The Guest Blog

On the 2nd of April 2015, I was invited by Kellen Europe as one of the panellists during the Brussels event Euroconference 2015. I had promised the participants that I would not use a PowerPoint presentation, but that I would publish a blog message about some ideas on working with the EU affairs media. I will share this content also with other interested persons working in the area of communication for EU federations.

There are approximately 1000 accredited journalists in Brussels, representing:

  • National correspondents from EU member states (like TF1, Le Monde, France Press, etc)
  • National correspondents from non-EU countries (journalists from China, Africa, etc)
  • International correspondents (like Financial Times, Reuters, Bloomberg)
  • Sectorial specialists (like Chemical Watch, ENDSEurope)
  • EU specialists (less than 5% of the Brussels based journalists)

Why do you need to interact with the Brussels media?

  • To communicate your position regarding the legislative process
  • To move an issue up in the policy agenda
  • You are organising an event
  • Your President is coming to Brussels
  • You are publishing a study

 

The important mix in your strategy to approach a journalist:

  • Policy hook
  • Relevant timing
  • Something to say

 

Practical advises, if you what to approach the EurActiv Media:

How do the journalists choose stories and links?

  • Monitoring EU institutions and private sector
  • Decide on coverage when relevant for EurActiv’s policy section
  • Balance fact-based reporting – not only based of one press release (media of the EU stakeholders)
  • Weekly planning on Monday morning (9:30 – Brussels & 11:00 – Network)
  • Long-term planning for LinksDossiers, Special Reports and policy news

How to inform the journalists about your policy papers?

  • Identify the relevant policy section (call for info the general number 02-226 58 10)
  • Contact the relevant section co-ordinator
  • See if EurActiv has a LinksDossier on the topic
  • Still subject to editorial decision
  • Do not forget about the language and EurActiv Network (present in 12 EU capitals + Serbia + Istanbul)

 

What would a journalist like?

  • Have a clear website (who you are and what you represent)
  • Anticipate the dynamics of EU legislation
  • Send your message to the correct journalist (press release, policy paper, report, etc)
  • Call in order to offer extra information
  • Scope regarding a specific dossier
  • Be on Twitter – active, retweet, engage with the journalist on social media
  • Have an opinion blog – launch it for free on EurActiv’s blog platform blogactiv.eu

 

DO NOT FORGET: You can also submit an opinion (Op-ed) – see the conditions at www.euractiv.com/opinion (750 words, picture, etc)

Regarding press conferences – no, please! Especially if you are a niche organisation!

 

More information regarding the communication of EU federations at:

Brussels: The list of the Interest Groups

Branding federations in EU Affairs

Communication Budgets of Brussels’ EU Affairs stakeholders

 

 

Dan LUCA / Brussels

@DanLucaEU

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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