Reaching new audiences with confidence

Charity Director, Ravi Arora developed his media skills through Media Trust’s MyLondon programme.

The Ethnic Minorities Advocacy Group (EMAG) supports black, Asian and minority ethnic communities (BAME) to survive and thrive, become free of racial disadvantage and contribute positively to British society. They are a non-political, non-faith organisation serving all BAME groups, including Eastern Europeans of all ages in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames.

They work with individuals and families who have experienced racial disadvantage and/or found it difficult to access mainstream services due to linguistic and cultural barriers.

They aim to improve people’s well-being and subsequently their confidence so they can participate in British society and make a difference to their own lives, their families and their communities.

However, as a small charity, the teams resources are stretched, and they were finding they had little time to promote their organisation and limited knowledge of how best to do so. Even with the more traditional media outlets, such as local newspapers, they felt unsure of whether they could trust them to fairly report their stories and the team weren’t confident in approaching journalists.

I was keen to become more confident in front of a camera and speaking to journalists and policy makers about our work.

New audiences

Ravi Arora, Director at EMAG, recalls: ‘At the time, people would find out about us via referals but I wanted to know how, as an organisation, we could reach more people who didn’t know about us, especially the hard to reach.

He goes on to add: ‘We were keen to start reaching out to new supporters and influencers, both in and beyond Richmond. It was important that we could confidently tell our story so I was keen to become more confident in front of a camera and speaking to journalists and policy makers about our work.’

In 2017 Ravi came across Media Trust’s MyLondon – a media skills training programme designed to support community leaders from London’s diaspora and migrant communities to amplify their voices and change the perception or representation of their communities in the media.

Developing media skills

EMAG were successful in their application to join the MyLondon programme. Over the course of six months, Ravi learned how to develop strategies that would allow him to improve their social media presence. As a project participant, Ravi was given the opportunity to have a short film made about his charities work, with the support of a volunteer filmmaker. He was also given tips and advice on pitching to journalists, plus opportunities to present in front of a camera.

This programme is fantastic. I would highly recommend it.

Ravi says of his experience: ‘Despite my apprehension, I found the media interview training excellent. In fact, I rather enjoyed it. The Media Trust programme really helped me to build my confidence and I now feel much more comfortable using media in all forms, both traditional and digital. It has made me so much more aware of what can be done.’

He goes on: ‘For anyone who wants to improve their media skills and promote themselves or the work of the organisation they represent this programme is fantastic. I would highly recommend it.’

Ravi is still aware of the constraints on his time but says: ‘Of course, I still have the capacity issue, that never changes. However, I recognise the importance of investing in our comms capacity. We have managed to find a couple of people who are going to help us to develop a social media marketing plan – which I am very excited about. We do have a Facebook page and a Twitter account and I can’t wait to see these channels develop further over time.’

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