Case Study: Europe comes to my town

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Application for Baltic PR Awards 2010
Category: Public Sector & NGOs

Agency: Hauska & Partner
Client: European Parliament Information Office

Published in: Education
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Case Study: Europe comes to my town

  1. 1. Baltic PR Awards 2010 Category: Public Sector & NGOs Europe comes to my town Situation Average turnout of last European Parliament (EP) elections in European Union (EU) was 43%. The turnout in Latvia was 53.7% in EP elections, however, such good result was received mostly due to the fact that EP elections were on the same day as local government elections, moreover, post-electoral survey showed that only 6% of Latvian citizens took part in elections because they are in favour of the EU, 8% - felt as citizen of EU and only 2% admitted that EU plays an important role in their everyday life. 61% gave “citizen’s duty” as the answer to inquiry why they have taken part at the elections. Another conclusion after EP elections was the older is the voter group, the higher the participation rate is. Taking this into account during the period from 5 November till 9 December 2009 EP Information Office in Latvia (EPIO) involved Consultancy to develop and implement series of regional events. Research To gain general information on public opinion, as well as potential issues, research was based on already made surveys or available data: • Eurobarometer post-electoral survey 2009. Main conclusion was due to the low participation in EP elections it is critical necessary to educate youth in regions about decisions making in EP and its role in everyday life. • Eurobarometer 71 – public opinion in EU (summer of 2009). Survey proved that in Latvia has the smallest number of supporters for participation in the EU - only a quarter of Latvian citizens (25%) admits that Latvian membership in EU is a good case. Analysis of main issues mentioned by survey participants: unemployment (65%) and economic situation in the country (59%), gave background for setting key topics for the content of the events. • Data of citizen’s activity in last EP elections were analyzed to choose the target regions and towns.
  2. 2. Stakeholder analysis was implemented to define and map stakeholders who may affect results of campaign, as well to identify the opportunities and possible relationships. Key stakeholders identified: youth (11th and 12th grade pupils), NGOs, local opinion leaders, representatives from local governments and local media. Focus group discussions were organized to test the content of the lectures for pupils. Also discussions about the ideas of technical solutions for attractive event design were evaluated by discussions. Strategy Goals: 1. To increase information flow about EP in regional towns with no or limited access to information about EU; 2. For EPIO to establish direct communication with regional schools in order to increase awareness of EP and it’s provided possibilities for youth. Strategy In order to increase information flow about EP the following strategy was selected: 1. to visit most critical towns with an interactive road show that grabs attention and provides platform for a direct communication; 2. to engage local public into active communication raising sensitive issues from the scope of everyday life and explaining if and how they could be solved through EP activities. As well to introduce the 8 new members representing Latvia in the EP; 3. to establish direct contact with local government decision makers; 4. to involve in a discussion most active representatives of the local community as well as NGO’s, journalists, etc. To establish direct communication with regional schools, consultancy recommended: 1. to educate youth and teachers in regions about decision making process in EP and to explain the role of EP in everyday life. 2. to provoke discussions with regional youth about provided possibilities to do field practice in EP and to inform about the project “Euroscola”, as well to promote EPIO website www.europarl.lv. Tactics Road show area Regional road show with a slogan “European Parliament comes to your town” was organized covering 26 towns of Latvia in 20 days. Main criteria for selections were:  there is no EU information center in the town;
  3. 3.  or there were low citizens activity in last EP elections, for example, Gulbenes district – 43,95%, Madonas district – 45,97%, Saldus district – 44,79%, Tukuma district – 44,81%. Attractive designed truck Road show was organized in branded track coloured in EU colours and decorated with slogans and other visual materials thus ensuring that exhibition materials are easily transportable, as well the truck was very well noticeable and welcoming. Inside the truck there were placed 15 different posters, for example, of each member of EP from Latvia, of the political group spectrum in the EP, a simplified decision-making chart for EU/EP legislation etc. Printed material was supplemented by video greetings from members of EP. Exhibition visitors could take pictures with photo stand of EP President - Jerzy Buzek, and see them on EPIO homepage. Truck also had a corner for informal discussions with tea, coffee and some snacks. Road show daily agenda Every day of road show began with two secondary school visits where EPIO representatives gave a lecture. After the school visits there were meetings with local government representatives, opinion leaders and NGOs. At the afternoon exhibition was open for local public visits. In every town there were organized interviews with local media to explain increasing role of EP and youth possibilities in EP. Results Output: 1. Visited 26 regional towns; 2. Direct communication with 4804 regional inhabitants, indirect audience – 12010 inhabitants; 3. 