Project communication - Interact

 
Project communication - Interact
Project
communication
Inspirations for Interreg programmes
April 2018
Project communication - Interact
Project Communication
April 2018

Disclaimer: You are permitted to print or download this material for your personal use. This material can be
used for public use, provided the source is acknowledged and the publisher is given a prior notice. Interreg
programmes are welcome to adapt the contents of this material for their projects and use without the need
for prior information to Interact. None of this material may be used for commercial purposes. The
information and views set out in Interact documents do not always reflect Interact’s opinions.
Publisher Interact Programme Date 04.2018 Publication leader Arkam Ograk

www.interact-eu.net

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Project Communication
April 2018

Table of contents
Introduction ....................................................................................................................... 4

Daily programme support to projects .......................................................................... 5

1.       Legal basis ......................................................................................................... 5

2.       Whose responsibility? ........................................................................................ 6

3.       What should be the aim? ................................................................................... 7

4.       How are the projects supported? ....................................................................... 8
Visual identity guidelines .................................................................................................. 9
Trainings ........................................................................................................................... 9
From planning to project closure .................................................................................... 11

5.       Monitoring ....................................................................................................... 13

6.       Evaluation ........................................................................................................ 15

Promotion of projects ................................................................................................ 16

1.       Why promote projects? .................................................................................... 17

2.       Whose job is promotion? .................................................................................. 18

3.       Target groups of project promotion ................................................................. 20

4.       Which projects to promote? ............................................................................. 21

5.       Formulating promotional messages ................................................................ 22

6.       Highlight the EU support .................................................................................. 22

7.       Make use of different channels ....................................................................... 23
On the website ................................................................................................................ 24
Videos ............................................................................................................................. 25
Social media ................................................................................................................... 25
Press                                                                                                                             27
In writing ......................................................................................................................... 28
Public showcase.............................................................................................................. 29
Pan-European channels .................................................................................................. 30

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Project Communication
April 2018

Introduction

Despite their relatively small budgets, Interreg programmes generate thousands of
cooperation projects that positively impact the lives of European citizens and connect the
territories of the European Union with each other as well as with their neighbours.

Projects are key messengers showing the benefits of EU funding with their concrete
activities directly targeting citizens. This makes well planned project communication
essential to convey the messages efficiently. In doing so, the bulk of the responsibility falls
on the shoulders of programmes to promote best practices and to support projects in their
communication activities, during planning, through implementation and after finalisation.

Effective project communication is a key element of successful projects. Programme efforts
to achieve it will be examined in two aspects in this publication:

                Daily programme support to projects in project communication
                Effective promotion of projects by the programme

The tips and observations listed in the following chapters intend to provide the reader with a
guiding reference in programme efforts. Interreg programmes’ experiences are compiled by
Interact on occasions of network meetings, face to face interviews and online surveys. You
may, of course, have your own innovative approaches and useful tips. Interact will be happy
to hear them and further enrich this publication with your input.

   Although closely related, project communication shall not be confused with the
   capitalisation of project results. This guide aims to provide support to programmes in
   dealing with projects’ communications and the promotion of projects.

       Download publication Communication of capitalisation in Interreg.

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April 2018

Daily programme support to projects

This section aims to build a common understanding and approach in daily Interreg
programme support to project partners in handling project communication.

1. Legal basis

The obligations of beneficiaries regarding information and
communication measures for the public are included in:
Annex XII, section 2.2 of EC Regulation 1303/2013.

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 821 2014,
particularly lays out the rules for the EU flag, how to display
the emblem and how to create permanent plaques or
(temporary) billboards.

The Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No
447/2014, of 2 May 2014, especially Art 24, particularly
lays down obligations for visibility of projects funded under
IPA.

The regulations contain a set of general, compulsory measures, but each programme can
develop additional requirements, which they insert in subsidy contracts, partnership
agreements or other programme documents.

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2. Whose responsibility?

Communicating projects is a shared
responsibility involving both programme bodies
and project partners. On the project partners’
side, not only the person in charge but all the
project team shall be committed to the
promotion of the project and the dissemination
of its good results in their respective countries
and regions.

One of the key first steps in effective project
communication is to ensure communication is
not left orphaned. Project partners are usually
focused on the key project activities and financial management of the project to meet their
objectives and making sure they are fulfilling their contractual obligations. This is very
natural. But communication may be neglected if there is not enough programme
encouragement and emphasis on how important it is as well as its ownership.

