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Creating Impact Content: How to Enhance the Media’s Contribution to Positive Social Change?

17 June 2022
Создаем импакт-контент. Как усилить вклад медиа в позитивные социальные изменения

Key conclusions

The media promoted the volunteering sector, and helped it earn the trust of society

“In principle, the volunteering sector has become one of the most trusted institutions in society. Trust in it has grown thanks in part to the media. All the biggest media holding companies and regional holding companies – together with smaller companies – communicated the same message. They talked about the In This Together initiative and demonstrated how people were helping others. It had a social impact,” Matvey Masaltsev, Deputy Chairman, Council of the Association of Volunteer Centers; Product Director, DOBRO.RF Platform.

“The demand for volunteers is a huge society-wide phenomenon. This demand was not at all fostered artificially – nobody was forced. Eighty per cent of Russians have expressed a desire to help those around them in one way or another. <...> The media has helped them find out how they can do this. Overall, there is an enormous demand in Russian society for doing good. <...> There is a huge number of positive requests, but these often go unfulfilled due to a lack of media support, infrastructure, or government attention. However, the degree of public interest is enormous,” Dmitry Mednikov, Managing Director, Russian Media Group.




Companies, the media, and organizations do not work sufficiently in tandem when covering key issues 

“Ask any company, channel, or newspaper whether they focus on the social sphere and cover issues in society, and they’ll all naturally say that they do. They’ll say that the content is there, articles are published, videos are made, and so on. However, one sometimes gets the impression that these efforts are spread very thinly across a huge number of problems. Sometimes, as we see it, our work on covering social problems could be made effective if there was some attempt to work in concert,” Artem Metelev, Chairman of the Committee of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation on Youth Policy; Head, DOBRO.RF Platform. 

“When you drive in Moscow, for example, you see these billboards vying with each other to get you to buy a dog or cat from some breeder. I counted four different organizations in a row, but I couldn’t remember them. I specifically tried to recall their names and who to contact. But I couldn’t. That’s an example of a poor marketing funnel. This kind of wishy-washy advertising can end up having no result whatsoever. Maybe you go home and two days later you wonder, ‘I should get a dog. I saw an advert about it somewhere – I wonder what I could do.’ And later, as we all know, attention wanes, the person leaves, and the problem is left unresolved. Only by consolidating efforts to tackle the main challenges can we achieve a clear, tangible result,” Alexey Goreslavsky, Director General, Internet Development Institute (IRI).




Working with non-profit organizations to promote impact content 

“It seems to us that the greatest success is achieved by media initiatives which were at the very least established in partnership with non-profit organizations in a specific area. These organizations can channel a person’s emotions and make them want to contribute to solving the problem. Of course, you get a greater effect still if other colleagues in the media join these efforts too. This is what we can see with the In This Together initiative,” Matvey Masaltsev, Deputy Chairman, Council of the Association of Volunteer Centers; Product Director, DOBRO.RF Platform. 

“Thanks to non-profit organizations, we are seeing the emergence of, amongst other things, entertaining content (such as TV series and shows) which are based on the expertise of these organizations. This, I believe, represents a huge step forward in the partnership between the media and non-profits. That’s how our chatbot, called Difficult Teenagers, arose, for example. It arose thanks to our collaboration with more than seven non-profit organizations dedicated to problems faced by teenagers,” Maria Zalunina, Head of CSR, National Media Group.


Increasing the influence of impact content through strengthening cooperation between the media, non-profit organizations, and the government 

“Our idea is to take existing initiatives and the mechanism we have thanks to the In This Together initiative. The plan is then to scale them up and make them permanent. It also involves the creation of a platform where media companies, non-profit organizations, and government representatives (as the main partner driving social change) can come together. There, they can determine key areas of focus in the social sphere, [shape – ed.] the agenda, and jointly organize their work. <...> Taken together, we believe that getting all this operating on a permanent basis would help us take impact media to the next level. Perhaps it will help us change society as a whole,” Matvey Masaltsev, Deputy Chairman, Council of the Association of Volunteer Centers; Product Director, DOBRO.RF Platform.

“If a social objective is communicated through various forms of media, we become able to reach the viewer. We also become able to look at the issue from another perspective and look inside and around us. And if everyone plays their part in this, then the social effect will be much greater and more enduring,” Antonina Priezzheva, HR Director, Gazprom-Media Holding.


For more information, visit the Roscongress Foundation’s Information and Analytical System at