29 interviews given to local media, approx. 275 000 reached by them; 4. More than 23 584 different information leaflets on EP and EU were distributed, indirect audience – approx. 7500 inhabitants. 5. 20 meetings with local government representatives, opinion leaders and NGOs. 6. 85 lectures were delivered in 39 secondary schools, direct communication with 45 teachers. 7. During the campaign numbers of visitors of www.europarl.lv increased for 3 times, in top 3 visited pages were section about youth. Outtake: 1. Regional society is more informed about the ways to get information about EP;
  4. 4. 2. Regional society has more information about the EP, decision making process in EU institutions, 8 members of EP from Latvia and the increasing role of EP; 3. Regional school representatives can improve the teaching methods using EP prepared handouts, video and audio materials as well to invite EPIO representatives to do lecturing. Outcome: 1. Several schools have invited EPIO representatives once again to do lecturing to other pupils who did not have possibility to take part in event. 2. Within “Euroscola” project framework two schools that had lectures have won possibility to go to Brussels. Since the last Eurobarometer survey in Latvia took place in the time of campaign’s implementation, the long term effect of the campaign will be measured in next survey.
  5. 5. Meetings with more than 40 local government representatives Local government representatives Head of Salaspils municipality, Raimonds Čudars: “European Parliament was established to ensure society representation in European structures trough the direct democracy. Lately the role of the Parliament has increased.” STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT PUPILS AND TEACHERS LOCAL MEDIA LOCAL SOCIETY 85 lectures in 39 secondary schools 29 interviews to local media Direct communication with 4804 regional inhabitants
  6. 6. Ipiķi Ķoņi Naukšēni Ainaži Mazsalaca Staicele Vecate Kārķi Ērģeme Salacgrīva Aloja Valka Kolka Matīši Rencēni Mazirbe Prāle Svētciems Burtnieki Seda Melnsils Ozolmuiža Strenči Vijciems Viļķene Dikļi Zilaiskalns Ape Umurga Padedze Ance Dundaga Roja Valmiera Trikāta Bilska Gaujiena Tūja Trapene Ventspils Limbaži Vaidava Mūrmuiža Vireši Alsviķi Alūksne Pope Valdemārpils Upesgrīva Smiltene Liepna Jāņmuiža Liepa Zeltiņi Mālupe Blāzma Straupe Palsmane Pūņas Mērsrags Lēdurga Cēsis Rauna Variņi Žīguri Vārve Zvejniekciems Lejasciems Ugāle Vandzene Priekuļi Inciems Kuprava Talsi Laidze Bīriņi Ventava Piltene Saulkrasti Ranka Litene Spāre Līgatne Dērbene Lizums Kurna Laucene Krimulda Viļaka Ragana Jaunpiebalga Engure Augšlīgatne Taurene Gulbene Balvi Zlēkas Carnikava Vangaaži Sigulda Stende Skujene Rekava Zentene Nītaure Jaungulbene Klapkalnciems Ādaži Inčukalns Sabile Jūrkalne Ēdole Kuldīga Renda Kandava Tukums Lapmežciems Jūrmala RĪGA Garkalne Ropaži Mālpils Zaube Vecpiebalga Cesvaine Dzelzava Rugāji Baltinava Alsunga Kabile Lubāna Tilža Pāvilosta Tūme Smārde Ulbroka Suntaži Ķeipene Kusa Vāne Zemīte Piņķi Ērgļi Bērzpils Vānerme Salaspils Turlava Irlava Slampe Jaunmārupe Balozi Ogre Madona Prauliena Malnava Apriņķi Madliena Meņģele Kārsava Kalnciems Ikšķile Džūkste Ķekava Bērzaune Bikava Cīrava Kazdanga Lutriņi Remte Jaunpils Olaine Lēdmane Vecbebri Mārciena Rogovka Goliševa Ķegums Ļaudona Stružāni Barkava Vērgale Skrunda Druva Brocēni Jaunbērze Ozolnieki Baldone Lielvārde Jumprava Jaunkalsnava Mērdzene Līvbērze Koknese Mētriena Varakļāni Dricāni Saldus Birzgale Skrīveri Kapsēde Rudbārži Sondori Liepāja Durbe Blīdene Jelgava Iecava Misa Vecumnieki Aizkraukle Pļaviņas Ludza Kalvene Dobele Nākotne Jaunjelgava Mežāre Atašiene Pampāļi Viļāni Felicianova Grobiņa Kursīši Kroņauce Staļģene Sece Sala Rēzekne Nīgrande Zaļenieki Valle Jēkabpils Galēni Priekule Auce Bēne Tērvete Code Bārbele Daudzeva Nirza Kalni Ružina Vaiņode Ezere Ruba Eleja Bauska Birži Rudzāti Zilupe Skaistkalne Līvāni Bārta Gramzda Augstkalne Pilsrundāle Pasiene Ukri Ērberģe Rožupe Riebiņi Malta Kaunata Nīca Rundāni Kamārde Viesīte Zasa Feimaņi Preiļi Vecsloboda Andrupene Ezernieki Vārkava Dunava Nereta Rušona Šķaune Rubeņi Nīcgale Rucava Aknīste Dagda Kalupe Aglona Auleja Bebrene Alsūne Subate Višķi Ilūkste Robežnieki Izvalta Indra Eglaine Krāslava Sventene Daugavpils Kalkūne Silene http://vimeo.com/11235195 Alūksne, Gulbene, Salacgrīva, Salaspils, Baldone, Olaine, Preiļi, Malta, Pļaviņas, Jūrmala, Krimulda, Saulkrasti, Mērsrags, