Project: The Economy Boosting Plan Communication Campaign: new ways tospeak to business and change the economy for the betterCategory: PUBLIC AFFAIRSSummaryLithuania met the year 2009 with growing unemployment and a local economicdownturn. To stimulate the economy, “The Economy Boosting Plan (EBP)” wascreated. It included measures targeted to expand business development andfinancing possibilities thus helping to keep or create new jobs. A large part of themeasures were financed with EU support.Challenge to quickly present EBP measures for the audience, encourage businessinterest in them was met. As a solution the EBP measures were presented to theaudience in “their language”, using effective and engaging ways of communication.The message was based on sound examples, which invited other businesses tofollow it. Businesses that were already using the available measures became themain spokespeople.The EBP means were presented in six concentrated communication campaigns thatincluded business daily supplements, advertorials, TV and radio reports. More than300 companies presented their experiences in using the EBP means while theirtestimonies were supported with clear business-targeted information about the wayshow the means could be utilized.According to a media analysis that was carried out on the EBP communicationscampaigns, 83% of the targeted Lithuanian business audience was reached.SituationThe global economy and local downturn led to an 18% decrease in GDP, higherunemployment and stagnant business in Lithuania at the beginning of the year 2009.It was necessary to draw up a path to economic recovery and the country’sgovernment made a firm decision on how to stimulate the economy.
The Economy Boosting Plan (EBP) was created to stimulate the economy andincluded measures to encourage companies to search for new markets, spurinnovation, create a more innovative services sector and thus keep and create newjobs.Objectives- to speak in the name of the state, but using the language of business;- to find a way to communicate the main ideas in a way that was accessible,easy-to-understand and motivating, while at the same time following communicationnorms that must be followed when dealing with information pertaining to EU StructuralFunds;- to find an original and relevant way to speak about the new ways to stimulatebusiness, which would then encourage businesses to utilize the measures of theEBP.StrategyA new way to speak to business needed to be explored. The solution was then basedon two aspects: new content and new communication planning.A decision was made to base all communication content on one message: to show agood example and invite other businesses to follow it. Businesses that were alreadyusing the available measures became the main spokespeople. They were the flag-bearers of the EBP and told stories about the real results and real expectations intheir enterprises, such as new working places, growing investment or an increase inexports.ExecutionBusiness-oriented channels were selected for the communication:· A leading business daily Verslo žinios (Business News) supplementcalled Valstybe ir verslas (The State and Business) was created and distributedtogether and to state institutions frequently visited by business;· More than 300 advertorials were presented in the national and regional printmedia. They featured success stories of local companies that had found newpossibilities in the recovering market;
· TV reports and radio interviews with business representatives were broadcaston prime-time news programs on national television channels, which discussed themost pertinent topics;· Participation at Gazele (Gazelle), which is a yearly business event consisting of9 regional conferences and one closing event and where state representativesdiscussed the opportunities to use measures financed by EU Structural Funds andbusiness representatives presented their experience using these measures. Lastyear, more than 1000 business representatives took part in these events.Documented ResultsSix communication campaigns were implemented in August 2009 – December 2010.The stories of businesses, which had success during the economic downturn werepublished for a business audience in 5 issues of the daily business supplement TheState and Business, while 92 different advertorials were used or mentioned a total of357 times in regional and nation-wide media outlets. More than 50 TV and radioreports were aired.The EBP communications campaign’s media reached 83% of the targeted businessaudience. The survey showed that those respondents, who were aware of the EPB,evaluated it as really helpful, with 63% of them answering that the measures of theEPB really work.According to data of the institutions, which businesses worked with in order to receiveEU Structural Funds, the campaigns helped to increase of number of business thatinquired about funding, and finally – to increase the general number of applications.