There is not a common application among the programmes of roles and responsibilities of
project partners in communication. Some programmes have a communication officer per
project while in others this task is taken care of by one of the project partners.

Having a dedicated and qualified communication manager per project will positively impact
quality, direction and consistency in the project’s communication. In addition, you as a
programme will appreciate a “go to” contact person in projects overseeing communication
activities and materials, following up on tasks and responsibilities among project partners.

Similar to in a programme, project communication officers need to be supported by their
“content colleagues” with timely provided information, as people who are well informed
about projects’ progress content-wise.

Project communication officer’s tasks may include:

            Prepare a communication plan comprising communication objectives, target
             groups, key messages, activities, channels, delivery timeline, task division
             among the partners, budget etc.
            Coordinate the implementation of the plan ensuring consistency of the
             communication activities across the partnership
            Monitor the results of the communication activities and adapt as needed in
             order to achieve the objectives set.
            Ensure programme visual guidelines are observed
            Liaise with the programme regarding all communication matters

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            Investigate and exploit project promotion channels
            Exchange good practices with other programmes and Interreg projects

3. What should be the aim?

The overall aim in project communication efforts should be to ensure high quality
communication at programme and project level. While it is important to ensure that the
eligibility rules are observed by the projects, it alone does not ensure efficient
communication. Once legal compliance is ensured, the focus should be on:

            Support to projects in understanding and applying the communication rules

            Improve visibility of projects and their results

            Ensure good quality project communication materials

            Urge partners to highlight the support from the EU and national funds

            Ensure efficient branding, both at programme and Interreg level

            Facilitate inter-project exchanges

            Support projects in handling specific communication topics in a way to ensure
             that programme communication objectives are met, such as organising well-
             planned and impactful events, creating videos, reaching out via social media
             and traditional media, creating or evoking emotions when communicating to the
             public, etc.

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4. How are the projects supported?

Programmes support project partners
mainly via guides and manuals,
communication trainings and personal
support via daily communication
channels.

In most programmes, project
implementation manuals, visual
identity guides and project
communication strategies/plans are the main reference documents for partners in planning
and implementing their communication activities and materials. It can be one or all of them.
In all cases, carefully prepared and clear guides by the programme in the early stages will
make your job easier during project implementation.

The following topics can be covered in your guiding documentation and trainings:

                     Legal requirements, programme rules and obligations in project
                      communication.
                     Visual identity of the programme and its practical application
                     How to set up a communication strategy/plan with a strong focus on
                      achieving and measuring results (i.e., change in audience´s knowledge,
                      perception and behaviour). What data to store for the evaluation of the
                      performance of communication activities?1
                     How the project and the programme communications complement each
                      other
                     Key points concerning intellectual property rights in communicating projects
                     Templates on programme level for specific communication products, such
                      as brochures, posters, PowerPoint presentations, banners, etc.
                     Examples of good project communication products and activities
                     Encouraged use of most convenient and multiple tools
                     Channels (programme, pan-European, other) available to partners for
                      promotion of projects
                     Clear instructions on how project partners can support programme
                      communication: e.g., type of photographs and videos you need from the
                      project, the way they should deliver those to you etc

1   This should be coordinated with your colleagues carrying out the overall evaluation of the programme

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                When and how they can contact the programme for direct guidance?
                If relevant, good examples

Visual identity guidelines

Almost all programmes provide the project partners with guidance
and template files for the EU flag and textual references. Here are a
list of other visual elements and templates programmes have been
providing for the use of the partners:

       Programme logo, together with EU flag specifications.
       Logos for projects (designed by programme or via extensive
        and clear guidance).
       Icons and images related to the programme specific
        objectives.
       Visual elements such as cover, header and footer for printed tools and online
        channels.
       Templates for infographics, beneficiary posters, billboards, presentations, web
        banners, e-mail signatures, flyers, brochures, etc.

    Interreg Brand Manuals for detailed guidance on Interreg branding

    Guidance on EU flag

Trainings

Trainings are unique opportunities where you bring
together project partners and guide them through
the most important aspects of project
communication.

Depending on the available resources and number
of projects, Interreg programmes have been training
project partners on communication either by specific
communication trainings (less common) or by
communication sessions during overall project
implementation trainings (more common).

Consider livestreaming the training to allow participation by more partners and make the
recording available for future reference and holding webinars to guide project partners
through all the above topics.

