Abu-Fadil Trains Yemeni NGO Staffers in Strategic Comms

Media Unlimited director Magda Abu-Fadil conducted a mini-course on strategic communications and media crisis management for Yemeni members of NGOs aimed at promoting their respective peace-related messages and mitigating crises.

The intensive three-day virtual workshop in July 2020 required participants to first think like journalists, operate like “mobile journalists” (mojos), and meet pressing news deadlines to appreciate what media needs are.

Elements of a news story

They also learned about the elements of news stories, how not to fall for misinformation, disinformation and malinformation, and, the art of writing news releases for various platforms.

One session was dedicated to organizing news conferences, briefings and events, with all the logistical, technical and editorial details involved in putting them together.


Trainees cautioned about disinformation

A key element in dealing with the media is the interview, and Abu-Fadil demonstrated the skills needed to handle questions under pressure, ground rules for attribution, what to wear, how to sit and act in front of a camera, tone of voice, body language, and the need for excellent preparation before any encounter.


Interview ground rules

The drills included media ethics, setting up a media office and what the role of a spokesperson is.

Another major element of the training was establishing a strong visual identity and using social media effectively to engage with one’s various audiences across traditional and other platforms.


Using fact sheets

The most critical part of the workshop was devoted to handling negative news and crisis communications by being transparent, not disseminating unreliable information, maintaining one’s credibility and multitasking under extreme pressure.

The training ended with tips on how to build a strategic media plan.

The workshop grouped participants representing a number of organizations across Yemen.

It was organized by the Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies under the umbrella of the Yemen Peace Forum and was sponsored by the Netherlands government.

UAE Foreign Aid Organizations Participate in Strat Comm Course

Some 20 participants from United Arab Emirates-funded foreign aid organizations learned how to fine-tune their communications strategies by ensuring better interaction with field workers and disseminating their news through the media.

The participants took part in a workshop on Strategic Communications conducted by Media Unlimited director Magda Abu-Fadil under the patronage of Sheikha Lubna bint Khaled Al Qassemi to help them craft their internal and external messages.

Magda Abu-Fadil (center back row) trains UAE-based foreign aid communications  officials

Magda Abu-Fadil (center back row) trains UAE-based foreign aid communications officials

The March 2013 training in Abu Dhabi centered on building bridges with the media, setting priorities, appreciating deadlines for various media, collecting news from the field, ethics in public relations, planted stories and conflict of interest, and, their organization’s visual identity.

Participants worked in groups to map out strategic media plans, practiced writing op-eds, and discussed how to improve coordination between their respective organizations.

Working groups map out strategic communications plans

Working groups map out strategic communications plans

They were advised to think like journalists, and to beef up their online presence through traditional and social media channels.

The workshop was organized by the UAE Ministry of International Cooperation and Development, the Office for the Coordination of Foreign Aid, and twofour54 Tadreeb.