ACDC TRAINING WORKSHOPS

STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION TRAINING

THE MANAGERS’ AND EXECUTIVES’ PROGRAM

ACDC has introduced this annual training class of 25-30 communication practitioners to hone their skills and learn new strategies for using communications more effectively, as they network with other local and international Communicators. Participants not only become stronger strategic communicators, they also learn to build the capacity of their organizations to use communications to reach their social change goals.
Participants work with top experts from the field while studying a host of communications building blocks from planning and tactics to evaluation and fundraising. Participants also develop skills they can immediately apply in the workplace, such as social media skills, presentation delivery, media interviews and storytelling. It is an opportunity for the practitioners to network; explore new media and exchange ideas on what is working. To enrich the program, facilitators and practitioners have an international mix.
Each year, special topics will be covered to enrich participants work. For example,

  • emerging media; power of social media for campaigns

  • fundraising

  • power of story-telling

  • advocacy approaches

Overall aim of Workshop
Communication Managers/Executives learn to align their work with organizational goals and remain at the strategic level where communication drives change .
Workshop Objectives

  • Participants learn how to lead and manage Communication Units or departments;

  • Stay at the strategic position within the organisation by aligning communication to the overall organisational goals and objectives;

  • Plan,Executeand Evaluate a Comprehensive Communications Strategy

  • Pick the choice and plan for Policy Advocacy or Behaviour Change. Strategies may include:

Community Mobilization; Fundraising; Media advocacy; Behaviour Change Communication; (BCC) and Information Education and Communication (IEC) campaigns; strengthen internal communication;

  • Incorporate Results Based Management to the Communication strategy;

  • Refine their Organizational Branding

  • Get internal “buy –in” among board and strengthen internal communications among staff, volunteers and other key stakeholders and ensure key messages are consistently echoed throughout the organization;

  • Develop Crisis Management Plan to deal;

  • Make informed choices about communications resources;

  • Harness Social Media, Internet marketing, digital technologies drive awareness, build communities and connect with volunteers, supporters and advocates

Networking forum
Overall, the workshop provides a networking platform for communications specialists working in development organizations where they can explore new media and exchange ideas on best practices. To enrich the program, facilitators and practitioners are drawn from different countries.
Participation
Communication and PR Executives and Managers (and others responsible for strategic communication) from: Government, Non Profit Organizations (NGOs), Civil Society Organizations (CSO),Training Institutions, Research Institutions, Faith Based Organizations, Private and donor organizations, among other organizations

 

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Testimonials

Networking forum
Overall, the workshop provides a networking platform for communications specialists working in development organizations where they can explore new media and exchange ideas on best practices. To enrich the program, facilitators and practitioners are drawn from different countries.

Felista
Felista com officer Youth ent fund

AUDIENCE TARGETED MESSAGING

Background information
When it comes to messaging, one size does not fit all. Knowing what to say and who to say it to, are undeniable cornerstones of an effective strategic communications plan. Unfortunately, these two pieces of the puzzle are often the hardest ones to figure out. Most organizations do not have the resources to waste on scattershot communications strategies. Effective messaging is about sharpening the focus and making a few strong points that key audiences will remember and act upon.
Overall Aim of the Training
ACDC’s Audience Targeting and Messaging training helps participants learn how to determine which audiences they need to reach, craft tailored messages that will resonate with these audiences, and how to erase the term “general public” from their vocabulary.
Audience targeting and messaging complements and expands upon specific sections of the Strategic Communication Training and gives participants a more in-depth look at the audience segmenting and messaging process. We make the process of developing messages simpler, more efficient, more effective, and a lot more fun by breaking it all down into simple steps.
Workshop Objectives
Participants leave the training with a deeper understanding of:
Who they need to reach with their message. Participants are shown how to select a very narrow, targeted audience – one that reflects the goal they are trying to achieve and will be most likely to respond to their call to action. After this training, participants will know what it takes to persuade any audience.

  • Why it’s important to know what their audience cares about. Messages that take into account the values and core concerns of the target audience are most effective and are most likely to move that audience to act.

  • How to create concise, compelling message points that will resonate with their target audience. Good messaging has no more than three main points, and ACDC introduces participants to our easy-to-use messaging tool and various messaging stages

  • How to turn opposition messages to their advantage by asking simple questions – e.g. Who are your opponents? What do you anticipate their key messages will be in opposing you? How will you respond?

  • How to package different messages for different purposes – e.g. elevator speeches, brochures, media etc.

