In financing environmental programmes, the European Union places great emphasis on the information and communication activities of the projects carried out in the context of its environmental policy. It could hardly be otherwise, as the funded programmes are aimed not only at boosting scientific research and generating knowledge and innovation regarding the natural environment of the European Union, but also at disseminating and putting them to use in Member State societies and economies.
One of the basic aims of LIFE Natura Themis, a LIFE funding instrument financed project on recording and evaluating environmental crime on Crete, was to make its research findings known to social partners, Cretan society, the state agencies involved and state decision-making bodies. To that end, it drew up and implemented a flexible communications strategy adapted to the needs of the project and social partners, including a variety of promotion, communication and information activities for the target audience, such as: information days and training seminars; production and distribution of technical publications; co-operation with and use of local and national media; use of all appropriate electronic communication channels; presentation and participation in national and international conferences and networks etc.
This Communication Guide sets out our experience in implementing the aforesaid communication campaign, in the belief that both the positives and the negatives we encountered and the solutions we ultimately selected in overcoming them will be of use to bodies, agencies and NGOs that implement European programmes or wish to improve their communications policies and promote the issues of concern to them more effectively.
It guide includes general guidelines for drawing up a communication strategy and implementing an information campaign, plus more specific advice on potential obstacles, proper use of the available communication tools and working with the mass media.
The bilingual Communication Guide LIFE Natura Themis is available for downloading and dissemination in this post in pdf format.