As ambassadors for IUCN, Councillors communicate goals and achievements to a vast international audience. CEC and the IUCN Secretariat offered a second professional updating session to IUCN Councillors in November 2013.
The IUCN Commission on Education and Communication (CEC), in conjunction with IUCN Secretariat, held a Council Professional Updating session on the theme “Conveying IUCN's Message as a Councillor” in November 2013, building on the success of the first such session in January. The session was facilitated by a team including Juliane Zeidler, CEC Chair; Nancy Colleton CEC Deputy Chair; Borjana Pervan, Head of Communications, IUCN; Xenya Cherny-Scanlon, Executive Assistant in the Director Generals Office, IUCN; and Nelao Haimbodi, Communication Expert in the CEC Chair’s office.
The objective of the November session was to equip IUCN Councillors with the skills and resources necessary to effectively communicate IUCN’s work, its mission and progress to the media. Practical and interactive sessions included Interview Skills, Developing Elevator Pitches and an informative panel discussion on the challenges of communicating IUCN priorities. The panel featured Zhang Xinsheng, IUCN President; Julia Marton-Lefevre, IUCN Director-General; and Simon Stuart, Chair, IUCN Species Survival Commission.
The participants gained hands-on tips on how to uphold the IUCN reputation in their communications, as well as keys to offering information in an interesting and engaging way. They also had the opportunity to offer constructive criticism to each other. A main message was the importance of being open-minded in their approach.
In their evaluation, participants expressed satisfaction with and excitement about the engaging sessions. Councillors expressed an interest in continued exposure to workshops that would improve their skills as stakeholders. CEC plans to offer more sessions in the future to support IUCN Councillors in their role as ambassadors to successfully communicate about IUCN.