Social reporting is the use of social media tools and applications to disseminate live (real time) reports from such events as conferences and workshops (among others), individually or collectively by a group of reporters.
Social reporting from events provides a unique opportunity to reach out to a wider audience other than those who are physically present at the event. As a two-way communication channel, it also allows feedback from the online audience to the conference organisers, speakers or panellists.
CTA, through the Intra-ACP APP Project and the CTA Youth ARDYIS project, in collaboration with the CARICOM, is supporting a team of young social reporters to attend and report on the event throughout the week. The objective of social media reporters is to raise awareness on the event, engage on-site participants and reach out to a wider audience remotely. CTA’s involvement will be in the framework of its ARDYIS project, which focuses on improving the development and building the capacity of youth in agriculture.
The Social Reporting Team
Social reporting for CWA 2016 is a collaborative effort of different teams working together to achieve the objectives of the activity.
The Caribbean Week of Agriculture’s Social Reporting Team will comprise 3 sub-teams:
- Team 1: The coordinating team (CTA, with support of an external social media trainer/coordinator and any key partner playing a key role in the activity);
- Team 2: The 15 on-site social reporters (2 from Caymans Islands, 7 from other Caribbean countries and 6 from the Pacific region);
- Team 3: The online Social Reporters (CTA online team of social reporters who will contribute remotely)
One officer designated by Cayman Islands may be involved in the coordinating team and share inputs produced on the official CWA or CARICOM and/or Cayman Islands online platforms.
Selection of Social Reporters
15 young social reporters for the Caribbean Week of Agriculture will be selected and supported to attend the event by CTA. The social reporters will be selected from different countries across the Caribbean and Pacific regions. These on-site social reporters will take part in a 2–day training workshop on the use of social media for reporting prior to the event.
Social reporting at the Caribbean Week of Agriculture is a voluntary activity and selected social reporters will not be paid for reporting on the event. However, the expenses related to contracting a social reporting trainer, plus the travel and accommodation expenses, plus per diems, for the selected on-site reporters and social reporting coordinator, will be covered by CTA, through the Intra ACP APP and as relevant, ARDYIS budgets. Social reporters will receive a certificate at the end of the event.
In addition, they will be joined by a group of online social reporters from the CTA online social reporters network interested. These online social reporters will have the opportunity to be part of the larger online reporting team. The contribution of online reporters is as important as the on-site ones, as they will also be assigned important tasks, which sometimes include coordination of specific social media channels (Delicious and Storify for example).
The #CWA2016 Toolkit
The contents produced from the social reporting team will be published on the existing CTA social media channels which have been created for social reporting (especially the blogs). Content generated, after passing the stage of approval by the social reporting coordinators, will be hosted on CTA channels. Coordinators will be responsible for final vetting and updating the platforms with content.
Getting the team on board/Coordination of activities
After the social reporting team has been selected and informed, they will be added to a mailing list, which will be the main communication channel between the reporters, the Social Reporting Coordinator and CTA. A mailing list will be created for onsite social reporters, while an existing mailing list will be maintained for remote/online social media reporters.
This CWA mailing list is short-term list created around the event coordination of activities with the social reporters, delegation of tasks, and for exclusive communications among team members. CTA will be responsible for creating, moderating and managing the lists (introduction to the team, initiating discussions, making announcements, assigning tasks, sending updates etc.). All information will be updated on the CTA social media platforms daily.
Promoting the conference (Agenda, speakers, sessions etc.)
With the social reporting team in place, the target audience identified and key messages to be broadcasted prepared, the promotion of the conference on social media will start at least one week prior to the event (daily scheduled posts on different social media channels).
These will include promotion of the conference programme, the topics that will be addressed at the conference and the speakers (mainly through blog posts, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter etc.).
At the Conference
Social reporters’ training
There will be a 2-day training for social reporters prior to the opening of the Caribbean Week of Agriculture. The selected social reporters from across the Caribbean and Pacific (supported by CTA) will be invited to attend the social reporting training in Grand Cayman. The objectives of the training are (1) to have a background on the theme of the event (Investing in Food & Agriculture) and (2) to have an over-view of the tools that will be used for reporting, how to broadcast messages on the different channels, whom to target and where. The training will also provide an opportunity for the reporters to get hands-on experience, ask questions and practice.
The training on the use of social media for reporting will be developed and conducted by a trainer who will be contracted by CTA, while the social reporting activity will be coordinated by CTA.
