Learning from each other. Cohesion Policy communication practices
A practical introduction to the information and publicity actions carried out in the Member States concerning assistance from the Structural and Cohesion Funds in the period 2007-2013.
INFORM, the network of communication officers responsible for information and publicity for the Structural and Cohesion Funds (ERDF and Cohesion Fund) decided to prepare a collection of various communication practices which are implemented in the current programming period. This period is characterised by a new emphasis on transparency in the use of the Structural and Cohesion funds, both from accountability and efficiency points of views. Professional, well targeted and timely information can guarantee that potential beneficiaries are aware of the Funds and of the possibilities they offer. Publicity campaigns, on the other hand, allow citizens to be aware of the policy and its practical results, best visible through the hundreds of thousands of projects developed in every corner of the European Union, and even beyond. This also allows the public to understand the practical impact of the European Union on their daily lives.
In communications, it is particularly important to network and exchange information on good and sometimes bad practice in that field. This collection of various information and publicity practice aims at facilitating access to information and publicity materials produced by the Managing Authorities across the European Union and gather them in one place.
The guide is prepared by the INFORM members for their own use, and also for the beneficiaries of the Cohesion Policy, who following the rules set in the article 8 of Commission regulation 1828/2006 are responsible for providing information and publicity about the received support to the broader public.
The material is grouped in several broad thematic blocs: Communication plan; Networks, Graphical identity and branding; Building relationships with beneficiaries; Monitoring and evaluation.
This is a subjective collection of information and publicity actions and not an official document or guidelines issued by the European Commission. The authors are members of the INFORM network and work as communication officers in the Managing Authorities implementing the 2007-2013 Operational Programmes. All the texts reflect solely the respective author's view on a given topic and cannot in any circumstances be regarded as the official position of the Commission.
INFORM network is open to EU communication officers who want to inform others about their experiences with the information on the ERDF, Cohesion Fund and EU Cohesion Policy, who want to be informed about inspiring ideas and communication projects developed in other Member States or regions, who want to meet other communication officers and learn from each other in formal and informal ways. It is coordinated by the Information and Communication unit of the European Commission's Directorate General for Regional Policy.
The Practical Guide to Communication on the Structural Funds 2000-2006 was developed by the information unit of the Directorate General for Regional Policy, working jointly with the Structural Funds Information Team (SFIT). Currently members of the Inform network are working on the new version of the communications guide, adapted to the 2007-2013 rules on information and publicity, and based on the new experiences. The first version of the guide will be available by the end of 2008. It will not be an exhaustive manual on communication. It will however aim to be a dynamic tool, capable of adapting to the requirements of information managers within the various programmes and ensuring European visibility for their results. In the meantime, please see the webpage on compulsory elements for inclusion on billboards.