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Examples from programmes

In addition to the compulsory project communication plan from each project, the Interreg
Danube Programme guides project communications with a Visual Identity Guidelines,
Project Communication Toolkit (adapted from the Interact toolkit) and a digital user manual
for project webpages hosted under the programme website, while also providing different
templates. Check here.

Interreg Europe programme has, in addition to the chapter dedicated for communication in
the programme manual, a guide on the preparation of project communication strategies
already for applicants and guidance on how to implement it once they are beneficiaries, a
webinar dedicated to project communications, various templates for the use of projects, a
specific guide on project webspaces under the programme website supplemented by CMS
screencasts.

“Interreg Europe provides outstanding support online: - Webinars (on project development,
reporting, etc.) - Weekly online Q/A sessions: we collect questions during one week and
answer them lively via webinar each Friday during the open calls. - Our annual events we
have are also online: We design a special programme for the ones who follow the event
online. - Chat hours: after an online event, we offer a chat hour that participants can
network with each other, exchange on project ideas, etc.” Interreg Europe Programme

Interreg 2 Seas Programme guides projects with an all-in-one project communications
“factsheet”, accompanied by templates

France – Wallonia – Flanders programme has combined               Lead “by example”
visual identity manual, templates and technical guidance for
projects in a single page.                                        In your written guidance and
                                                                  on trainings, do not only
Interreg Sudoe programme guides projects on communication         explain and instruct the
within an overall project implementation manual.                  project partners on good
                                                                  communication products but
Examples of project communication training agendas and
                                                                  also show them the examples
presentations from Interreg Danube Transnational
                                                                  that can inspire them!
Programme and Interreg Europe Programme

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From planning to project closure

Project promotion starts as early as the application
stage as this is the stage at which the objectives
and activities of a project are planned.
Encouragement and good guidance by the
programme during this phase in prioritising
communication will help to improve project
communication notably.

The first stage is to make sure the project partners
strategically planned their communication already
at the application phase as it will be difficult to
adjust the contract once projects go into implementation. One way to do this is by defining a
separate communication plan as a requirement and providing them with a template for it.
This could be made a part of the application either in the electronic system (e.g. eMS) or as
an annex.

Having the preparation of a communication plan as a requirement, even with a template,
will not necessarily ensure well planned communication of projects alone. It works best if
reinforced by guidance and recommendations on how to prepare such plans during info
days/project preparation workshops. This is also a good occasion to remind partners about
designating a person responsible for communication throughout the project, whether
exclusively or partly.

 A communication plan is a communication strategy but on a smaller, project scale. It
 should still include the main aims for the project’s communication activities and not
 just list activities.

    Check the communication toolkit for further guidance on preparation of
 communication strategies.

The projects will have a budget and plan for activities already in place in their application
whether or not it covers communication in a communication plan format. Even if a plan as
such does not yet exist, it is still advisable to plan the project communication in a more
strategic way and with more detail in the early phase of the project and to clearly agree on
the division of responsibilities. Some programmes request a communication plan not at the
application phase but at an early stage of implementation, for example together with the
first progress report.

It is recommended to write down a communication plan, even for a small project. That way
the project will have a document that partners can agree upon. It will serve as a document

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to refer to periodically. If a written plan doesn’t exist, it can be easy to forget the non-urgent
(but perhaps more important) activities. The level of detail in the project communication
plan can be adjusted to the needs of the project in question. It is always important to
underline the question why: Why communicate to a target group and why should they be
communicated a certain message.

Project communication does not become obsolete as soon as a project is contractually
finalised. All the good things done with your programme funding are still there and probably
undiscovered by many people. Ensuring they are discovered depends on the system you put
in place for guiding project partners and ensuring their commitment during the project
implementation.

Sometimes activities done during the project already support this aim, e.g., placing a nicely
designed plaque on the project site (which in some cases is an obligation imposed by
regulation), or making sure the branding elements you provided to projects for audio-visual
products appear on, for example, a video.

During as well as after the project lifetime you can invite the partners to your promotional
events, conferences, outdoor events to showcase their finalised projects. The European
Cooperation Day initiative, in this respect, provides you with a unique platform for such a
promotion. These activities require finances that may be difficult for the project partners to
cover by themselves and they may need your programme support.

Examples

Interreg NWE requires applicants to include information also about internal communication
in the application form (project management work package).

     The project “Danubeparks Connected” is a successor of two previous South East
Europe Programme projects. They have created a brand and a network for the promotion of
the results of previous closed projects.

