The training course “Share & Promote - Media and Campaigning for Volunteering” took place in a house in the middle of the forest in Grasellenbach in southern Hesse from October 4th to 6th. There were a total of 20 people, including enthusiastic work camp participants, active volunteers and experienced group leaders, as well as employees from various German work camp organizations. The motivation that brought all these people together for three days? The desire to communicate more and better about international volunteering and especially work camps and to get more people excited about volunteering.
The aim was to work out together how a message can be converted into an action, media campaign or event.
On Friday afternoon we started with an introduction to the topic "Media and Promotion". The participants reflected on their own media usage: Which media do we actually use ourselves? For what purpose and to what extent? Then it went on with a workshop on public relations and the use of social media in Germany. Two international ESK volunteers reported on their work in designing a social media strategy for a work camp organization and the framework conditions to be observed, such as the EU data protection regulation. Of course, non-formal education is not complete without trying it out for yourself, which is why all participants had the task of creating a social media post. With the help of old tangible photos, scissors, paper and pen, everyone let their imaginations run wild and reinvented the concept of the newsfeed on a very real wall.
How do I reach people? Who do I want to reach?
The Saturday program started with an insightful unit on campaigning. The group asked itself the question "How can I best reach people?". Here, in relation to the work of the Norwegian environmental psychologist and politician Per Espen Stoknes, the difference between different ways of communicating was worked out: On the one hand types of messages that encourage people to act and on the other those that more likely prevent action. This raised the question of who you are actually trying to reach. In a short unit to specify a target group, people who could be enthusiastic about volunteering became tangible using avatars (so-called "personas").
What is a good story? What makes a good picture?
With a more precise idea of who should be addressed at all, the participants could then choose between the workshops "Storytelling" and "Racism-critical media work and photography". The goal was to develop an own project. In both workshops, of course, material and inspiration could also be collected for the time being. For the rest of Saturday afternoon there was open space for the development of these own projects (or a short walk in the forest to get some fresh air).
Results and ideas
What kind of media projects can be developed in a long afternoon? As it turned out, quite a lot! The results of the training were presented on Sunday morning, including two presentations on work camps based on their own experience, two small film projects including interviews and explanations on work camps for different target groups, the concepts for a newspaper article and for a social media post, as well as the world premiere of the "Workcamp Friends Book". On the wall with expectations that was created at the beginning of the training, the term "inspiration" was used several times. Working together and side by side at Share & Promote actually led to a real cocktail of ideas and at the end of the weekend there was no doubt that this expectation was met.
The "Share & Promote - Media and Campaigning for Volunteering" training is part of the "Promote & Support International Volunteering" project by IBG, which is funded by the European Solidarity Corps of the EU.