  • What not to do. Messaging isn’t just about what to do to message effectively. We walk participants through the “sins of messaging” – communications killers that weaken a message and make it harder to persuade an audience to act – so that none of our clients wastes a dime on ineffective messaging.

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audience targeted messaging

STRATEGIC MEDIA RELATIONS

Media Shapes Views of your audiences

Many organisations have always tried to reach out to the media in recognition of it as a key partner in popularizing their advocacies. Although they have attempted to share their information with the media by sending out copies of their reports, research, studies, and press releases, we still do not see much activities, issues and perspectives written about or broadcast from organizations. This is definitely NOT because media do not find some organizations newsworthy.
A preliminary survey has revealed and attributed this to:

  1. Lack of skillfully packaged information from organizations to attract media, so that media will find them useful for their purpose.

  2. The fact that most organization workers have inadequate – indeed, sometimes non-existent – media training

  3. How development organizations place their media releases, how they follow them up and how they network with media practitioners. In other words, it is about understanding how media operate and putting media strategies in tune with the media’s operating systems.

Media Relations Workshop
Your audiences’ perceptions of your work or services are strongly shaped by the media. Therefore, it is crucial to build it. The ACDC training focuses on creating a smart, targeted media relations plan that effectively tells an organization's story and keeps brand visible.
Overall Aim of the Workshop:
Participants learn skills of strengthening positive relationship with the media to achieve more informed, positive reporting about your work
Learning Outcomes:

  • A step-by-step, systematic approach to media relations

  • Tools to get your organization more visibility and respect in the press:

  • Identifying and developing relationships with media practitioners

Key Topics:

  • Creating a Media Strategy;

  • How to Pitch

  • Writing press releases (Practical)

  • Organizing media visits

  • Organizing press conferences and media briefings

  • Writing features; ways to get feature coverage where you need it most

  • Writing and distributing Opinion Editorials (op-eds)

  • Producing and distributing Video News Releases for electronic media

  • Writing factsheets

  • Developing fresh story ideas and key messages

  • Developing a crisis communications plan

  • Opposition messaging and identifying and preparing your spokesperson for the media interview

  • Understanding the context within which journalists operate

Participants
Press Officers, Communication Officers, Public Relations Officers and others who are responsible for publicity and media relations.

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MEDIA SKILLS COACHING

Using a problem based interactive methodology the media training facilitators' help participants focus on strategically interacting with the media to advocate and promote particular development issues and activities. At the same time, participants learn to tailor their messages to the specific needs of international and local media and the audiences they are trying to reach.
Aim of the Workshop
Build media skills of spokespersons so they can use the media in a pro-active way to build their organization’s image, reputation and identity.
Learning Format
Our fully equipped multi-media enabled training sessions enhance the feedback on the live interviews conducted by TV, radio and print media journalists who critique participants’ performance, providing tips as we go for how to create a stronger impact. The best interviewees are usually those who've had a bit of practice. From story outlines you have given us in advance, we will run you through an interview - with increasing degree of toughness if that's what's needed. You get to do long, short, opposition like interviews and learn to stay on your message.
The session features tips and strategies for:

  • staying on message,

  • responding to tough or unexpected questions, and

  • maintaining control of the interview.

  • what makes a good TV, radio or print story?

  • how to take control of the media agenda

  • making the big announcement

  • in the hot seat – interview practice with working journalists

Participants
This training targets Chief Executives, Press Relations, Corporate Affairs, Communication Directors and others whose role is to represent the organisation’s position on the media.

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DOCUMENTATION & LEARNING TRAINING

Staff and individuals working within and with organizations in the development field find themselves required to document and show evidence of continued learning from practice through their interventions. Often, many organizations fail to document their practical experiences during the implementation process and hence fail to generate relevant information and knowledge in their practice that would make them innovative, avoid mistakes in future and share their experiences. In several cases, the skill to document is often reported lacking while the appreciation of learning from practice is also low.
Aim of the Documentation and Learning workshop
The aim of the Documentation and Learning workshop is to equip the participants with the necessary, knowledge, attitude and skills to undertake high-quality innovative documentation of their work; be able to learn from practice and share the learning with other stakeholders. This will help them to systematically and carefully track, describe, analyze and learn from their projects or programmes.
Workshop objectives

  • Introducing documentation and learning: what it means, who does what, when, why

  • Developing practical skills and attitude in participants for documentation and learning from own work and work of others

  • Developing a plan for sharing and disseminating documented lessons within the organizations and with other stakeholders

  • Linking documentation practice to organizational learning, monitoring, evaluation and reporting processes

Learning outcomes

  • By the end of the training, staff and partners will have necessary knowledge, attitude and skills to ably undertake the function of documenting project work and learning from it.

