National Media Team Report

Its with great pleasure to share our National Media Focus with all Region officers, Centre/Group officers and all participants of Sai Australia. The intention is not only to share the report but also to inspire all of you to make the effort in understanding and cooperating with us in order to do Sathya Sai Baba’s mission. Media is an important element for spreading His teachings and Human Values to all corners of Australia. It is an effective vehicle to reach out to as many people within SAI and beyond.

We have a team of 12 experts in various areas of Media matters and are always working behind the scenes with our utmost cooperation and support in the process of editing and approval of all Publications /Media, and in posting/sharing on the Sai Australia Website, Facebook, Instagram (new – taking over from SYAA), Vimeo and YouTube channels with videos and monthly Sai Australia Snapshots (Sai News Australia). Listed below are the team members and you are welcome to contact me if you have the experience and interest to be a volunteer and part of our team:

National Media Committee:
Andy Raveendran – Chair, National Media Committee
Judy Rowling – Deputy Chair and Supervisor- Sai News/Snapshots
Dr Michael Thrush – General Editing and Supervisor – Web process Team
Kalendran Mahendrarajah – Webmaster and Admin for Sai Snapshots
Mark Proctor – Supervisor – Video, Videos Editing/approval and Vimeo Channel
Deluxmi Logendran – Sai Australia Snapshots – Editing and Compiling
Shiri Chandiran – Facebook Supervisor and Admin for NSW
Laavanya Nagendran – Facebook Admin for VIC, SA and TAS and possibly managing Instagram
Jasmine Fong – Facebook Admin for WA and NT
Vinti Singh – Possible Facebook Admin for QLD
Vishwa Naidu – YouTube admin, Video and Photography
Ahilan Satchithanandam – Photography

Another vital part of Media Reporting is contributed by Region Media Officers and without their commitment, dedication and timely submissions to National Media, we will be struggling to meet the needs of our tasks and reporting to various sources including Sai International Media. Our heart felt thanks to this this team for their ongoing support.

Region Media officers:
S Mangala – ACT
Jasmine Fong – WA
Surya Barelds – SA
Suneek Sukhnundan – QLD
Nirupa Prasad – NSW East
Venkata Gottumukkala – NSW West
Ananda Sewram – VIC East
Shaista Y – VIC West

Website posting:
A key requirement for posting on the website is the material should conform with our Media and Community Engagement objectives. To make our material accessible and positively engaging, we use language that is appropriate for the general Australian community. We avoid giving an impression of having a religious bias but rather present a multi-faith and multi-cultural approach. We promote examples showing the SSIO as a force for good in the community and we concentrate on Sathya Sai Baba’s (lovingly called Swami) message rather than focusing on His image.

This approach sometimes leads to material that is at variance with these guidelines and is often treated as an internal communication or announcements, rather than posting it on the website for general consumption.

Flyers:
The quality of our flyers has been very high over the last 12 months with some beautifully conceived designs from Centres/Regions and appropriate messages being presented as the general rule. One area of improvement that could assist further would be a restricted use of Swami’s image on our flyers. When it is considered that our website headers have a beautiful photo of Swami, and adding to that our flyers in many cases showing other photos of Swami it can potentially give a cultish impression to the general public. It has been suggested before that more discrimination needs to be exercised with His image on our material. Any activities to do with SAI and its publicity should do with a degree of Transformation hence that should be the reflection of our Flyers & including with appropriate Swami’s Quotes.

Reporting:
Whilst there have been quite a few very good reports received during the year, it is still an area that can be improved upon. Guidelines are available for these productions, which are vital for promoting our organisation, not for publicity sake, but to show the public what we do and to give greater exposure of the transforming nature of Swami’s teachings. Reports can be of activities just completed or of items such as ongoing service that has been played out over extended periods such as feeding the homeless, or long-term nursing home visits, etc. Most Region Media officers are actively engaged and others’ involvement is critically required too.

