Last Tuesday, in Dublin, 3rd call projects partners had the privilege to listen to 3 experts lessons regarding how to approach storytelling, media relations and social media when running a project. We tried to summarize their very inspiring speeches in 3 blocks.
Let's start with storytelling
It is important to be able to read the stories behind the project activities, and have the capacity to tell them, as well as to find the human interest that each project has got. We should capture people's attention, inform and engage them around the project's topics. Let's think about that: projects are designed by people and people have stories to tell. A meeting that generates new collaboration opportunities between project partners, that allowed a stakeholder's group member to start a new activity in another region thanks to the project; these are powerful stories, that are worth to share. It is rare, indeed. We should be able to convey the very sense of our projects, that is in the end that every European project has the aim of making people's life better, by making innovative technologies available to companies or helping Regional Administrations in better design innovation policies. It's all about people.
Journalists find interesting what is interesting to their readers, and this is exactly what we should have in mind while preparing a press release. There are some tips we should follow in order to being noticed by media. Just to give you a couple:
- be brief: time is precious, you should be able to capture a journalist's attention with a catchy title;
- go straight to the point: summarize in 2/3 bullet points the news
- news are news: timeliness is crucial, then it becomes old stuff that nobody wants to read
- avoid jargon anc acronyms: in European projects we use to (ab) use them, while we shouldn't with media. Nobody would understand but yourself;
- customize your press release: with local newspapers we would stress the local impact of your news, as people are interested in proximity, in what happens next to them and is going to affect their life somehow
54% of EU citizen actively uses social media. Does it mean it is easy to do? Not at all.
It means that social media are a very powerful tool that projects should use according to specific strategies in order to reach their audience and become a strong voice in the media arena concerning project's topics.
Before starting, you should be asking yourself: is your target using Twitter? Are companies involved in your project getting information on LinkedIn? Are you sure you need a brand new account? What if you could capitalize upon your partners'followers? They will last after the project ends, an ad hoc account could die. Set few rules, select contents to be conveyed through social media and customize your writing style according to the media you are using and the target you want to reach.