Over on our Facebook page today we celebrated Backwards Day. Here are the highlights.
We think you might need a mirror to read this one today…
So it’s Backwards Day and we like the idea of doing things differently, so we’re asking the question today: What is something you did last year that didn’t turn out so well? Something you learnt from. Something that changed the way you think.
Getting into the swing of things is Matt Crook, Plan Asia’s Web and Social Media Editor. As you can see, he’s on the phone (an iron) and is wearing his shirt the wrong way, among other things.
We asked Matt to share with us something he’s looking to do differently in 2012 and he said that number 1 on his list of priorities is to help Plan Asia better engage with people on social media. It’s all very well for Plan Asia to have all these projects supporting child rights in the region, but by not effectively using social media we miss out communicating our message with the outside world and we fail to get people involved in what we’re doing, he added.
If one of our mottos is “Be a part of it” then we have to actually engage with people so they are a part of it, rather than simply broadcasting our work, he said.
What do you think?
Here’s another offering for Backwards Day, this time from the folks at Plan Timor-Leste. Here is a picture of Erico, the driver. He’s come into the office to check the football scores on the Web, and it looks like everything has gone wrong. He hasn’t even got the computer the right way round.
And on that note, we asked Plan Timor-Leste’s comms manager Maria Nunes what Plan in Timor-Leste want to do differently this year.
She told us that last year, communications staff weren’t invited to attend programme meetings, so the communications staff didn’t quite know what work the programmes team were doing and what communications support they might need.
What happened was that when the programme team needed communications support, they discussed directly with the comms team or did it via email, which wasn’t very successful overall.
So this year, the communications team will be invited to attend programme meetings so everyone is kept in the loop about programme programme activities and what support is needed.
Way to go Plan Timor-Leste! How important is communication in your job?
We move on to Laos now, where Backwards Day is in full swing. Here is Sankerdas Latthanhot, comms officer for Plan Laos. No wonder he looks confused. He’s got the phone the wrong way round!
As for what Plan Laos want to do differently this year, we asked Plan Laos Comms Manager Vanhlee Lattana for her thoughts and she told us that during a busy day, sometimes you can’t avoid making mistakes as we are all just human beings and nobody is perfect.
“I remember once I forgot to bring an important document that I needed to present to a government counterpart about TV/radio-spot production,” she said.
“I thought I was going to get in big trouble and that I would look very unprofessional. I solved the problem by doing the presentation without the documents and recalling the details from what I could remember. It worked out fine, but I learnt that you need to triple check — not just double check — your work to make sure everything is all right!”
Have you ever had a day like this?
As Backwards Day continues, Plan Bangladesh told us about a water and sanitation project they had been working on as an implementing agency. The idea was to improve the capacity of field agencies and local government institutions through training and support across 8 districts in non-Plan areas.
After a few months, the team from Plan realised that they shouldn’t have been the implementing agency on a project in non-Plan areas where there are no Plan offices. It was a drain on human resources and the project didn’t go as smoothly as was hoped.
What they learnt from this was Plan Bangladesh shouldn’t have been implementing the project directly and that future projects must be implemented by a local NGO.