Over thirty devotees from the UK and Ireland attended a special ISKCON National Communications Training Day at Bhaktivedanta Manor, Hertfordshire, UK, where they learned more about how to work effectively with the media.
Taking part in a series of innovative and interactive workshops, the group learned about why engaging with the media matters, what makes a good news story and how compatible the worlds of spirituality and media really are.
Facilitated by Simon Cohen of communications agency Global Tolerance, the devotees took part in live interview practice, had the opportunity to write press releases and get practical advice on how they could promote their own upcoming events.
This first time initiative to bring leaders and communications representatives together to take part in the National Communications Day stemmed from the need to reflect and think about where ISKCON sits in the UK and Ireland fifty years on, and how as a community it should go forward to deliver Srila Prabhupada's message in the best possible way.
Praghosa Dasa, GBC Head of UK and Ireland, who was attending the event said: "we are operating in a world where communication is king, and where anyone with a mobile phone can generate a news story - this is unprecedented in our history, which is why it has never been more important to know how to work with the media. Given the upcoming 50th anniversary celebrations, we want 2016 to be a standout year for ISKCON and one of the ways we can have the most impact is through effective communications. We want the UK and Ireland to be a leading light and make the next fifty years of ISKCON even better."
Other devotees attending also commented:
Nimai Dasi, communications manager for ISKCON Leicester said:
"It was a really useful exercise, especially to be with the people in other yatras that are also communicating ISKCON's message nationally.
Titiksu Das, Head of the London Rathayatra festival said:
"It was really inspiring, I was impressed by the professionalism and knowledge of the presenter Simon. It was very useful and I would encourage any other interested devotees to definitely come and learn what they can."
Sarva Mangala Dasi, from ISKCON Nottingham said:
"It wasn't all about skills, it was about building a relationship with people in the media, it's not just the formula - it's the practice."[ bhaktivedanta-manor ] [ communications ] [ ireland ] [ uk ]