Other partners/participants/delegates of the event who are interested in social reporting can also attend the training, hence increasing the number of on-site social reporters (they will be contacted by email prior to the event).
For the training and reporting at the conference, a room that can accommodate at least 25 people will be booked and good internet connectivity will be required (preferably Wi-Fi of at least 3.6 Mbps) for the training and for reporting during the event. If the same room cannot be available for the training and reporting, two separate rooms might be required (1 for the training and 1 for reporting). The room for social reporting during the event shall be used by and accessible to social reporters (until late night). Wi-Fi should also be available in all rooms where the different sessions will take place. In addition, some measure of security should be provided to take care of social reporters’ belongings.
To distinguish social reporters from other delegates, name tags and t-shirts for the event will be provided.
All social reporters will be required to bring their own laptop/tablet. If some reporters are doing video recording/podcasting/taking pictures, they will need to bring their own devices.
Division of tasks (on-site)
Following the training, the Social Reporting Coordinator will assign daily tasks to the reporters (X reporters in session A, Y coordinating and validating blog posts to be published etc.) to ensure that each reporter knows what is expected from her/him and what to deliver. By the end of each day, the whole team will meet in the social reporting room for daily wrap-ups and planning for the next day.
One of the main outputs from social reporting at the conference will be blogs. Under the overall guidance of the Social Reporting Coordinator, a blog coordinator will work permanently on-site, reading blog posts and validating them, before they are published on the CTA blog, to ensure that the content and quality of the article is good. A team will work closely with the blog coordinator (proof-reading, translating, uploading pictures and articles on WordPress).
The Social Reporting Coordinator will be responsible for monitoring the overall quality of the work delivered by the Social Reporting Team on the different social media platforms. He/she will also be tracking the social reporting team during the conference and ensure that all activities are going as planned.
Connect social reporters to key persons in Caribbean agriculture sector for interviews
During the conference, the Social Reporting Coordinator will link the social reporters to key persons in the Caribbean agriculture sector for interviews (including podcasts and videos).
Engage virtual audience in plenary discussions
It will be ensured that during the conference, there is at least 1-2 social reporter(s) in each session. Live tweets will be sent from all sessions, with the session hashtag, along with the event’s hashtag (#CWA2016). Prior to the sessions, the social reporter will be introduced to the session facilitator/moderator if possible. Questions/reactions from the audience (Twitter and Facebook) will be noted by the social reporters and will be passed on to the facilitator, who will direct them to the panellists and audience in the room.
Live Tweets projected on “Twitter wall” (Optional – only if the event organisers provide and manage that equipment)
For the delegates present at the conference to get a feel of what is happening on Twitter, the live tweets and discussions sent with the conference Hashtag (#CWA2016) will be projected on a “Twitter wall” at a strategic area of the conference (busy area, where it cannot be missed). This will encourage some delegates (and also virtual audience who know that their tweets are being projected) to tweet and contribute to the social reporting activity. At the same time, all tweets, feedback, comments and questions from the social reporters, conference delegates, virtual audience and others will be visible to everyone present at the conference. Ultimately, this can contribute in stimulating discussions in the sessions and at the conference as a whole.
Update on daily reach
By the end of each day, the Social Reporting Coordinator will send statistics on daily outreach via social media to the onsite social reporters mailing lists and to the overall #CWA2016 mailing list as well, using tools such as the Keyhole or Hashtracking (used for real-time hashtag tracking).
As a recognition, certificates signed by CTA will be awarded to the on-site social reporters (preferably during the closing ceremony). In addition, committed online social reporters will receive electronic certificates by CTA.
After the Conference
- Social reporters will share final conference updates (on last sessions, commitments and recommendations, interviews with delegates, testimonials etc.) through blog posts, pictures, videos etc.
- Statistics and key figures and experiences on the social reporting team’s outreach shared by the Social Reporting Coordinator, that will be published and shared as a blog post, latest one week after the conference.
- Submission of a report on the social reporting process by the Social Reporting Coordinator, with contributions from CTA.
- Decision on the status of the different accounts created after the conference.
After the last day of the conference, the social reporting team (on-site and online/remote) will be given an online evaluation form to complete (that will be developed by CTA and the Social Reporting Coordinator). This will provide some feedback on their experience, what went well, what did not go well, and what should be improved for future social reporting activities.