Team members from the five transboundary projects participate in a communication training in October at MRCS, Vientiane, Lao PDR
In one minute, how would you review your project to people who don’t know anything about your project? How would you convince them to support your project?
A communications workshop, held in early October in Vientiane, offered an opportunity for project teams from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam to master an effective way to communicate about their projects to outsiders. The four lower Mekong countries have been working together on a bilateral basis on fisheries, wetland, delta, lake and river basin management for the last three years.
The three-day communications workshop provided 30 government’ officials and members of five bilateral projects under the MRC’s Mekong Integrated Water Resources Management Project (IWRMP), with tools to produce media articles or reports. Learning these practical skills will help them to communicate their work and promote importance of transboundary IWRM’s more effectively.
“Promoting transboundary dialogue and raising awareness of IWRM principles are important parts of the transboundary projects. Communicating your work to your stakeholders and the public plays a crucial role to achieve those goals,” said Mekong River Commission’s (MRC) Chief Executive Officer Pham Tuan Phan, in his opening remarks at the workshop.
The workshop began with a challenging exercise of “elevator pitch”, where participants presented a one-minute speech on their project - a good training method to enhance communication efficiency.
During the workshop, the five bilateral teams received lectures on story-telling methods, interviewing skills, writing techniques, and photo-taking and filming skills. They also worked in a team to draft a multi-media story on their respective projects.
For some participants, the training was a refresher to refine their skills to communicate better. For others, it was packed with new concepts and skills to learn and absorb.
“The training provided us with a set of useful guides to help us get messages across more effectively, especially through short and concise stories,” said Phai Sok Heng, Cambodian National Consultant for the Sesan-Srepok and the Mekong Delta projects. “We will apply these skills into our day-to-day work so that our stakeholders are better informed.”
The training was organised by the MRC’s IWRMP Communication Outreach Team. More communication training for the member countries and project teams is planned for this year.
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The workshop has produced a number of stories on the five bilateral projects by the participants. Two articles below are the best articles selected for the publication on the website.