Photography:
Another area needing improvement is the production of quality photos documenting our activities for inclusion in our reports. The photos also need to meet our Media and Community Engagement objectives/guidelines. To be effective, they should show the people positively engaged in the proceedings, (smile and laughter are always nice), reflect our multi-faith, multi-culture credo and not inadvertently create controversy by insensitivity to other religions’ feelings, such as including an altar for Swami with celebrations for Christmas or some other religion’s holy day. This requires the photographer to be looking for appropriate material, rather than just taking a lot of shots. I acknowledge that it is not an easy task, especially with the limited cultural mix in our groups and sometimes the placement of our altars in relation to the stage. Photos speak a thousand words and your photos are key with the action rather than group/posing photos.

Facebook:
We have a good team for administering Facebook with a corresponding admin for each state. Please send all quality original photos and a brief report to anyravi.mediaaustralia@gmail.com
It’s really great to see participation from SYAA and most Regions except one or two Regions but we need support from all Regions. We need Photos from all Regional/Centre Activities for sharing with entire Sai Australia for lifting each other, inspiring each other and to grow spiritually together. Focusing on your Centre/Region is good but sharing with rest of Australia & Overseas is really great. Thanks to those regions who are sharing at present … Others please consider and start providing going forward.

Website Access
Throughout 2018 – Busy hits in particular months of Jan, Mar, Jul, Nov and Dec – 5 months and the usage Hits from:
AUS – 6915 whereas from USA 3982, India 2683 New Zealand and France – approx. 1000, and from 10 other countries in 100’s… It’s great to see that our Website is popular not only in Australia but it’s spreading worldwide. You can confidently introduce our website to your friends and your families enabling for them to realise that our activities are spiritual, educational and service oriented, moreover it’s universal.

YouTube
Our target was 500 by end of 2018 but we reached with 413 subscribers. Noticed that 50% of users are from Overseas and it’s time for more of our local members to sign on. It will be great to have some skilful volunteers to come forward with Video recording/editing from various states. Currently we have two official Video experts in NSW and one in VIC. We are hoping at least one and preferred two for each state.

Vimeo Channel/Archive Videos
We would love to have more videos coming from all states to be loaded on Vimeo channel. Obviously, we are looking for quality skilful and committed people from other states with the edited videos as mentioned above. There are Archive Videos on http://multimedia.saiaustralia.org.au/sai-archives-australia/ Those who have had personal experience interacting with Swami’s physical form are welcome to come forward for recording your interview with the Archive video team, provided you are willing to be interviewed and believing that your experience would be inspiring others.

Sai Australia Snapshots
We started off with mailing list of 228 with National officers/ Region and Centre presidents, launched from the month of June 2018 and then gradually increased each month and by Dec 2018, mailing list went up to 320 – All up only additional 100 subscriptions from ordinary members in the last six months.
Its’ rather unfortunate to see, not many local members either are not aware or not interested! It’s also been noticed that one or two Regional and some Centre Presidents have not opened or not forwarded to Centre Members in some months. Once the number goes up by members starting to subscribe themselves for receiving Sai Snapshots directly to their email, this will become a best outcome for all concerned with greater participation. Please promote for the optimum results.

Region Media Officers
Not all Region media Officers are functioning and it’s really up to the Leaders to make them do their role appointed for, passing on Reports/photos in timely manner to National media Team. Thanks to those Regions and Media officers currently doing the role effectively. You do not want your Region /Centre activities not being shared Nationally /Internationally, this is not for publicity but for inspiring, lifting all and progressing together.

Region Presidents & Centre/Group Presidents
Thanks to your great support in HIS mission of promoting His teachings and human values through the Media Sources to-date and please make 2019 a better year with more participation, more reporting, promoting more members to use our social media and consider passing on Media matters/Guideline pack to next term new officers.

Lastly and importantly:
Media team humbly and lovingly urge not only all Regional/Centre leaders but also to promote each and every single SAI member to support the Media, become the Media and to work together with that focus of mission of transformation – each Sai member be the changing agent walking with Swami and making His presence in you as equally in others.

With SAI Love.

– Email: andyravi.mediaaustralia@gmail.com
– Website: https://saiaustralia.org.au
– Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SSIOAU
– YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/SaiAustralia
– Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/saiaustralia