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Are you preparing social reporting for your next face-to-face meeting? Here are 6 points to remember

March 09, 2016 | Leonie Pock | Methods & Tools, SDC Networks |

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Nadia von HolzenThe idea behind social reporting during a learning event is not only to jointly produce a report and reach out to a wider audience. The beauty of social reporting is that it adds an additional layer of reflection to the workshop conversation. This blog post gives some tips how to include participants and how to make the task of the social reporting team doable and meaningful. The most important of the 6 tips is: Prepare what you can prepare and be flexible at the workshop.

Nadia von Holzen, SDC

In spring the workshop seasons starts at SDC. Many networks organize their face-to-face meetings in the coming weeks. Yesterday I was contacted again by a colleague for tips and tricks how to organize social reporting.

Here are my 6 points to remember:

BLOG social reporting -1

1 – Plan ahead and be flexible during the workshop

A social reporting plan is helpful. Hand in hand with the workshop agenda, the agenda for the social reporting process should evolve.

What are the expectations regarding the reporting?
What kind of report(s) is needed for whom?
What are key moments in the workshop I shouldn’t miss?

Take a printed list of participants; and think about who (absolutely) must be interviewed. Also clarify practical aspects like:

What material do I have to bring along (camera, tripod, microphone etc.)?
Is Internet available and if yes, is it stable and strong enough? 

Prepare what you can prepare and be flexible at the workshop.

2 – Be transparent and invite people in

Inform participants early about the social reporting idea. When you take photos and videos, ask for permission. Always take the position that everybody can but nobody has to.

Invite participants to join the reporting team and to contribute their photos and stories. Invite them to approach you during the breaks to share their reflections, their insights and questions. Make a “wall of insights” and collect statements from participants.

3 – Be visible and have a place in the workshop room

Organize a “reporters’ place” in the workshop room where you install your equipment. It is important that you are visible and approachable. If you are centrally placed you can follow the workshop happening. Keep your ears and eyes open. Invite people for spontaneous feedbacks.

What is happening in the room?
What is the dynamic?
Which people should I approach in the coffee break?

4 – Share tasks

Remember: You as a reporter need support. You cannot and you should not cover the reporting of the whole workshop alone. The idea of social reporting is to add an additional layer of reflection. Therefore, invite people to join and build a reporting team.

Share tasks and if needed, ask for support. Ask someone for each session (from the organizing team or the participants) to be responsible for a short synthesis of the key insights. Every sentence produced in this way will make your task easier. 

Prepare what you can prepare and be flexible at the workshop.

5 – Go for an easy start and build trust

Allow people to get familiar with what you are doing. The first day people might be hesitant. Go for an easy start. Make a video with impression of the workshop (the venue and people etc.) and show it when people enter the workshop in the morning or after lunch. 

6 – Explore and have fun 

Explore different options and mix photos with audio or text and videos. There is not one channel or one approach for how to do social reporting.

Smartphones offer great opportunities for everyone to collect photos, register voice and make videos. Make people draw and be surprised that some people are actually pretty good drawers. Others write good summaries that are great for blogging. Or tell the story the graphic facilitator has drawn on the flipcharts.

And remember

The idea behind social reporting during a learning event is not only to produce jointly a report and reach out to a wider audience. The beauty of social reporting is that it adds an additional layer of reflection to the workshop conversation.

Ready?

You can find more detailed information on our Shareweb:

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Comments to“Are you preparing social reporting for your next face-to-face meeting? Here are 6 points to remember”


  1. babette pfander says:

    another fantastic combination of deep reflection and indication for practical action. you link the sky with the earth in this blog! thanks a lot and keep on going :-)
    babette

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  2. Looking through the documentation that is accessible in this post, I came across the “why social reporting” document. – The document states the value of the face to face events: “these events are like pressure cookers” in a span of a few days participants process a lot of material. – Social reporting – I sometimes use the term “web reporting” – is one of the better ways to capture and communicate that moment.
    Thank you Nadia, for consolidating this approach in your post.

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  3. Nadia von Holzen says:

    Dear Hynek and Babette
    Thanks a lot for your comments, most appreciated.
    Indeed, the metaphor of the pressure cooker is accurate. It is all about cooking: Through social reporting we try to keep the high energy in the workshop room cooking. And for the dessert we boil the conversations and the learning down to its essence. We make insights ready for the transport to the web for further digestion of the workshop “menu”.
    Here the direct link to the mentioned document:
    https://www.shareweb.ch/site/Learning-and-Networking/sdc-networks/Documents/Why-use-social-reporting.pdf
    Best, Nadia

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