  • Participants develop some practical tools to identify record, analyze and communicate lessons from project work.

  • Participants will be able to produce effective reports

  • Participants will be able to develop an overall plan for documenting and learning from project work.

Workshop style
The five-day participatory workshop places a great emphasis on sharing learning from implementation, supported by examples from other development projects. Participants put theory into practice using a range of media to document on-going action research process. This comprises of undertaking activities such as interviews and documenting activities through tools such as case studies, photo-stories, participatory video, writing, voice recording, presentations, etc. The 5 days will include half a day for practical field research and developing documentation products of the participants’ choice. The workshop will also include daily evaluative exercises and recap activities. Reflection will be encouraged at every level of the training process.

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DIGITAL/SOCIAL MEDIA SKILLS

Digital technology has revolutionized the way in which people communicate and share information – at local, national and international levels. Organizations, including government, need to understand these changes so that they can operate effectively in a dynamic media environment.
Social media is a term used to refer to online technologies and practices that are used to share opinions and information, promote discussion and build relationships. Social media services and tools involve a combination of technology, telecommunications and some kind of social interaction. They can use a variety of different formats, for example text, pictures, video and audio.
Benefits
Good use of social media can help organizations to better understand, respond to and attract the attention of specific audiences. It enables real two-way communication with people in the places where they are already engaging with their interests.
Learning outcomes:

  • Increase organizations access to audiences and improve the accessibility of organization communication;

  • Enable organizations to be more active in its relationships with clients, partners and stakeholders;

  • Offer greater scope to adjust or refocus communications quickly, where necessary;

  • Improve the long-term cost effectiveness of communication;

  • Benefit from the credibility of nongovernment channels;

  • Increase the speed of public feedback and input;

  • Reach specific audiences on specific issues; and

  • Reduce organization dependence on traditional media channels and counter inaccurate press coverage.

The training focuses on how organizations can harness social media, internet marketing and digital technologies to drive awareness, increase donations, build communities and connect with supporters, advocates and volunteers.
Topics include:

  • Discussing the digital/social media options and strategies

  • Introduction to Face-book pages: best practices for organizations

  • Introduction to Twitter Profiles - Twitter Best Practices for organizations

  • Sharing photos and Videos online – options on mobile and social media

  • Blogging – how to participate in forums and blogs and how to form partnerships with social media organisations;

  • Mobile Web/and marketing

  • Networking: Options for knowledge and information Sharing

  • Effective use of digital media for campaigns

Participants
Press Officers, Communication Officers, Public Relations Officers and others who are responsible for publicity and media relations.

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Communicating Science and Technical skills

Sharpening Communication Skills for Scientists, Researchers and Technical Personnel

Background
The African scientists must be able to communicate their findings in order to influence the policies needed for sustainable development and poverty reduction. To help realize this goal, the ACDC workshop on ‘communicating and disseminating research results’ is designed to train scientists and their institutions in writing quality scientific papers and communicating to policy makers, media, beneficiaries, implementers and civil society.

Public communication can help to:

  • Increase adoptions of innovations and scientific discovery at the community level

  • Bridge the gap between science and society

  • Draw the attention of public and private funding sources;

  • Attract the interest of potential partners and/or correspondents;

  • Enhance the reputation of individual and team researchers at local, national and international level;

  • Facilitate financial licensees or industrial implementers to exploit the results and generate market demand for the developed products or services;

  • Influence policymakers to develop policies and commit resources that will catalyse the green revolution

ACDC is offering a two-part course:

Communication Skills

Topics include: segmenting and understanding audiences; from technical reporting to story narration; delivering scientific talks and communicating technical data visually; why and how to publish scientific papers; selecting the tools for diverse audiences- policymakers, farmers, CSOs, among others.

Communicating Research through the Media

Training equips researchers/scientists with basic media skills and helps them become comfortable with the media while gaining control of media interviews. The training goes further to provide speaking tips, skills and confidence the researchers/scientists and other technical people need to communicate to other different audiences. For peer to peer communication – the training offers a track on leveraging on ICT – practical approaches and examples of using social media, creating dynamic websites and e-newsletters

Specific issues and challenges related to the disciplines will be addressed. For instance, agriculture, health, biodiversity and environment and best practices and examples of good communication in these domains presented to ensure that participants gain practical tools. Coaching is offered by journalists from television, radio and newspapers, who will also respond to questions from researchers.

Who is the course for?

