WORKING WITH DG ECHO VISIBILITY
COMMUNICATION - GENERAL INTRODUCTION
Credit: © European Union ECHO Paula Martínez Gestoso
The primary target audience of Partners’ communication actions should be the general public, both in the European Union and in third countries where EU- funded actions are carried out, while duly respecting and protecting the safety and dignity of beneficiaries.
Partners are expected to implement their communication activities on EU- funded actions in a meaningful way throughout the project cycle and not as a side detail towards the end of the project.
It is only by communicating at the beginning, at meaningful stages during the implementation, and then at the closure of the action that communication activities can have the most impact, be most cost-effective and are able to show how aid is being given in an impartial, needs-based approach.
Communicating in a meaningful way on EU-funded projects entails that:
• Partners ensure that their Communication Officers are aware of what has been committed to under the communication obligations in the Single Form (Section 12.1.A and Section 12.1.B, and where relevant, Section 12.2);
• Partners plan out in advance the communication activities on EU- funded projects before the project starts rolling, laying out clearly how they intend to put into practice their communication obligations at pre- identified stages throughout the duration of the project and the reach they are projecting;
• The messages are thoughtfully put together and clearly mention that the project is supported by the EU (by saying, for example, Thanks to EU support, XXX people are getting access to clean water… or With support from the EU, XXX is helping….). This also applies for tweets and audio-visual products.
As a general guideline, Partners are recommended to dedicate approximately 30 percent of the communication budget for the production of material and the remaining 70 percent for dissemination.
In addition, in order to ensure effective use of the communication budget, Partners are strongly encouraged to already have their communication activities planned out at the start of the project. Partners can look at the above- standard visibility template for inspiration.
As to the design of communication activities themselves, there is no one-size- fits-all model. Communication actions must always be designed to fit the target audiences, the key messages, the concrete project, and the capacity of the Partner.
The visibility and communication obligations generally imply that the mentioning of the European Union and/or display of the EU emblem must be included on an equal footing with that of the Partner. For further details on the use of the EU emblem, please refer to Section 3 of this Manual.
NOTE Partners are invited to coordinate the planning and implementation of communication actions in the field with the relevant ECHO Regional Information Officer.
ECHO encourages Partners to identify in their offices a focal point for visibility and communication in the field.