How the SocialEU platform may reinforce EU projects dissemination
The dissemination is crucial in EU project and we may define it as the public disclosure of the project results. Through dissemination activities we aim to transfer project knowledge maximizing the impact of EU-funded activities. Through dissemination and communication activities we spread the voice around the project, we aim to reach the most of the people who can be interested and can use the project’s outputs.
It is important to say that dissemination in EU project is a collective activity that need to be run by the whole partnership in order to maximize the results.
Commonly, there is not a specific budget for this activity, but it will really influence the positive outcome of the whole project.
The dissemination is needed in EU funded projects because through it we create communities of people and join those same targets identified in the project. Without dissemination activities, all the work done by the project partnership will stay inside the same partnership and would not go into the community we and EU commission are trying to give benefits through the same project.
To have an efficient dissemination, we need to use many tools, from the traditional printed graphic material like fliers, brochures, rolls-up, to newsletter, websites or social media. We have a universe of instruments that need specific skills that relate more to a communication team than project managers. In order to overcome the challenges of dissemination actions, a project manager can train those skills in order to have a communicative mindset and adapt the project dissemination activities to the social context, the tools availability, the target.
Let’s think about the difference in dissemination before, during and after the Covid-19 era.
All the live events, the printed material, the live presentations where impossible to be produced during the lockdown. Some new tools, like online webinar platforms, became the only way to bring on multipliers events, training and presentations. Social media became the only way to vehicle information about those online events. The solution of a sudden problem became, for those who easily developed communication skills to transform live onto digital events, a great opportunity to enlarge what was a local dissemination activity to a national or global range of target. Nowadays live streaming is a common dissemination instrument.
Innovating dissemination strategies can be difficult. For sure, in a world where social networks are the most used communication tools with always new functions and new ways to engage users in producing contents, it’s pretty hard to run and adapt dissemination and organizations instruments to always new kind of contents to produce. The most innovative thing we can do improve our dissemination being a project manager, is to build up a communicative mindset that will help us being “adaptive” to always new tools on the market. This is why, with Materahub, we are running a “meta-project” called SocialEU, a project-manager dedicated training that allows to understand the dissemination project needs before starting the operative and productive social media-oriented part.
The most recent best practice developed within this topic is the SocialEU platform, which has been built with the intent to create not only a learning platform but a community of EU project managers, to give them a space where is possible to share information about projects and innovative dissemination techniques. The platform is a social network itself, where you create your own profile, your network, groups of interest and start discussions.
The learning section is a 5 modules structured path that leads the pm through the knowledge of the dissemination on social media.
As I mentioned before, the course goal is not only to give cold instructions on how to make a social media post, but wants to give the instruments to create a communicative-oriented mindset.
The first module “Analysis” helps understanding the complex of elements (target, contents needed, possible channels) to put on the table a feasible dissemination plan that respects the real possibilities of the partnership.
The second module “How to Choose a Social Network” gives the basic information to keep a decision about the platform to use. It gives an overview on the most used social networks. The third module “Strategic Planning” goes deeper into the figures and competencies needed to run out a common plan for a better dissemination.
“Doing” is the operative module, with standard indications and suggestions on how to create effective contents that can have better results on social media. The module reports some good practices or examples on how to create the most common contents, like a simple guideline of the principles that rule social network content production.
Last but not least, the “Monitoring” module helps keeping track of the numbers obtained through dissemination in order to be able to understand if the dissemination plan is having good results and, if not, how to change direction and improve them quickly.
The SocialEU platform is available for free on https://www.socialeu.eu/ and we are having a good response by many EU project managers that are already part of the SocialEU community.