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Guide to successful communications
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PUBLICATIONS

Select type of publication

This document confines itself to a discussion of publications relevant to the broad interests and objectives of project consortia, while also helping to meet the contractual obligations of FP6 and the societal imperatives of the EU. The approach to planning and producing publications is nevertheless essentially the same as would be adopted by any publicity-conscious organisation.

The first step is to determine which type(s) of publication best meet the perceived needs. From this follows the allocation of budget and the assignment of human resources able to carry out the work.

Hint
It is advisable to ascertain whether individual partners have their own literature programmes, in order to facilitate the sharing of information and avoid duplication of effort

You can, of course, prepare a complete hierarchy of literature to meet a wide variety of eventualities. The following indicate just some of the main types that could be considered:

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Brochure

Illustration: brochureA ‘flagship’ brochure reflects the status of a project and serves as a prestigious calling card for presentation to influential readers – European policy-makers, national and local authorities, potential partners, investors, industrial end-users, technology licensees, media representatives…

Produced early in the lifetime of a project or network (possibly as a speculative investment even before funding is confirmed), a brochure can:

  • Provide an overview of the consortium, and highlight the reputation/strengths of individual partners;
  • Review the background and technological rationale for undertaking the initiative;
  • Indicate the targeted results, and emphasise the scale of breakthrough/ innovation expected to be achieved;
  • Explain the provision being made for education, knowledge sharing and exploitation of the findings;
  • Predict the likely long-term impact in terms of European competitiveness, employment, environmental gain and quality-of-life enhancement;
  • Attract interest in association with, and contribution to, an initiative from parties recognising a potential for profitable participation in the fruits of the eventual discoveries; and/or
  • Help SME partners, who may not be able to afford such an exercise alone.

Hint:
The realisation of such a document is a relatively costly exercise, so the content should be designed to ensure longevity, although this is not always easy in an era of rapid change. Practical advice is to concentrate on major issues, avoid quickly outdated detail, incorporate statistical forecasts from the most reliable sources and feature images with a timeless quality.)

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Newsletter

Illustration:  newsletterA periodic newsletter offers the means to report unfolding developments during the course of a project. Depending on the choice of content, it can be circulated internally to inform individuals within partner organisations, and externally to your target audiences.

Typical candidate stories that could be considered for inclusion are:

  • Suitably edited versions of project press releases;
  • Announcements of progress by single partners or workgroup collaborators;
  • Reports on conferences and meetings;
  • News of milestone achievements;
  • Personnel announcements; and
  • Information about forthcoming events.

Newsletters of this nature are often issued three to four times a year – but even an annual publication can serve as a useful update to information contained in a main project brochure.

Hint:
Irrespective of the frequency, newsletters could also be placed on your website – at the very least as downloadable pdf files. You could also consider producing a specific web version, with links to additional information

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Case history sheet

Illustration: Typical Research DG case history (print/web versions side by side)A case history sheet serves as a concise reference to the nature and scope of a project or to specific deliverables. Typically contained within a double-sided A4 sheet, it forms an inexpensive first-line response to requests for information. It is equally suitable as a handout to site visitors and conference attendees, and as an element for inclusion in press kits or mailed approaches to prospective TV contacts. Converted into pdf electronic file format, it can be posted on your website or used as a moderately sized attachment to email correspondence.

Poster

Illustration: Suitable project posterIn the scientific context, posters are commonly produced to describe individual strands of research at specialist conferences and meetings. However, posters of a more generic nature can be used to introduce complete projects and networks to the wider world. These are necessarily even briefer than case history sheets, and can provide only the briefest of summaries. In addition to display at exhibitions and public meetings, they can be supplied to universities and schools with a view to simulating student interest.

The aim should be to provide an eye-catching and thought-provoking presentation, and to include contact or website details giving ready access to further information.

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Why prepare print items?
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Select type of publication
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Design and production
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Dissemination strategy
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Events
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Links

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Bibliography
   
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Why prepare print items?
bullet
Select type of publication
bullet
Design and production
bullet
Dissemination strategy