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Communications in Skill Development

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Any organization can realize their full potential only when they look at what they have achieved and what more can be achieved. We live in a communication age and the full impact of communication on Skill Development has started to be seen. Don Bosco Tech Society aims at projecting its noble work so as to inspire, encourage and motivate. The Communications Department of Don Bosco Tech plays a vital role in reaching out to its Alumni, Stakeholders, Well-wishers and Funding partners.

 For smooth functioning of the department, there are representatives from different states who act as a channel to communicate with all the Don Bosco Tech training centres for sharing information. To work systematically and productively, a Communications TOT was organized by Don Bosco Tech for its representatives to understand the organization’s process, enhance their content writing skills and familiarize them with the commonly used apps and other techniques on how to present their work. 

A group of 12 participants gathered from different parts of the country from the 21st to the 24th of March 2022 at Don Bosco Skill Mission Bangalore.

Name of participants:

Sl. No.

Name

State/s

Designation

1

Rakesh Roshan Lakra

Delhi

Asst Manager Communications

2

Grecia Blah

Meghalaya

Asst Manager Communications

3

Abhishek Wankhade

Maharashtra

Cluster Coordinator

4

Ashish Kumar

Bihar

Centre Coordinator

5

Anila Samson

Kerala

State M&E Mis Coordinator

6

Anita Kapuh

Nagaland, Manipur & Assam

Placement Coordinator

7

Anju Sahota

Punjab & Himachal Pradesh

Centre Coordinator

8

Karpagam Gopinathan

Karnataka

CE Trainer

9

Sadanand Singh

Madhya Pradesh

Placement Coordinator

10

Shakti Singh

Uttarakhand

CE Trainer

11

Vipin Kishore Kujur

Jharkhand & Chattisgarh

CE &IT Trainer

12

Renganathan Dharmalingam

Tamil Nadu

CE Trainer

 

The 4 days training was divided into 2 programs. The first 2 days were handled by Fr Jiji Kalavanal SDB on the topics of Content writing, Photography and Videography. The next 2 days were all about Don Bosco Tech's communication process which was headed by Fr. Noble George and the National Communication Team.

 The team was fortunate to have an expert resource person Fr Jiji Kalavanal for the workshop. He is currently the Rector of Don Bosco Veedu Society, Trivandrum. He is passionate about creating movies, documentaries, multimedia materials for development projects on various social issues related to children, youth and women which are extensively used for awareness building, campaigns and advocacy actions by many NGOs, Educational Institutions, Government departments, Civil Society Groups and Community Based Organizations – nationally and internationally. He bagged the FIRST RANK for Master's Degree in Cinema and Television, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam (Kerala). He was also recognized and awarded for best director and best script by the Goodness Media Awards in 2013 for 2 of his short films named ‘Feliz Navidad' and 'Beyond’.

The first 2 days of training was extremely interesting. The topics were made easy to understand by Fr Jiji. He started with a story of soldiers crossing the suspension bridge in London. His message to the group was marching together is power. He associated the soldiers with the team participating in the TOT from different regions of the country, which is a driving force that can add colour and bring out true stories and events from every region.

His first topic was Content writing and online content. As far as he is concerned, the “Power of contents” was the ultimate objective of content writing. Therefore, one of his suggestions was to write the content by telling a story. It should be written so that people would like to hear it. The organization can create an emotional connection with the readers and inspire and motivate them to further mile. He stressed on uniqueness, simplicity, originality and conciseness of content. He explained the layout and the elements that can enhance writing by adding pictures with captions, meaningful headers, readable fonts, links, highlighted text, bulleted lists, graphics, captions, pull quotes, the first line of intent, how to divide a paragraph etc.

 He further briefed the team about the guidelines for website content which is the face of the organization. It should have a certain amount of quality as it is a way of communicating with the audience. Few things should be considered while creating content for websites- it should be clear and direct, make the content scannable because readers scan web pages before they read and if found irrelevant, they move on. Content writers should identify the audience- who will visit, level of expertise, what they want to know, their interests etc. He encourages the team to increase viewers by keeping their interests alive and by asking them to like and share.

