A good blend of young adults, professional Scout leaders and volunteers attended the APR Correspondents Workshop in Manila, Philippines from 22nd to 25th June 2012. The workshop offers several firsts. It is the first ever correspondents workshop for Scouting in the Asia-Pacific Region and for that matter in world scouting, and the first Asia Pacific event to be held at the new BP International hotel building of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP) in Manila.
A number of practicing and experienced writers from a well-known Philippine media such as Ms Tita Valderama and Ms Chelo Banal-Formoso from the broadsheet newspaper Inquirer whoshared their experiences in news writing and feature writing.
In his session “Scouting in transition,” Maximino J Edralin Jr., veteran PR practitioner in the Philippines picked up a number of practices from the past, against what is happening in Scouting along its practices and challenges.
Workshop Director Mr Nixon Canlapan said that the Scout organization may have a lot of media tools today, but the best media are the Scouts themselves. “It’s a matter of letting Scouts do their “good turn” in their respective communities, and as the public sees it, it may become a big story afterwards,” Canlapan said.
In this four-day workshop, 52 participants from Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Maldives, Philippines, Singapore and Sri Lanka are receiving training from high-caliber journalists and speakers in the areas of news writing, feature writing, and the social media. At the opening ceremony, Mr. Jorge Banal, BSP Chairman of the PR Committee said that he was excited on the outcome of the workshop. BSP Secretary General JR C. Pangilinan also came at the opening ceremony to show his support.
The workshop aims to establish the communication standards of Scouting in a global context, editorial planning and networking of correspondents in the Asia-Pacific Region. The workshop also aims to improve the story telling, news writing and feature writing for the recently inaugurated Messenger of Peace Initiative of world scouting through these honourary correspondents.
Key Scout leaders attended the workshop, namely World Scout Committee member Eric Khoo, APR Scouting Profile Sub Committee Vice-Chairman Berthold Sinaulan, member Oliver Lim, APR Programme Sub-Committee Vice-Chairman Rajalingam Ramasamy and member Malcolm Tan Ban Hoe, and Regional Director Abdullah Rasheed. Luz Taray of APR office facilitated the workshop.
Honorary correspondents for Scouting is a concept being practiced in the Asia-Pacific Region for over a decade and currently 15 national scout organizations within the region have appointed their correspondents and they contribute regularly to the regional media such as the monthly electronic newsletter, Scouting in the Asia-Pacific Region newsletter and APR website. The same concept has now been extended at the world level and all member countries have been requested to nominate correspondents across all six regions.