     Interreg Europe has produced several interactive reports and web-documentaries: * *
Projects financed by the programme also actively participate in the RegioStars awards.

  Be prepared for unforeseen communication needs
  Not everything that can happen in project communication can be foreseen and ad
  hoc needs can arise even during implementation of a well written communication
  plan. The programme should be ready to provide support to project partners in
  such cases. Some programmes provide flexibility for budget reallocation.
  Encouraged use of free and online tools, passing on your expertise and channels
  you are aware of will also be appreciated by project partners as they will be
  provided with basic skills and free tools to address the unforeseen needs and
  maybe even planned activities.

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5. Monitoring

Monitoring should focus on whether or not projects
are succeeding in reaching their communication
objectives. Too often programmes limit the monitoring
to check if the activities were carried out or not.

When monitoring communication materials and activities of the projects, remember to draw
the line between obligations to fulfil contracts and recommendations to improve the quality
of project communication. Partners, due to resource constraints may eventually be
overwhelmed with all the requirements and recommendations feeling equally responsible to
fulfil all. Make sure the programme communicates to them about what is a must and what
is recommended is clear.

Define how you monitor project communication activities and materials, and how the
process is handled and roles divided within the programme:

            Who is monitoring project communication activities such as checking progress
             reports, answering requests related to communication, monitoring project
             websites, making recommendations for social media use, etc.
            How are you supporting project managers in ensuring visibility rules are
             observed?
            Which materials are you checking: all materials, bigger materials or on
             demand? Are you asking projects to send the layout of major materials for
             approval before finalisation?
            How do you follow up on the events?
            Are you joining site visits to check communication materials on the spot?

How to monitor project websites?

If you are hosting project websites under the programme page, you have already made your
job easier. You are able to see the latest updates on your CMS. Check how different project
pages perform with analytics. This makes their guidance and support also easier for you.

If projects have separate websites, you should track the links to the websites and regularly
check them and make recommendations for improvements.

     Project webspaces hosted under the programme website: * * * *

     Project websites: * * * *

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 Manage your project communities

 There are various ways to manage your communities of project partners for
 communication purposes. Here are a few tips inspired by how programmes have been
 handling it.

 Project partners on the website: Create a programme communication community with
 projects, provide them free of charge access for the use of programme’s applicable
 communication platforms.

 Create and make use of a good communication network out of programme bodies,
 external stakeholders and project partners to pass on important information about your
 projects and ask them to publish it on their channels when opportunities arise.

 Cooperate via social media, make good use of social media community management
 tools to better monitor and coordinate social media campaigns with projects, choose
 from one or more of the following:

                       A public twitter list with all project accounts, so that all available
                        project updates are accessible from one single timeline, not only by
                        you but also by external followers,

                       Thematic or merged LinkedIn groups with available project pages
                        which can serve as an inter-project exchange platform,

                       Facebook groups with your projects key people (make sure to have
                        their consent due to the privacy principle)

      Example from the Central Baltic Programme

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6. Evaluation

                                    Evaluation of projects’ success in communication will not
                                    only help you measure the broader success of your
                                    communication strategy but will also allow drawing
                                    conclusions on project partners’ performance in
                                    communication and re-structuring your support based on
                                    their strengths and weaknesses. In order to do this more
systematically and efficiently, below are a few tips to support the projects in the evaluation
of their communication activities:

       Request projects to report on result indicators linked to the programme
        communication objectives. You will need to identify to what extent project
        communication indicators contribute to your overall programme communication
        indicators.
       Make sure projects collect data on the performance of their communication
        activities to ensure the necessary data for evaluation is available.
       Make sure the project website traffic data and social media reach (post reaches) is
        being tracked.
       Encourage projects to prepare evaluation surveys for events.
       Monitor the communication activities in progress reports to evaluate the activities
        periodically and also to ensure the availability of data for the evaluation of the
        project’s communication activities.
       Encourage projects to keep a track record of media coverage and to compare the
        number of press releases sent to the number of media outlets with how many news
        articles were actually published.

The type of data you request will depend on the channels the projects identified for project
communication, ideally with your support. Therefore you may consider a list of key indicators
for each possible channel to be utilised by projects from which you could then extract
project specific indicators.

Some programmes include a mandatory section on evaluation in project communication
plans which they check and make recommendations for improvement if necessary.

