European Commission DG Agri Project Communication Awards

News from the European Commission

Strategic communications for project partners – some key messages

I am very pleased to have been asked on the panel to judge this year’s DG AGRI CAP communications awards that took place at the European Commission, Brussels in January 2015.

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There were lots of fantastic project communications out there and when it is all about food and farming it is exciting and relevant. As a panel member I had to work with a great panel team and read 58 project communications plans in December (Happy Christmas!) and we came to a shortlist of nine. The winners were chosen by interactive polling. The winners were “Liveable Austria” a rural development project from…..Austria.

We  believe that communications are at the heart of good projects, worthwhile policy work and public service. Part of the magic of communications is the way in which an idea can take hold of everyone’s imagination. How within days or even hours it can be on everyone’s lips, or smartphones or iPads. We know that EU funded projects can only bring about the changes they are designed for with effective communications.

I ran a workshop on communications strategy and we agreed on the following:

  1. Good communications plans don’t happen by accident. Communications are a planned set of activities like any other business activity.
  2. Good communications strategies are written by teams who have SMART objectives.
  3. It is vital to think about your target audiences – who they are, their level of interest and knowledge in the theme.
  4. Monitoring and evaluating communications are often missed. Project managers sometimes think is ok just to measure the inputs – number of press releases sent, brochures produced, how many likes on your Facebook page. This is bit lazy – we also need to know what affect our communications have had. How did our target audiences react? Did it change their minds?

There are strong links between successful projects in results & outcomes and how well the communications run.  But project partners often feel under resourced and over stretched when it come to project communications. There are not the same resources and budgets that large companies can devote to communications. So how can we do a good job for our projects?

For more information

The aim of our project communication training is to give you toolkit that you scale to the size of your projects. If you would like us to organise training in project communications for your partners please contact us at

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