new Communication Strategy.

As the NBU faces new challenges, it has remodeled its Communications Department. Currently, it comprises the Office for Strategic Communications and Media Relations, the Office for Internet Communications, and the Office for Public Relations and Financial Literacy.

NBU as the Media: Five Social Networks

In order to build up an extended communication with customers and partners, the NBU employs multiple communication channels, simultaneously maintaining its presence on various communication channels while communicating with different audiences.

The main traditional communication channels remain publications on the official web-site, public events for the media and other customers and partners, as well as communications with the media. In particular, the test version of the new web-site of the central bank that will be launched in full capacity in summer this year. However, to cover different audiences the NBU also develops alternative communication channels. Today, the NBU enjoys active presence on five social networks: Facebook, Twitter (Ukrainian and English), Instagram, YouTube, and Flickr

Thus, in four and a half years the central bank’s Facebook page gathered 38,000 readers, for whom 2,900 notifications were published. The Ukrainian account of the NBU on Twitter has been actively promoted since October 2016 and has about 6 thousand followers. The Instagram account will celebrate its third anniversary and can boast 1,800 fans of the visual content.

NBU as an Expert Platform

Since the beginning of this year, the NBU launched the Expert Platform i.e. a communication platform connecting highly knowledgeable experts from the NBU in various fields of economy and finance. For years, the NBU experts have been conducting in-depth and thorough analysis of economic and financial issues creating the foundation for the NBU Board decision-making. But, most of this research was never applied outside the central bank. The NBU’s Expert Platform intends to unlock this hidden potential.

In contrast to traditional communications of the NBU, the Expert Platform is neither an official outlet of the NBU nor the news source on the policy of the NBU Board. It presents opinions of analysts and researchers engaged in economy and finance, who take interest in thorough examination of international experience, search for explanations and design models, and are willing to enrich the Ukrainian expert market with their private research and analytics on a wide range of economic and financial issues.

Future Plans

Improving trust to the regulator by creating a major brand of the NBU. This relates to promotion of the NBU as an institution with a philosophy based on the best traditions, cotemporary trends, innovativeness and ongoing development. Also, the HR NBU Strategy approved in 2018 outlines the evolution of the employer brand. The NBU intends to become a more appealing work place for the most talented personnel of the Ukrainian labor market.

In order to implement the Communication Strategy, the NBU’s Communications Department engages leading Ukrainian financial journalists, as well as communication experts.

For reference:

The fundamental reform of the NBU’s communication system was launched in 2014 by a new team that took over the regulator after the Revolution of Dignity. Since then, the NBU became more transparent and clear to the general public. The regulatory analytical reports (the Inflation Report, the Financial Stability Report, periodical publications on major issues of the financial system) were introduced, and the Annual Report of the NBU that in 2016 was awarded the bronze prize by ARC Awards in Design/Graphics category.

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