“Communication matters, so you matter” – with these words Susanne Scherrer, Director of Interreg Baltic Sea Region Managing Authority/Joint Secretariat (MA/JS) addressed 60 communication managers at the recent communication seminar. She highlighted their important role in showing the true European value of transnational cooperation in Interreg projects. How to communicate Interreg and reach out to the right target groups, how to communicate Interreg within the projects and throughout successful events were the overarching themes for the seminar.
Communication Seminar 2018, © IB.SH
Despite the winter scenery in Lübeck, warm atmosphere and vivid discussions filled up the seminar venue at all times. After an extensive information session dedicated to shaping communication strategy, reflecting on roles and responsibilities of communication managers as well as coping with visibility rules and reporting requirements, communication managers split into smaller groups in order to get to know each other better. Breakout sessions organised by a joint theme and a shared target group turned out to be much appreciated.
“Communication has to come from the heart” – Jonas Westerberg (Dykmagasin, Sweden) from the DiveSMART Baltic project took the floor to showcase the project’s successful media activities. His story proved that even a beginner to media relations equipped with enthusiasm and dedication to the project’s mission is able to drive communication efficiently and attract media attention.
In the same spirit, Johanna Feuk (Nordregio, Sweden) representing the MAMBA project, encouraged the colleagues to actively communicate with the project partners across the Baltic Sea region, being at the same time “kindergarten clear” about the needs and intentions. Indeed, providing explicit and coherent messages considerably facilitate project communication.
Monika Strojecka-Gevorgyan (Ministry of Investment and Economic Development, Poland), a member of the Monitoring Committee, motivated all the projects to directly inform the Monitoring Committee about their achievements. Pro-active approach and building personal relations are features that reinforce good project communication.
What is your message?
This edition of the communication seminar was a bit more than about offering Programme-relevant information, training in modern conferencing and networking opportunity. With more than 74 projects onboard and more to come, it seemed relevant to highlight a wider context why project communication is important. It was important to show how project communication is interlinked with the Programme communication and how – together – we can talk about Interreg – maybe the funding scheme that is closest to the original idea of the European Union, i.e. cooperation. The recent publication by 15 transnational programmes and Interreg Europe titled “10 things to know about transnational cooperation”, as well as the complementary Baltic Sea region’s edition, came in very handy. Both joint papers compile messages and present projects’ examples showing how cohesion is being built on across Europe. The positive change to the region brought in by the projects is also clearly depicted in the Baltic Sea region.
With these publications, we hope that the projects can better understand their crucial role in communicating achievements of transnational cooperation and align their communication with messages they mostly fit in. We hope that it will contribute to a stronger feeling of belonging to the Interreg world. And we hope that it will trigger a wave of project stories illustrating the added value of Interreg.