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A group of faculty and official from the University of Hyderabad led by Prof. B P Sanjay had a two day interaction with the IPS Probationers at the Sardar Vallabhai Patel National Police Academy (SVPNPA) on 25-26 July 2018. Prof. Vasuki Belavadi and Dr. Madhavi Ravikumar from the Department of Communication along with Ashish Jacob Thomas, Public Relations Officer were the resource persons who had a fruitful interaction with the IPS probationers on media sensitization and relations.

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The objectives of the session were:

• To make them understand the media, what it is and how it operates
• To make them confident in talking to journalists; and develop and maintain relationships with them
• To understand what makes a story
• To understand what media release, media conferences are and how to write that all-important headline and first paragraph that will grab a journalist’s attention
• To understand how to use the social media tools, resources and information provided through the session to achieve and sustain positive media coverage
• To help them navigate questions around timing, format and content styles in the digital age

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Prof. B P Sanjay conducted a session on ‘Understanding Media in Indian Democracy’ which was followed by Prof. Vasuki Belavadi giving inputs on ‘Digital Media: The rise of on-demand content’. Dr. Madhavi Ravikumar provided tips on preparing Media Release, Media Invite and use of latest applications in digital media.

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Later the group was divided into sub-groups and specific topics were allotted to each of them with an idea of developing Press Release. Each of the resource persons including Dr. Madhavi Ravikumar and Ashish Jacob Thomas were working with the individual groups to help them in preparing the release.

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This was followed by Prof. B P Sanjay giving inputs on organising Press Conference. Two teams were formed and the participants had role-play for mock press conference on two burning issues. This was done to make the participants experience the situation and questions that can be posed by the media in difficult situations. Each group were given 30 minutes. At the end of the day the participants were given feedback on the Press Release prepared by each group and their performance in the press conference.

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