The course can be customized for groups of Scientists, Researchers, Program Managers/Officers in development organizations, including Research Institutes, University departments, NGOs, Parastatals, think tanks etc. - indeed anyone involved in communicating development-related research but with little experience of doing so.

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COMMUNICATING FOR ADVOCACY

Background
Communicating for advocacy is an important aspect of an organization’s work. Unfortunately, the concept has remained ‘abstract and complicated’ in the minds of many people working within the development sector. Many have expressed the need to have a clearer understanding of what advocacy is and how it might support the work of NGOs and CBOs. This training is delivered to support participants’ understanding of advocacy, with a focus on the importance of communication, as well as providing practical assistance on how to actually undertake advocacy work. The training is about communicating for advocacy. Participants receive skills to influence people and institutions in power to create an environment which protects the rights, health and welfare of everyone, particularly the poor and most vulnerable.
Overall aim of the workshop
The aim of the workshop is to develop the capacity of NGOs and CBOs in advocacy using a people centred, bottom-up, rights-based approach in order to improve the health and quality of life of marginalised and vulnerable people.
Objectives of the workshop

  1. To build a broader understanding of the concept of advocacy and the contribution it can make to an organisation

  2. Recognise the elements and importance of planning for advocacy and communication work

  3. To enhance the participants’ capacity to effectively identify advocacy issues, document them and engage the suitable audience in their work

  4. Explore the diversity of participatory activities, methodologies and approaches that combine in effective advocacy and communications efforts

  5. Develop communication skills (in order to advocate) and understand the use and role of media and lobbying

Learning outcomes
At the end of the workshop, participants will:

  1. Identify advocacy issues affecting their communities and beyond, and seek to address them through the development of a systematic advocacy plan

  2. Gain specific communication skills and tools that contribute to their advocacy work

  3. Effectively make use of appropriate media and communication tools that support their advocacy initiatives

  4. Identify specific activities that can be carried out to implement advocacy work at the different levels (e.g. community, national and regional levels)

  5. Better influence policy and practice in their respective communities

Who would benefit from this course?
This can be used with either one individual NGO/CBO or a group of NGOs/CBOs. For some sections, it may be more valuable for participants to work with colleagues from their own organisation. This is because some sections address the relationship between specific advocacy work and the organisation carrying out the work. The course can be tailored to suit particular not for profit sectors e.g. community groups, larger charities, NGOs, and faith based organisations.

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PROFESSIONAL WRITING CLINIC

OVERVIEW
Whether you are a ‘pro’; a fresh graduate on a new job or in mid-career – you will need to improve on the art of writing to effectively engage your audience. You will need to bring creativity to your professional documents.
The Clinic is tailored for you if you:

  • want to strengthen your confidence in your writing skills
  • are looking for a mentor who can give you one-on-one support
  • are an experienced writer who needs a refresher course

  • are a fresh graduate/or new to an appointment that requires professional writing skills

  • long to network with peers in your industry to appreciate emerging celebrated writing styles

  • wish to build skills to write documents that are succinct and concise and engage your audiences

ACDC’S APPROACH TO THE CLINIC

We are providing a platform for you to engage with professionals on a one-to-one basis on the practical challenges and opportunities you encounter in your professional writing. You will bring along your written work from your practice and engage both peers (optional) and experts – to produce immediate and practical results.

PARALLEL SESSIONS
Expert facilitators will lead the following parallel workshops from which participants will choose to attend:

  • Digital/online writing – e.g. blogs

  • Producing effective reports and proposals

  • Newsletters

  • Writing for PR –

    • Media writing – press releases, elevator speeches, opinion editorials, media pitch

    • Speech

    • Policy brief

  • Documenting stories of impact/Human interest stories

PLENARY SESSIONS ON

  • Message design

  • Multi-media to enrich content: infographics, video and visuals

  • Practical tips with photographer and designer

WHO SHOULD ATTEND
The workshop is open to any not-for-profit or business professional desiring to improve his/her writing skills.
LEARNING TOOLS
This workshop is interactive with a great emphasis on sharing best practices supported by examples. It includes a combination of plenary sessions, classroom instruction, panel discussions, group presentations and practical skills transfer of effective writing skills.

FACULTY
Our company is distinguished by the quality of its faculty-men and women who are not just skilled platform speakers but have previously worked in Non- profit organizations. These practitioners bring their distinctive insights, practical experiences and illuminating personal anecdotes to the seminar sessions they lead. Furthermore, other practicing Communication Specialists are available to coach individuals and groups during and after the training.

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