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£2.1million’s worth of positive news gained by Sikh PA from 2017-2018

Sikh PA recently revealed the news agency working between the Sikh community and the media accumulated positive news coverage to the figure of £2.1million from March 2017-March 2018. This was done on a budget of approximately £60k. Learn how this was done through our annual review summary below.


The Sikh Press Association is a project powered by Everythings 13. Other projects of Everythings 13 include Basics of Sikhi, Mighty Khalsa and Kiddie Sangat. Donations towards the work of Sikh PA can be made here – http://www.everythings13.org/make-a-donation

 

On 16 April, the Sikh Press Association held its annual review. Graciously hosted by the RBS Sikh Network in Bishopsgate, the public were invited to learn about the achievements of the organisation over the past year and hear from Panthic figures that we have worked with.

The event opened with an overview of the Sikh PA structure, which included introducing the newest employee Sukh Singh Sodhi and presenting the advisory board. The presentation of Sikh PA’s work over the year was interspersed with figures which provide an approximate sum of the PR (public relations) value of specific campaigns.

The PR value is based on the amount of TV/radio airtime, news column inches and social media traction gained on Sikh stories which the Sikh PA worked on over the last 12 months, since the last annual review in March 2017. This is then converted into a monetary figure based upon how much it would cost to get this kind of coverage through advertising/marketing. Using conservative estimates, Sikh PA have been advised to value half a page column inches at £1000-£5000, TV airtime at £25,000 per 30 seconds, and £2000-£8000 per minute of radio airtime. The PR value will also include the cost of arranging internationally coordinated events, which are a feature of Langar Week and Chabeel Day.

This monetary value is only based on positive news facilitated through Sikh PA, and does not cover the work done behind the scenes working on media and public image issues relating to the Sikh community. For example, this includes the work on the #FreeJaggiNow campaign, which was not included in our overall PR value.

The expenditure of Sikh PA is estimated at £60k, which includes both annual salaries for Sikh PA’s full-time employees, part-time working costs based on time of employees of Everythings 13 (video editors/designers) and expenses (resources such as handouts, travel costs).

 

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Examples of #FreeJaggiNow coverage

The presentation by Jasveer Singh and Sukh Singh Sodhi opened with an explanation of Sikh PA’s role in the #FreeJaggiNow campaign. This included over 24,000 words of authoritative ‘latest updates’, helping us to become a reliable source of information.

Shamsher Singh, from the National Sikh Youth Federation and part of the #FreeJaggiNow campaign, praised Sikh PA’s role in the #FreeJaggiNow campaign, saying: ‘Sikh PA has been instrumental with the #FreeJaggiNow campaign in allowing us to amplify our voice as a community; to challenge oppressive state narratives; to challenge state propaganda.’ 

He stressed the importance of Sikh PA, saying that it ‘represents Sikh voices authentically. It connects with us as a community, at a grassroots level and helps amplify our voices and bring our voices to a larger audience.’

Watch Shamsher Singh speak in full at Sikh PA’s annual review here.

 

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Examples of 2017 Vaisakhi coverage via Sikh PA.

Next came a presentation on Vaisakhi 2017. Sikh PA secured coverage for this across a range of media outlets including newspapers, radio and TV, with an estimated PR value of £200,000. This did not include correcting factual inaccuracies calling Vaisakhi the Sikh new year or the impact of guidelines sent en mass to media helping to ensure accurate coverage of the festival.

 

 

Langar Week 2017 - tan

Sikh PA revealed Langar Week 2017 generated an estimated PR value of £500,000. As the fourth year of the campaign, targets for this coverage were more specific, focusing on publications that had previously not covered the campaign did this time, such as Manchester Evening News and BBC East Midlands TV, which did cover local events this time. Langar Week was once again an international campaign with events held in locations as varied as India, Canada and Spain.

 

 

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A few examples of Chabeel Day coverage collated.

Chabeel Day 2017 was another success, again with coverage across a dozen media outlets including multiple regional BBC radio shows. As with Langar Week, this campaign had a thoroughly international dimension with events in India, Australia, Denmark as well as closer to home. Standout coverage included sangat (Sikh congregation) events in Cyprus and Kashmir receiving national coverage. Chabeel Day is a great example of a Sikh PA campaign that not just generates media coverage of Sikhi but also facilitates the engagement of sangat at a grassroots level in Sikh activities. The estimated PR value of Chabeel Day was £400,000.

 

Aside from public campaigns, Sikh PA also engages in behind-the- scenes work. This was explained to sangat as including monitoring coverage of Sikhs and Sikhi, intervening in cases of inaccuracy, and also supporting sangat internally, as well as academics with their research on Sikhs.

Mankamal Singh was invited to elaborate on how Sikh PA had worked behind the scenes to provide a more effective community response to issues in the media. He said: ‘We needed an organisation that joined the dots. We needed an organisation that spoke on our behalf […] there was nothing that was coordinating the voice, and that’s what Sikh PA brought.’

 He remarked on the progress that Sikh PA had made in the three years since its launch in 2015, referring to a private situation which Sikh PA’s advice helped resolve before it became a public issue, saying: ‘That’s the clout that Sikh PA has now. It has clout. It has the ability to intervene and stop a situation from becoming a situation.’

 Watch Mankamal Singh speak in full at Sikh PA’s annual review here.

 

Speaking more about how Sikh PA had helped empower Sikhs with media skills, Jasveer Singh ran through the events that the organisation had been involved in over the past year. These included a media workshop for sangat in Canada, media training at the Sikh Youth UK sevadaar training day, and more general one-to- one advice as well as statement writing and editing for Panthic organisations.

 

Furthermore, Sikh PA have over the past year hosted four community events to increase participation and discussion within the Panth. The first of these were hustings just before the 2017 general election, asking who Sikhs should vote for or whether they should vote at all. The feedback from these gave rise to the start of a series of open forum discussions featuring expert panellists from the Sikh community. The first of these was on mental health, and the second was on the portrayal of Khalistan in the media.

A notable Sikh PA event was the presentation by Dr Jasjit Singh in Southall on his Sikh ‘radicalisation research’. Dr Jasjit Singh spoke at the annual review about how Sikh PA had helped to facilitate community feedback for his research, which became an integral part of. He said: ‘The role of Sikh PA was key as part of this project […] lots of people say they’ll do stuff but Sukh and Jasveer actually did put on an event in Southall.’

Referencing the recent media furore regarding Sikhs and Khalistan in Canada, he said: ‘The media in the UK no longer have an excuse; they can’t say ‘Who do we go and ask? Where do we go? Because it’s here. Sikh PA is here. You go talk to the Sikh Press Association and they’ll forward you on to a relevant speaker.’

Watch Dr Jasjit Singh speak in full at Sikh PA’s annual review here.

 

Following Dr Jasjit Singh’s presentation, Sukh and Jasveer outlined some of the more notable invidual (non-campaign) projects and stories that Sikh PA had been involved in over the past year. This included an article for Indy100 that Sukh wrote on behalf of Kanwar Singh at Khalsa Aid, an interview Jasveer did with Manpreet Kaur of charity Hope and Compassion for The Metro, and facilitating a response by Ranveer Singh of NSYF in the Huffington Post, responding to an article that compared Sant Jarnail Singh Khalsa Bhindranwale to the criminal Ram Rahim.

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Both were excellently received, with Ranveer Singh’s article becoming vastly more popular than the one it rebutted. However, it was noted that feature writing is something that current capacity pressures on Sikh PA restrict and is an area earmarked for future development. A more comprehensive list of Sikh PA facilitated positive news stories can be found below.

 

A key target of Sikh PA is to increase female media appearances and empowerment so that Sikh women constitute 50% of all Sikh media appearances. The challenges that Sikh PA faced with this were outlined, and a further call was put out for Sikh women to become speakers that we can suggest for media appearances.

TOI Sikh women article

Times of India article which came via a Sikh PA-Binti collaborated article.

Manjit Kaur Gill, CEO and founder of Binti, spoke how Sikh PA have helped her as a female Sikh and with pushing a female issue in the media. She said: ‘The relationship that we’ve had with Sikh PA from the beginning has been one that has been very supportive […] Sikh PA have helped tremendously all the way through – whenever we need to articulate something – they’re there.’

Watch Manjit Kaur speak in full at Sikh PA’s annual review here.

 

The annual review ended with a presentation of ‘What’s next’ which included a revamp of the Sikh PA website, the 5th anniversary of Langar Week (1-6 Oct 2018), bringing in interns and providing work experience, alongside a greater focus on feature articles and columns for Sikh writers.

Jasveer Singh explained how he would be spending three months in Canada over the summer, exploring the potential for a Sikh PA there and laying the foundations for such an organisation to also become established in the North American country.

Not shown during the presentation but subsequently shared after were videos from Neelam Kaur Heera, who Sikh PA have supported in her efforts for social reform in regards to the taboo subject of female gynaecological health, and Gurpreet Singh, brother of Jagtar Singh and head of the #FreeJaggiNow campaign. Both explained how Sikh PA have supported their panthic endeavours through the media.

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During the event, Sikh PA also paid tribute to co-founder Jagraj Singh, who passed away in July 2017. Jagraj Singh’s message from the 2017 annual review was shared, which emphasised the need for Sikh PA to grow.

In summary, based on the figures estimated for the campaign work and individual news stories, Sikh PA presented to sangat that its work earned a positive PR value of £2.1m from an expenditure of approximately £60,000, alongside some of the less tangible work of the news agency, highlighting the impact of Sikh PA from 2017-2018.

Watch the full annual review here.

The Sikh Press Association is a project powered by Everythings 13. Other projects of Everythings 13 include Basics of Sikhi, Mighty Khalsa and Kiddie Sangat. Donations towards the work of Sikh PA can be made here – http://www.everythings13.org/make-a-donation

 

Positive news stories gallery

Note – this is just a small sample of the work Sikh PA did from 2017 March-2018 March. Please check out www.YouTube.com/SikhPA where you will find much of the radio/TV coverage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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