The Wits Justice Project (WJP) had the pleasure of hosting 25 communications officers from Detention Justice Forum (DJF) member-organisations and Citizen Justice Network (CJN) paralegals for a full day of exciting workshops and insightful discussions.
Assembling at the Wits School of Journalism, delegates tackled important issues facing NGO communicators ranging from implementing effective communication strategies and how to handle crisis situations, down to the very basics of writing and editing press releases.
All workshops were presented by experts in various fields including Anton Harber, Head of Wits Journalism, who led an interesting discussion on Media Theory, Indra De Lanerolle, who taught the group about planning an effective communications campaign, and the WJP’s very own Nooshin Erfani-Ghadimi who facilitated a stimulating and interactive workshop on crisis communication.
Participants of the media training workshop[/caption]
The training was a response to a need expressed by several DJF-affiliated NGOs and CSOs to learn more about the South African media landscape. Throughout the day attendees highlighted that some of the challenges facing them, like obtaining funding or garnering public support for their causes, are often because of a lack of understanding of what media practitioners are actually looking for.
Only so much can be covered in a single day but the workshops proved highly successful with one participant commenting, “I found all of the topics presented intriguing, informative and I’ve learned a lot. All of them were well presented but strategic communication and emergency communication stood out. I would definitely come back again to learn more. ”
The day of training was certainly just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to learning about effective communication methods. Nonetheless, ventures like these are a step in the right direction and the WJP is proud to have been able to offer its partner organisations a safe space for networking, skills attainment and professional development.