Communication and public engagement strategy
MOVES accords a lot of importance to this dimension of its project, and therefore commits an entire work package (WP9) to the activities required by communication and public engagement. The WP9 lead (Porto) coordinates all initiatives in this area and ensures that sufficient resources in terms of staff time and budget are available to meet the project’s broader objectives under this heading.
These objectives are as follows:
- To elicit feedback from research users at all levels of interest, and engage in an interactive dialogue with such users;
- To raise public awareness of the history of migration in order to combat anti-immigrant sentiment.
Our policy for achieving these objectives is based on the understanding that effective communication with the public requires input at all stages of the project. The present document on our communication strategy will be followed by the publication in month 12 of a Calendar of Public Engagement and Outreach Events covering the entire duration of the project.
The Communication Strategy devised by MOVES is currently being developed along several strands: it involves the project website, http://projectmoves.eu/ , and social media; the creation of publicity and information materials; collaboration with communication and marketing departments; a set of planned contacts with the public media and other dissemination partners, including the project partners; the prospective use of Fellows as MSC Ambassadors; collection of qualified feedback; and guidance on types of audience and an effective use of language:
- The MOVES website, http://projectmoves.eu/ , has been designed to reach a large international audience. It contains a section dedicated to Public Engagement that will feature news items, research blogs, podcasts, infographics, and videos (including short clips with statements from all ESRs and project partners). It will also feature interactive narrative formats intended to translate research into accessible stories, such as ‘Tales from the Archives’ or ‘A Day in the Life of …’, highlighting the experience of specific migrants from previous historical periods.
- A social media apparatus has been gradually developed to ensure a constant online presence. The apparatus currently includes a Facebook account and a Twitter feed. As the programme advances, each beneficiary will regularly contribute posts and tweets about local research activities.
- MOVES will also gradually produce a range of publicity and information materials in the form of newsletters, leaflets and flyers, to be distributed mostly in digital formats, but occasionally also in hard copy. To ensure an adequate level of awareness of MOVES research in all beneficiary countries, some of these materials will be composed in all five consortium languages.
- In all its public-facing, external activities, MOVES is already collaborating with the existing communication and marketing departments at all five beneficiaries, which help in drafting press releases, setting up websites and electronic platforms, and offer advice on legal requirements and corporate design aspects. Communication departments are also expected to offer appropriate media training to any MOVES staff appearing live on TV or YouTube, or giving interviews, with a view to maximizing coverage of its activities in the public media.
- The project will also make use, as appropriate, of the partner organisations and their public relations and marketing channels. ESRs placed at partner organisations during their non-academic secondments will be asked to communicate MOVES research results within these professional environments.
- Additionally, MOVES will ask ESRs to act as MSC Ambassadors for the project and highlight its defining research concerns at events of their own (workshops, open or information days, sometimes held in their own countries) and at any research gatherings (conferences, symposia) in which they participate. Fellows will also be encouraged to apply for participation in the European Researchers’ Night and related EC events.
- All of the programme’s communication activities have been designed to generate qualified feedback by users in order to measure the level of public interest in the project and to ensure a continuing effectiveness of its communication strategy. Such feedback will be generated by questionnaires and other forms of interactive online response, as well as reviews of the quantity and quality of press reactions, website use, and social media responses.
- In all its activities, MOVES is mindful of the nature of the audience it is aiming to reach through different media, and chooses the appropriate language to interact with the users of its research.
The Calendar of Public Engagement and Outreach Events will be designed to include all public events mentioned above, plus related activities of MOVES staff, ESRs, and project partners aimed at engaging the public. The Calendar will be continually updated throughout the lifetime of the project. Two MOVES-organized events to be included will be the launch of the database on teaching materials in month 20 and the Festival of Mobility in month 40. The Festival will follow on from the End-of-Project Conference and feature a variety of formats, including poster presentations, round tables, a lecture by an international public figure, workshops with migrants and refugees, and readings by creative writers concerned with migration in their work.
Other types of events to feature in the Calendar will include a range of decentralized activities including public talks and exhibitions (premises are available at several beneficiaries and partner organisations), as well as various forms of two-way communication between the project and the public, including thematic workshops and Open Days on specific themes (to be run in conjunction with the partners), and school visits and presentations at all five sites. The school visits will present particularly valuable opportunities to promote the database of teaching materials on migration.
All Public Engagement and Outreach Events have been planned to communicate the benefits of MOVES research to users and will be structured around the most appropriate forms of interaction between project staff, partners, ESRs, and public audiences. The WP9 lead will monitor these events, ensure that they have the greatest possible reach, and advise MOVES staff on the best strategy at all times. The WP9 lead will also ensure an appropriate documentation and archiving of all such events on the project website.