Tips for Success! From IFAJ Member Guilds

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” Winston S. Churchill

What is your definition of success? How do you achieve it within your guild?

Welcome to the newest feature of the IFAJ Newsletter where we will regularly feature tips and advice to encourage successful guilds. Tips for running successful meetings, encouraging participation or running events. Come visit us regularly to learn how other IFAJ members are encouraging success within their guilds and share your tips with IFAJ as well!

Want to share a useful tip or success story about your Guild? E-mail globalcoordinator@www.ifaj.org

Tips from:

Denmark

Per Henrik Hansen

Success-more or less- in Denmark

What is success for a guild of agri-journalists?

Being asked by IFAJ to share some success stories from the Danish Food and Agricultural Journalists I have to ask the question in the first line.

If success is organizing events that attract almost all of the members, we have not seen any success in the Danish guild. We have not even attracted just half or a third of the members to a meeting or event.

But since we steadily, year after year, have around 140 – 145 members in a small country with a population of only around 5.5 million people, I guess we are doing something right.

What we see is that often our members are very fond of relatively short meetings with interesting content and duration of only a couple of hours.

Debate with MP’s

An example of a successful event for us was a debate we organized in Copenhagen with five members of the Danish parliament, each of them a speaker on food and agricultural politics for his or her party. Our members asked questions and made remarks – they discussed topics such as collective farms, the effects of meat consumption and the relations between farming and the environment.

14 participants attended the meeting. That is not a big number, but as several of them are covering politics for their media it was a very useful meeting for these journalists. It was also a success for the politicians who had the opportunity to get closer to journalists from agri-media and have a deeper debate than they are used to in front of a mass media audience.

Members of the Danish parliament debating politics with members of the Danish guild. Photo credit: Frederik Thalbitzer

Visiting a research center

Another successful event was a tour of a research center named AU Foulum, our members visited and saw a number of projects related to farming and climate.

Members who attended the event gained a lot of new knowledge, inspiration and useful contacts with researchers and they received a lot of good content for good stories.

So what is success for a guild of agri-journalists?

Success may not necessarily be big events with a lot of participants, but if success can also be smaller meetings with great value for those attending, then yes, we sometimes have success in Denmark.

You cannot satisfy all of your members all of the time. But you can satisfy some of them some of the time. The challenge is to make all of them come to some of them at least sometimes.

Members of the Danish guild visiting the research center AU Foulum. Photo credit: Per Henrik Hansen