.In our latest podcast, Fruzsina Benkő from InDaHouse Hungary Association and Szilvia Szénási from the UCCU Foundation joined us to share their own experiences and lessons learned over the years. On the press side, Bori Bíró from Klubrádió joined us and gave useful tips for press coverage. The discussion was moderated by Balázs Gerencsér, Director of the NIOK Foundation.

If you don't have time to listen to the podcast now but would like to read some useful tips on the subject, you're in the right place, if you're interested in the full conversation you can find the link at the end of the article.

Both Fruzsi Benkő and Szilvi Szénási started by saying that so far it is the press that finds them, and not the other way around. InDaHouse's first media appearance was precisely with the help of NIOK, when they organised their first community fundraiser in 2014, during which they even made it to RTL News.

UCCU's first media appearance was linked to the Unicredit Bank's Lépj velünk programme, where they launched their social enterprise "Come with us to the Eight!", a Roma urban walk. The project involved a professional marketing team behind the UCCU for a while, who organised a press walk to launch the social programme, giving the association a sudden high profile.

Whether the organisation itself seeks media coverage or the press finds them, there are a few things to be prepared for. It is standard practice for the journalist to return the written interview for verification before publication. In other genres, this is not so clear-cut, but in these cases it is still safe to ask for the finished text. Each person has a different style of speaking and writing. Live speech cannot be translated into written form in a one-to-one process. It is a matter of individual preference, however, how much of the oral style the interviewer leaves in the finished interview. So the organisation's representative can request a change in this respect. In addition, their message may not be seen as they would have liked or they may have used their sentences in the wrong context, and it is recommended to be aware of this and ask for a correction if necessary.

According to Szénási Szilvi, it is particularly important to pay attention to communication on sensitive issues, and how it reaches the majority society is of great importance for Roma people. She feels that as a Roma professional and leader of a Roma organisation she has a great responsibility in this area. That is why she is very careful about what is presented about the organisation and in what context. He tries to consciously influence the image of them. The Board of Trustees can also help organisations in this process. For example, Júlia Ránki, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the UCCU, has supported the association and Szilvi's work in this area with her experience as a journalist. If there is no one in the organisation or on the Board of Trustees who knows the profession intimately, it is worth looking for someone among the volunteers who can offer professional advice.

The InDaHouse Association has to pay particular attention to the images that are posted on their own sites or in the press, as they work with and communicate about children. They now have a privacy agreement with all parents, whereby they agree whether or not their child's photo can be published. They have updated lists of this, which they then use to select the pictures. In their case, when a press organ wants a photo for an article, they tend to recommend their Facebook page, where they are sure to have consented photos only. Ready-made photos are of course also useful in other cases when working with the press. It's a good idea to have a good quality portrait photo of members to hand, even in a T-shirt with the organisation's logo, as no one can be expected to commit to being in front of a camera during an interview in the middle of a busy day.

In the case of TV appearances, it should be borne in mind that there is usually no possibility to review the recording before it is broadcast. Although we have no control over the material that is shown, we must be informed about the type of programme it will be included in. There are big differences between a news programme and a morning chat show. The former is likely to include a half-minute clip of the organisation, while the latter may be up to 5-6 minutes. This is another factor to consider when deciding whether the organisation will accept the invitation and what topics will be focused on.

Bori Bíró from Klubrádió advises that the organisation should take into account the length limits for both radio and TV interviews. Because of their commitment and enthusiasm, representatives of organisations tend to answer questions at great length. In addition, there may be concepts that need to be explained to the audience, and extra time should be allocated for this. In a shorter interview, too long an answer to a question may distract from the main topic. It is not necessary to come with pre-written answers, but it is important to be aware of the approximate number of questions the journalist is going to ask.

The experience needed for press coverage is not only gained through interviews. Members of the organisation should take every opportunity to practise, including a training programme where they represent the organisation and speak in front of others. They should also present their mission at these events in a way that is understandable in a few sentences. Such an opportunity should be taken not only by the leader, but by all representatives of the organisation, because after a while the leader cannot respond to all the requests, so more faces are needed who can speak to the media. This is not only more sustainable in the long term, but it also gives the organisation a more credible image if a representative of a particular discipline speaks on the subject and not always the director.

There are occasions when the organisation itself wants to generate media coverage. For these occasions, it is worth compiling a press list to which a press release about a major event can be sent. Although some people may feel it is unnecessary to write press releases, Bori Bíró, based on her experience in corporate PR, advises them to do so, as these materials are a very good basis for a journalist. Whether in press releases or in other forums, it can be useful to use a few constant terms, be it deep poverty, urban walk, Roma youth, anything related to the work of the organisation. The more platforms the organisation appears on, the more likely it is that a journalist will think of them when looking for an expert to comment on a topic.

If you want to listen to the discussion after the summary, you can do so here.

This podcast is made possible by Hive Mind. The Hive Mind community is dedicated to developing media literacy: helping you to recognise misinformation, how to speak positively to people on critical issues and how to stay safe in the digital world. You can listen to more of the Hive Mind community's podcasts in Hungarian on this channel and in English on the Hive Mind channel.

Related links

UCCU Foundation website
UCCU's city walks
The InDaHouse Hungary website