The final versions of the national communications strategies for EURES Croatia, Spain and Slovakia have been delivered. Congratulations to all the EURES managers and their teams for an intensive and rewarding nine months of audit, analysis, evaluation, strategising and creation! Now the hard work of implementation begins.
The strategy is the first step in delivering effective, evidence-based communications (note our strapline: Smart Strategic Communications) that will produce the desired outcomes for all target audiences – jobseekers, employers and partners and stakeholders.
To achieve this, it will require consistent implementation, integrated use of the full communications mix and effective monitoring. More than this, it will require the understanding of and ownership by all members of the national network in order to ensure that those who should be message-givers aren’t message-fakers when engaging with clients.
Each document includes an action plan for the next twelve months, a communications activity template to assess a comms activity before starting it and to highlight potential flaws and a factsheet on evaluation to complement the chapter on evaluation.
To give the teams a headstart on promoting their strategies so that they don’t gather dust on a shelf or take up valuable hard disk space, I developed an ideas sheet called Embedding your new communications strategy internally. This, like the strategies themselves, is a collaborative document which I hope members of the network will contribute to in order to share best practice with their colleagues across Europe who are also working on taking their communications to the next level.
Three down, one to go! The outstanding strategy, for EURES Ireland, is a work in progress. I’m due to present it to the national network at a meeting in Galway at the end of the month and solicit feedback from those who know better than me the challenges in their day-to-day work that make promoting EU job mobility in a time of crisis a difficult task. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to listen, learn and adjust accordingly.
So, in terms of those all important outcomes, I would say they are these:
- a renewed commitment to communications, from the top through the middle and all the way down, and vice versa
- an improved understanding of not only the challenges but the benefits of strategic communications
- a team more confident in planning and implementing communications activities and campaigns
And these outcomes will only multiply as the strategies are ‘taught’ and embedded within the wider networks.