    Check an example of a list of communication indicators by the Interreg France-
Wallonie-Vlaanderen Programme

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Promotion of projects

Which projects and what kind of achievements to promote, to whom, how to formulate the
key messages, and which channels to use? It all depends on your programme objectives.
What does your programme want to achieve? Who can do that for you? What kind of
messages should you be conveying in order to convince these target groups to become
aware of your project achievements, get involved and make use of its results?

In the previous section we examined the ways programmes support beneficiaries to improve
project communication in which the job is done by projects. This section focuses on the job
done by the programme itself to promote the projects.

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1. Why promote projects?

As an Interreg programme with
cooperation at its core you want to
promote your projects in order to:

    Ensure transparency. An
    important reason for promoting
    projects is to guarantee the
    transparency of the activities
    implemented by projects by
    showing how the EU and national
    funds have been used. Managing Authorities are responsible for the publication of a list
    of beneficiaries. Promotion of projects starts there but this first step certainly does not
    ensure promotion alone and needs to be supplemented by efficient communication
    measures.

    Ensure your programme is known for providing funding to improve the life for the
    citizens in the topics your programme defined as priority in the programme area. This
    way more organisations can become interested in the funding, and your programme can
    get more project applications to choose from and therefore, in the end, better projects
    to fund.

    Ensure more people interested in projects’ themes participate in project activities and
    make use of project results.

    Reinforce a positive EU image by promoting cooperation stories funded by the EU in the
    age of fake news and increased Euro-scepticism. The EU is a success story of
    cooperation and it is inherent in Interreg.

    Gain prestige for your programme, programme bodies and project partner organisations
    who put massive effort to make the good results happen.

    Promote the Interreg brand. There are thousands of brands out there. We want to
    create space for ourselves.

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       2. Whose job is promotion?

Daily task /                Joint         Managing    Contact/Info   Monitoring   National
programme body              Secretariat   Authority   points         Committee    Authorities
Overall control over
project promotion
activities
                            ••            •
Collecting information
and creating the project
stories
                            ••                        •
Identifying projects and
channels through which
they are promoted
                            ••            •
Inviting highlighted
projects to major
programme and external      ••                        •
events
Direct contact with
authorities regarding the
promotion of projects
                            ••                        •
Allocating tasks among
programme bodies or
asking for assistance in
promoting highlighted       ••            •
projects on their
channels
Attending project events    ••            ••          ••                          ••
Providing guidance
related to the visual
identity, to programme
bodies and projects
                            ••                        •                           •
partners
Providing guidance to
projects, training,
informing and inviting to
EU wide events to           ••                        •
showcase the project
results
Approving JS proposals,
guidelines, procedures
etc
                                          ••                         ••           ••
Procuring the
tools/services needed
for promotion, including                  ••
projects

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Providing input to
communication strategy
and annual plans
                               ••            ••          ••             ••           ••
Daily task /                   Joint         Managing    Contact/Info   Monitoring   National
programme body                 Secretariat   Authority   points         Committee    Authorities
Attending higher profile
events                         •             ••                         ••           •
Reaching out to
programme
stakeholders'
institutional channels         •             ••          •              ••           ••
(e.g. ministry website,
municipal journal, etc)
Reaching out to media
through organisations'
press offices
                                             ••                         ••           ••
Participation in best
practices or other types
of project promotion                         ••          •
activities.
Distributing products
prepared for project
promotion to local target                                ••                          ••
groups
Organising promotion
events of project with
partners from specific                                   ••                          ••
countries
Collecting information for
JS and maintaining
contact with NA
                                                         ••
Inviting projects to the
national events                                          ••                          ••
Support at national level,
especially with events                                   ••                          •
Reaching out to policy
makers                                       •                          ••           •
Disseminate information
about the programme
and its projects
                                                         ••             ••
Participating to local
project promotion events       ••                                       ••           ••
Support in national,
specific rules and project
promotion opportunities
                                                         ••                          ••
Table: Project promotion programme bodies chart

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The above chart shows roles and responsibilities the programme bodies have in the
promotion of projects, compiled via an Interact survey, to let you see an overview of the
practice among the programmes and to inspire you with your own task division.

Promotion is everyone’s job in a programme. While communication officers are responsible
– and they should be– for overseeing the overall planning, implementation and evaluation
of communication; promoting projects is more of a shared responsibility of all programme
bodies, sometimes even of the monitoring committee.

In many cases, however, the joint secretariats with support from the managing authorities
do the bulk of the job with other programme bodies helping out spontaneously and seldom
systematically.

