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How to Waste the EU Communications Budget?


This article was first published on the Online EU Training blog


The European Parliament launched a banner campaign on various EU online media platforms (EUobserver, EurActiv etc.) where a blue flash banner box with catchy titles such as “massive job-losses”, “less economic growth”, “sharp budget cuts” lead to the key question: “How does the crisis affect Europe?”. The proposed solution? Watch


Sure, let’s see what you get if you decide to click through despite this unspellable domain name. Actually, not much. It leads you to the European Parliament TV’s “your voice” page where right now you can watch a staged studio discussion of 30 minutes on how aid workers help the homeless and a group of young students watch three MEPs discuss in a “talking head” fashion how to fight poverty in Europe.


Is this how the EP wants to raise awareness on what the EU does against the crisis? Why aren’t bankers’ bonuses, credit rating agencies, unemployment funds, specific regional development  projects (train lines, constructions), the solidarity fund and all others are mentioned? Has anyone ever checked how many people 1) clicked on the ad 2) actually launched the video 3) watched it for more than two minutes 4) had ANY idea on what the EU does against the crisis, as a result of this campaign?


When spending taxpayers’ money on communication, my suggestions are the following:


1. If your choice is to raise awareness, forget 30 minute-long videos


2. When using banner ads to attract attention, make sure you are fully aware who (which demographic or vertical segment, such as ‘young adults in Central Europe with a diploma and minimal interest in EU affairs’) you want to click on it: a catch-all banner like this is of no use to anyone


3. Create a landing page: a sub-page on the EuroparlTV made especially for this campaign can do wonders, whereas an existing non-relevant page can do just as much harm


4. Make a video that is maximum 3 minutes long, entertaining and easy to watch. As a first step, check out a few hundred funny, punchy, great videos on MasterCom


5. Measure everything, not just click throughs: do an awareness survey before and after the campaign, find out if it was effective via online surveys, Facebook interactive feedbacks and other smart analytics tools (e.g. how much did people watch from the video, provide one-click feedback options such as thumb down/up etc.)


This is just the first step to use taxpayers’ money for an otherwise great purpose in a much more efficient, effective and useful way. Let us know if you’d like to brainstorm further, we’ll be more than happy to contribute! Are you ready…?


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