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How to make a story
Malaysia’s leading training company K-Pintar’s senior executive Julia Oh said the interesting and practical takeaways were: “How to make a story newsworthy; write short and interesting and attention grabbing headlines and introductory paragraphs; and, formatting of the press release that will attract editors.”
Oh said: “Media coach M Krishnamoorthy’s session from 9am to 5pm was interactive, inspiring, exciting and we did not feel that we were attending a learning session.
“He also taught us how to network with the media to get the press releases published.”
Another enthralling, captivating and inspiring session, according to Oh was when Malaysiakini’s editor-in-chief Steven Gan narrated how the leading online news portal started from scratch in 1999.
“It’s 17 years old and we have come a long way, starting from an Internet café to a four-storey building now. We had our ups and downs, but we stuck to the principle of reporting objectively and always attempting to give two sides of the story.
“We are glad the public continually support us and even contributed financially by raising funds through our Buy a Brick campaign,” Gan told participants when tracing the history of Malaysiakini.
He also gave a tour of the news portal’s office located near PJ Old Town.
Oh urged Malaysiakini to keep its class affordable, as it is now, so that more people can attend.
Part of Malaysiakini’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Programme
The workshop is part of Malaysiakini’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme that runs several media relations workshops, which charges only RM288 per person, and RM150 for students. The market rate for such one-day courses is about 10 times more, at an approximate cost of RM2,500.
Giving the participants
A former New Straits Times and Malay Mail reporter, SK Thanusha Devi, now a marketing and communications executive at K-Pintar said: “I love this programme. Coming from a journalistic background, I was worried about how to angle press releases as a Marcomm person. Now, my doubts are cleared that we still have to write like how a journalist thinks so that our media statements are accepted by the editors, without having to burden them to rewrite or throw the press releases away.”
Thanusha thanked Gan and Krishnamoorthy for giving the participants the confidence on how to write effectively for the media, and to extend the training to a two-day session.
“Krishnamoorthy’s practical and hands-on sessions of writing and rewriting press releases on the screen were an easy an excellent process for us to learn.”
Women Aid Organisation’s communication officer Tan Heang-Lee said the practical exercises on writing and editing were helpful as Krishnamoorthy corrected them with the participants as a group.
An account executive, Fione Wong, said that session was an easy to understand and interactive learning environment.
“It provided a better understanding on how to write a press release with the right content to attract the editors in the media to use the material as news.”
Listening to the history of Malaysiakini by Gan was an eye-opener as to how it has continued to be independent.
“Krishnamoorthy corrected our press release drafts on the screen in a warm and friendly way making it easy for us to understand.”
Nurul Hazirah, an executive from Themed Attractions Resorts and Hotels, said she had gained knowledge on how to write from the media perspective and also from the public relations angle.
“It was a weekend well spent brushing up writing skills and it was indeed enlightening hearing Krishna’s experiences on how improve media relations.”
Two participants from Haluan, an NGO helping countries in famine and drought and social work in Malaysia, Khairul Azman and Mohd Nizar, said the workshop was useful in learning how to deliver the key message to the public when publicising an event.
“The facilities at Malaysiakini are good for training and Haluan would like to collaborate some of its projects with Malaysiakini,” Khairul said.
“Krishnamoorthy shared a lot of useful and practical insights on how to write a press release and get publicity in the media,”said Dr Paraman Subramaniam.
Universiti Malaya’s final year journalism student Zaim Aiman Ibrahim said he hoped Malaysiakini would organise more affordable writing courses like this for the public.
“Today’s class will help in enhancing my knowledge and experience on how to improve my writing skills,” Zaim Aiman said.