3. Target groups of project promotion

In communication, knowing who you talk to is the key element in identifying the what, how
and where to talk to them. Your own prioritisation will depend on what you would like to
achieve and with whom, but here is a list of potential audiences you may want to highlight
your projects to, listed in an order of priority as expressed by programmes.

                Potential future applicants
                Thematic/sectoral groups based on the type of project such as NGOs,
                 SMEs, educational institutions, public authorities etc.
                Policy makers
                EU community (EU institutions, other European Social and Investment
                 Funds (ESIF) programmes, EU grassroots)
                Citizens primarily inside but also outside the programme’s geographical
                 area

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4. Which projects to promote?
A frequent misconception is taking “informing about projects” as “communicating projects”.
Information is inherent in communication but it alone is not sufficient for good
communication. The two go together and it comes down to how you prepare this package.
Publishing a list of all projects funded by your programme is an information activity and also
a requirement to ensure transparency. However, it alone is not sufficient to call it
‘communicating’ and ‘promoting’ projects.

So which projects should you promote? Answering this question requires good knowledge
about the contents of your project portfolio and therefore you as a programme are the ones
to know. But how do you work with the variety of project outcomes? The process has started
when you defined your communication target groups and objectives as a means to achieve
your programme objectives. These target groups and objectives set the way for you to pick
the right projects to promote. In the light of this you may ask:

       Which projects can provide tangible results showing true impact in reaching your
        programme objectives?
       Which projects address an actual issue in the programme area? E.g. migration,
        floods, jobs
       Which projects address an issue that is of wider public interest? E.g. health
        services, environment, job creation
       Combined with the above, which partners formed a well-established partnership to
        achieve their goals, to underline the added value of cooperation?
       And importantly, which projects can actually show what they did with available
        communication tools, e.g. nicely designed short videos, photos telling the story,
        infographics showing the improvements at a glance, etc. If not available, are you as
        programme able to prepare such materials?

What to highlight in a project?
Sometimes showing the tip of an iceberg is enough to inform the viewer of what lies
underneath. Although it will depend on your own variables, here are a few ideas for what
aspects of the project can be highlighted:

       Direct impacts on the lives of project’s target groups and wider public
       Most spectacular outputs
       Number of people it positively effects and other key figures
       Key improvements:
            o economic growth, e.g. jobs created by a rural development project
            o environmental improvements, e.g. wildlife saved, emissions/pollution
                 reduced, forestation increased, improvements in air quality, etc.
            o innovation, e.g. new techniques, methods discovered or ones that became
                 widespread
       Project partnership. As a cooperation programme, show what people across
        borders can achieve by working together.

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5. Formulating promotional messages

When you want to feature a series of projects, skip the typical “project summary” facts and
focus on the improvements brought by the project such as:

       What has the project done that made a difference?
       What is improved compared to the situation before the project?
       What would happen if the project was not implemented?
       What was the benefit of cooperation? How could the results not have been reached
        without cooperation of the partners?

Once you spark interest and convince the viewer of the benefit, they are more likely to go to
the sources you provide for the “project summary” facts and more.

6. Highlight the EU support

The European Union is a product of many parts. The
parts make up the entity of the EU. Interreg is one of
them.

Always use the brand "Interreg" to refer to European
Territorial Cooperation and the fact that the project is
financed by the European Union.

As an overwhelming majority of programmes have gone for the common Interreg logo, the
process is in a way self-promoting. Each time you use your programme logo, you contribute
to the joint perception of the Interreg brand. Use your programme logo as prominently and
frequently as possible.

Use your programme visual identity and Interreg brand elements. When talking about
achievements, opportunities, facts or other information under thematic objectives, make
use of the thematic icons.

Mention the EU funding and the amount of the funds         As much as promoting the EU
in written pieces such as interviews, articles, news       as an entity, emphasis on
reports, newsletters etc. However, remember that           cooperation benefits is
people should be in focus and the technicalities are       essential for programmes
only there to support it. Have them available but keep     whose key focus is territorial
the focus on the story.                                    cooperation.

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When formulating messages for projects “do you want to see what the EU is doing for you?”
is a good message, but the scale of reach may be limited to the already EU-friendly people.
Consider formulating it around “do you want to see how our project(s) improved ….? It is
funded by the EU”. This way, you are talking to a variety of individuals interested in the
project’s topic and what it offers regardless of their stance of the EU. Once sparked interest,
your measures for EU visibility will ensure that the target is aware of the achievements of
the project thanks to EU funding.

