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: