The purpose of a communications strategy is to help you and your organisation to communicate effectively to meet core organisational objectives. In an Interreg project the project objectives as stated in your application form guides you in defining your communications objectives. At Interreg Baltic Sea Region, as an EU funding Programme, we use communications as a tool to attract applicants to the calls and to guide them in developing successful applications. Making the project results visible to the right target audiences follow as a natural step and is an important contribution to the overall success of the Programme as we work jointly to share achievements.
Over the past few years Interreg Baltic Sea Region has developed its communications efforts. A main tool to help steer the work in the right direction is the communications strategy. It was recently updated to also include overarching Programme messages as well as supporting messages related to individual communications fields that have been designed to frame the different communications objectives that the organisation works to achieve. The messages will now be used in written and oral communications on and offline.
Strictly speaking the core pillars of a strategy include objective, audience and message. That’s it. Those three things are at the core of the strategy. We work actively not to be channel driven, but rather develop tools we know our audiences will use and benefit from.
Once you know what you want to achieve and who you want to reach and what you are going to say you have enough insight to know what channel to use to reach your audience most effectively with your message. It is very often the case that you start with choosing a channel, such as developing a brochure or writing a tweet without actually considering if that is the channel your audience is best reached with. Doing a bit of research into audience behaviour may in that sense be useful. It is not until your communications work is consistent with your project objectives that it can be considered strategic. This is when communications start enhancing the organisation as a whole.