An example of combination of Interreg brand with project’s topic on a project’s Twitter page:

7. Make use of different channels

Having identified why you are promoting the projects, to whom, by whom and with what kind
of messages, now you are ready to pick the most suitable channels. Making good use of
different channels does not necessarily mean making use of all of them. It is rather utilising
channels that will deliver your messages to your identified target groups in the most
effective way.

Modern consumers are lazy, have limited time and are selective. Being aware of the typical
behaviour of these consumers and your technical abilities in using different channels will
provide you with a head start. Use multiple channels to increase your chance of reach.

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On the website

Publish a summary and basic facts of the funded projects
on your website. But you cannot expect people to
regularly visit your site and dig into it to find out the best
projects. Therefore, feature some flagship projects that
are your best examples and highlight them prominently.

Ensure there are well written simple descriptions and rich visuals to promote these flagship
projects on various platforms at any time. The rich visuals may include high quality images
with the true spirit of the project, short and simple videos, professionally designed
infographics with key data, etc.

Highlight important project news that are of wider interest on the programme website and
help the project partners reach a wider audience.

Make good use of the national websites of your programme countries. Use the map in this
page to find the national websites in all member states: https://interreg.eu/links

Websites of project partners and of other organisations they are a member of can provide
excellent targeted promotion opportunities. Encourage projects to make use of such
channels. For example, a project on cross border cooperation between medical institutions
may be promoted on the websites of the associations that the partnering hospitals are a
member of. This way, viewers with a specific interest in the project’s actual theme will not
only get informed about the project’s achievements but they will also be aware of the
funding your programme –therefore Interreg and the EU- provided to address a cross-border
issue.

   Good example: Only six projects featured as cooperation stories by the Interreg
Mediterranean Programme, to reflect added value of their programme and Interreg

     Good example: A project is featured among many, on Interreg Europe’s discover
projects page

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Videos

                           Consider using videos for promoting your achievements. The
                           videos should be kept short and show what your programme
                           actually achieved through a selection of your best projects.

                           Ensure the availability of authentic footage from projects. To do
                           that, identify in advance how you are gathering such footage: are
                           you filming the projects on the spots yourself, hiring external film
                           makers or asking project partners to film and send to you? Make
                           sure project partners are aware of their role and what you ask
                           from them.

You could feature interviews with people directly benefiting from projects to pass on the key
messages through authentic stories.

Use simple storytelling techniques: Bad situation – project – improvement of bad situation
for the better.

Consider providing the projects with an editable video template which they can adapt to
their own projects.

    Interact publication ‘Interreg in Motion’ for more tips on videos

Social media

The use of social media as a source of
information about what is going on in the
projects is of major importance to the
programmes. By following the projects in
social media you are able to keep yourself up
to date about their achievements, events, promotional products and more. Building a
strong connection and feeling of cooperation between programme and projects on
social media can be used to enhance the feeling of working together and helping each
other reach out to wider audiences such as by sharing/re-tweeting each other’s relevant
posts.

Feature social videos with key project achievements, prepared by the programme or
projects.
On relevant days e.g., World Water Day --- remind followers of your projects on water
treatment, use the hashtags created for campaigns to highlight such days.
Share catchy visuals generated by projects.

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Share project news on external media with links.
Help out projects with promotional campaigns by announcing and sharing their contents.
Help spread content from other Interreg programme accounts.

    Subscribe to a twitter list of Interreg projects that is constantly
updated, help spread the word.

A few examples to inspire your posts about projects:

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Press

Here are a few points to consider to increase the chance of your projects’ coverage by
mainstream media:

                Actuality of project topics/results. For example, a region suffering from
                 flood will be more alerted to a news piece about your project that works on
                 cross border solutions to floods
                Relevance of project achievements to the country/region that makes up the
                 audience of the media you are targeting
                Present a story that the media and society can identify with. Abstract
                 profound concepts are good for background articles, features and other
                 formats. If you would like to attract the attention of local media, present a
                 local story, e.g., a project that helps the city be more environmentally
                 friendly.
                Keep a journalist contact list that you can send your interesting stories to.
                 Even better is to work with journalists focusing on certain topics and target
                 only them when you have something related to their interest.
                Build a win-win partnership with the journalist. The institution is not the only
                 party seeking the accomplishment of an objective (to have the information
                 published) but also the journalist gets benefits from this partnership: an
                 interesting story, attractive or powerful images and the possibility to include
                 sources that are valuable for their media.

