Over the weekend I participated in a training on advocacy and recruitment organised by the School of Public Life. We learnt a lot about how to negotiate with a person in power, the basics of efficient communication with the press and how to get the most out of social media.
The atmosphere was very nice and friendly, the trainers did everything to avoid the weekend being a training experience of just sitting around and listening by actively involving us in the process of learning. We mainly worked in groups of 2-3-4 people, so the tasks were not difficult for those of us who did not have much prior knowledge about the topics we covered. Besides this we also had time for individual reflection, which gave an opportunity of learning for those who prefer to ponder silently instead of working in groups.
A big advantage of the training was that we could instantly apply in practice the knowledge we acquired. The speakers who introduced social media (Facebook, blogs etc.) to us showed two webpages that help the work of low-budget civil organizations and immediately showed their use in a mini-workshop. At the very end, we prepared an action plan, which probably was the most useful of all the exercises. I personally was able to add new and valuable elements to 5 running and future projects of my association (Labrisz Lesbian Association): the subjects learned will help us in our fund-raising campaign and also in re-designing our webpage, more efficient communication with the press, reaching our target-group in an effective way and also for the training of the volunteers of our school programme.
From the efficiency and the volume of issues we addressed, it is not a surprise, that the programme was very dense and a lot of information was transmitted, but our trainers used short and fun exercises in order not to feel tired of it all. A lot of material was also handed out on paper, making it possible to later review everything we learned and share it with others.
To make a long story short: I am very happy that I had the possibility to participate in this training!