“Communication should focus on development with the EU as partner and on the achievements and impact of the action, not on administrative or procedural miltstone. In order to maximise the impact of communication efforts, activities need to be timely; information used must be accurate; activities should be coordinated closely with the EU; the right audience should be targeted and messages must be of interest to the target audience.’
The Head of the section, Austrian born Inge Krastina said implementing partners are responsible to give adequate publicity to the action they are implementing as well as to the EU press section.
“All we want is for the public to know that this project is being sponsored by the EU and along the way of implementation, you must always make is clear in your communication with the press and other stakeholders and the billboards must also be strategically placed for all to see.”
She said the graphic identity of the EU must enjoy an equally prominent place and size as that of the implementing partner. She said officials from Brussels coming to visit Sierra Leone must be able to see how their money has been spent and they should be appreciated by the people, that it was EU that did this or that, so that Sierra Leone can benefit the more.
Some of the implementing partners agreed and promised to do just that and also they agreed to increase the size of the billboards so that afar people can read it clearly.
The clear distinction of visibility and communication was spelt out and EU partners were told to work with the press along the way as they implement the project and not just rely on the billboard at the end of the project.
Gibril Foday Musa averred that group visits by journalists to project sites may offer additional visibility and communication opportunities if such visit is well timed and focus on tangible achievements.
Inga told the implementing partners that they should make sure they have updated websites that they will be able to create a link with so that it will be accessible from their EU website for all to see.
She commended all those who were present during the dialogue and hoped the cordial working relationship will continue and hope they will give EU more visibility and communicate to the people always as the projects they are implementing are sponsored by the EU.