      Check communication toolkit: media chapter for dealing with press at the programme
level.

A few examples

  “We had some projects, especially in the medical field, which attracted the attention
  of national TV channels, both from Romania and Serbia. The journalists presented the
  major cross-border impact of this type of projects. They were on project sites (in
  hospitals) and they filmed the rehabilitated buildings, they filmed doctors performing
  medical acts, with the approval of patients.” Interreg IPA CBC Romania - Serbia
  Programme

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     The University of Mons had a press conference about six projects they led and it went
the next morning on the national radio (BEL RTL = biggest audience in the morning in
Belgium). Interview (in French) here (BEL RTL Régions category - 3'39'')

     Another project by the same programme also had an impactful launch event (lots of
participants, lots of articles, tweets, etc.)

     Project 3Smart, funded by the Interreg Danube Transnational Programme

  “We have had several projects featured on national TV, on both sides of the border,
  most prominently the two projects dealing with demining. the projects deal with a very
  important issue of national and international importance, but also innovative and
  attractive communication tools have been used (theatre plays, sporting events etc.)
  that helped increase visibility of the projects.” Interreg IPA CBC Hungary – Croatia
  Programme

In writing

Whether you are promoting projects through news,
newsletters, blog posts or another written method, the
way you formulate the text and its accessibility will
determine its impact.

Give a brief overview of the output/result generated by
the project and links to a more detailed story/product.
These can be inventories, researches, online platforms,
maps, publications and many more things.

Keep in mind the readers’ existing knowledge on the issue and make it easy reading for also
those who are not familiar with the specific field.

Feature one or several projects in your programme newsletter issues depending on
availability of project activities or results and publish e.g., an interview with project
partner(s), an article written by a beneficiary or other type of content by projects. These can
focus on their project management experience or promotion of their project’s actual content
and results. Remember to whom you are writing while formulating the messages (e.g.,
encouragement for streamlined project management would be relevant for potential
applicants/beneficiaries but for policy makers showing actual results is more interesting).
Whether the text is to be published in a programme or some other newsletter the writer
should always be aware of whom the newsletter is sent to.

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Sometimes you don’t need a whole article to promote a project. A sentence with the most
crucial details from a project can help you achieve that promotion.

Examples:
    “Did you know? Thanks to …. project funded by our Programme people in …..
       regions can now get …. service faster, cheaper and more efficiently.”

       “By the time ….. project is finalised, emissions in ….. region will be reduced by XX%”

       “Thanks to the ….. project, border regions in ….. and …. countries now have …. and
        ….. benefits”

       “With the observation system established as a part of …. project funded by our
        Programme, ….. and …. countries can now jointly monitor ship wastes illegally
        disposed to X river”

Support project related contents with visuals and links to further details and contact details
as much as possible.

     Check communication toolkit chapters on clear writing, storytelling, newsletter, media,
social media.

Public showcase

Consider organising joint events with projects
and/or ensuring programme representation on
major project events added value of which can
be:

                Help in project promotion, e.g., by increasing media visibility
                Show project partners that the programme cares about their project
                Help them in highlighting key programme messages in their event by taking
                 a role (e.g., as speaker, moderator or trainer)
                Monitor project event, make recommendations
                Increase the project partners’ commitment

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Display good project practices and results as well as good communication examples at
programme events.

Showcase on thematic events, e.g., achievements of an innovation project on a university
innovation event, agriculture project on a local agricultural fair, scientific projects on
university events etc. These occasions should be used as effectively as possible and can be
done either by the programme or the project staff or even together.

Pan-European channels

Here are a few pan-European channels that can give a base to your best projects:

        DG Regio projects page

        Panorama magazine of the European Commission

        Interreg website

        Urge participation in European Cooperation Day to showcase the projects that can
        speak to the public. Cooperate with them and/or urge them to open their doors to
        the public as part of your EC Day activities.

        Take part in Europe in my region campaigns annually

        Apply for Regio Stars award for with your best practices

        Take part in European Week of Regions and Cities

        Contact pan-European media: European Review magazine, Politico, Vocal Europe,
        etc.

        Make sure your projects’ data is being transferred automatically to Keep.eu

     Also check: Storytelling chapter in Interact publication “Communication of
capitalisation in Interreg”

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