The success story of the « fiftyone » publication.
« When it comes to telling the story of a programme, several questions come to mind: to whom do I want to tell the story? What do I want to tell ? Which medium should I use ? » explains Marjaana Lahdenranta from the ENI CBC Kolarctic Programme.
Since 2007, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Russia have been working together in the Arctic circle region. During this period, the programme supported 51 projects. Marjaana was already the programme communication manager then. One of the aims of the programme communication plan, was to provide the potential beneficiaries and stakeholders with accurate and reliable information about the programme and its activities.
But Marjaana and her colleagues knew that producing another standard report on EU projects would not be the best way to interest her community and beyond that, the average citizen. She then started to think outside of the box: “I wanted to have a magazine like those that you would find at your hairdresser” says Marjaana. A nice magazine, easy to pick up, which looks like any other magazine, raising the reader’s interest. But she also knew that writing takes time, having good pictures is a must, and that not all projects have good stories to tell. A journalist can see things from a different perspective than that of a communication manager. If there are no stories, journalists are not interested.
“It is then also a good challenge for projects. They are at the source of our communications”, adds Marjaana.
It was a lot of time-consuming work, but extremely rewarding.
Whether this is about Kolarctic salmon, the northern scenic beauty as shown by local artists, wind power plants and renewable energy, special properties of Arctic plants, the publication gives space for these heroes, these tales of cooperation. The result is a nice magazine with great images which at times shows how people’s lives have been changed and at other times, showcases facts and figures. Most importantly, all the 51 projects which received EU funding between 2007 and 2013 in the region are mentioned in the publication.
Nowadays, communicating towards citizens and telling stories to people has become a must for the ENI CBC community. Many of the people living at the EU’s external borders know how much these programmes are important and how much these projects can positively influence lives of people. But is this as well known as it should be? Looking at the “fiftyone” magazine, there is definitely an overriding feeling that a lot has taken place over the past several years thanks to the ENPI CBC Kolarctic Programme. This is a good example to follow and also to encourage projects in their communication trends. Marjaana and her colleagues have seen the difference. She now has a great tool in her hands, to show the programme results to her regional politicians and to explain to citizens near and far what Europe has been doing over the past several years in these bordering regions with Russia.
To download a copy of the “fiftyone” publication, please see the link here.