Senior UN officials from more than 20 countries took part in an intensive media training workshop at DW Akademie in Bonn.
How do you explain to outsiders the work of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Bhutan or South America? How can staff from the United Nations HIV/AIDS program (UNAIDS) in Zambia work effectively with journalists? And how, in a three-minute interview, can viewers better understand the plight of civilians caught up in the Yemen war? These were focuses of a DW Akademie one-day media training for the United Nations Systems Staff College (UNSSC) in Bonn.
Communicating messages simply and concisely
"The UN is committed to supporting every country in implementing the Agenda 2030," said Simona Constanzo Sow, course coordinator at the UNSSC. "Our aim is to have UN organizations all over the world speak with one voice. We've developed messages to help organizations better explain how they are helping to achieve these development goals,"she explained.
"The participants wanted to convey aspects they feel are important," said Daniela Wiesler, head of DW Akademie's Media Training. "We offered skills to ensure that they present their messages in a way that is clear and concise, and that attracts their audiences," she said.
Workshop participants included the country directors of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF).
Media circuit training
"There were 26 participants in all, so we organized a type of media circuit training to make sure they would learn as much as possible in such a short time," said project manager Jeanette Seiffert.
In addition to learning how to work with journalists, participants took part in mock press conferences and practiced TV interviews. They also received short coaching sessions and a briefing on the UN's media concept. Participants said they were pleased with the workshop "It was tailored to our needs," said Rudolf Schwenk, Office Manager for UNICEF in Bhutan, "and although many of us had already worked with the media there was still a lot to learn."
DW Akademie's cooperation with the UNSSC will continue, with the next training scheduled for this fall.