Fr Jiji exquisitely guided the team on the basics of photography and videography on the second day. He stated that Photography is the art, application, and practice of creating durable images by recording light, either electronically by means of an image sensor, or chemically by means of a light-sensitive material such as photographic film. A correct light is all it takes for a correct exposure. It was a new learning for most of the team members when it comes to terms like Aperture, Shutter, ISO and HDR. He explained the different points of view when taking photographs such as aerial shots, dutch angles and suggestion shots.  He further described the lenses, microphotography, portrait & landscape mode, different angle shots, Highlight, shadow and dark areas.

As far as photography and videography are concerned, he mentioned that the same rules should be applied when it comes to the gadgets and their maintenance, safety of self and gadgets, adequate lighting, to have a stable hand, depth of field, using space and to fill the frame, correct exposure, capturing the right moment, to create impact, post-production, posture and dress code while taking photos or videos.  He encouraged the team not to be ashamed of taking photographs. During his 2 days session, Fr Jiji stressed on seeking inspiration by visiting websites, to learn, experiment, innovate and evaluate.

The 2 days session ended with a group photo and a token of gratitude was handed over to Fr Jiji for his exemplary way of training the team. The training resulted in a lifetime takeaway for the team which can be incorporated into their day to day activities.

The last 2 days of training was entrusted to the leadership of Fr Noble Geroge Assistant Director of Don Bosco Tech along with Mr Rakesh Roshan Lakra and Mrs Grecia Blah from the communications department of the National office. It started off with the evaluation of the first 2 days of the training to highlight what the team has learned, the useful topics and what can be implemented further.

As there were new joiners in the Correspondent team, Mrs Grecia took a session on the Don Bosco Tech Communications process followed by the topic on how to write success stories. This was beneficial not only to the new joiners but was also a recap for the old members. Mr Rakesh Roshan took over by explaining the art of cropping images to be used on different platforms.

A session from the operations point of view was taken by Ms Antony Niveditha, Regional Manager of the southern region. She suggested the team should ensure branding visibility. She also mentioned giving credibility to the funding partners while publishing any content or article. A few more suggestions include publishing content in vernacular languages, the correspondents should be aware of the events of every centre of their respective states and acknowledge a centre that has been associated with Don Bosco Tech.

A brainstorm session was conducted by Fr Noble George in order to generate formats that will aid in collecting information to write content for events, activities and success stories. He further developed and shared the plan of action which will help the team in reporting and prioritising their work. Each team member was assigned an equal number of events to be approved on the Boonface portal. Most of them sat at late hours to complete this task.  

It was indeed a great time at Don Bosco Skill Mission for the Communications team to learn, experience and improvise on the process. The team was grateful for the opportunity of a lifetime.

Anila Samson, Kerala State Mis said – “I only knew about a success story, event report to be published from each state. But when I attended the TOT session, I came to know more about the structure of the reports and even more about how well one can prepare themself for writing content well. The days were very knowledgeable for me. The interactions between colleagues made the day more awesome”.

As the content writers of our organization, each one has to improve a lot .only then we can publish good articles and can target the traffic.

It's more like Explore...observe...learn..and implement.

Anhu Bala, Centre Coordinator, Jalandhar centre quoted “I would like to thank DB Tech for arranging such skilful TOT for all the communication correspondents. The photography session was very useful to have perfect still photography and Videography as well. Personally, I like the Content writing session of Fr. Jiji that is going to be most helpful in reporting. I appreciate the efforts of Don Bosco organization for timely arranging these workshops for the up-gradation of the Communication Team”.

Renganathan D, Communicative English trainer of Manikandam, Tamil Nadu said “It was a rejuvenate program on communication. There were new learnings and good fellowship among staff. All were given the freedom to express their thoughts and experience other's intelligence”.

Anita Kapuh, Nagaland State Mis stated “I realised and learnt that I still need to learn a lot”.

Shakti Singh Jasrotia said, “The TOT was very helpful in enhancing my skills and it was goal-oriented”.

The memorable TOT concluded with a special outdoor dinner and a campfire. The students of DBSM showcased their talents in dancing and short play.  Everyone had fun and participated in games happily and wholeheartedly. The team bid farewell to the students, staff and Director of Don Bosco Skill Mission and departed to their respective states on the 25th of March 2022.