Sunday, 9 September 2007

The last press conference and a festival of light

Last night we had the final press conference, it started about an hour late, quite usual at the end of a meeting I suppose, and it went on rather too long. It was also the only press conference we had at which none of the speakers used English, which created problems with interpretation especially when one of the Italian interpreters messed up the system half way through - and insisted on stealing the microphone off the French interpreters who were going back into English - so those people wanting to listen in English got Italian. I think I was what could be called a little "assertive" with him at the end!
The experience of these press conferences and others I've attended in church and political contexts in the past, really makes me wonder whether the church, which offers a captive audience to priest and pastors and church leaders, can ever produce people who know how to speak briefly and pithily to the media. In church institutions we often moan about how little coverage we get in the media, yet we often don't spend time training for communication or thinking about communication from the beginning of our event planning.
Anyway having this opportunity of running the press room has given me much food for thought - pictures and soundbites, actions which speak louder than words - are what the media need from us. Instead EEA3 has given them a 5 page statement and the truly final version will not even be available until later on today.
Despite frustrations with papers, theology and interpretation perhaps the action that speaks louder than words is that the main square was packed out last night for the closing festival of light - and Romanian television was filming it live and transmitting it via Eurovision. That will probably speak louder to more people than a five page statement.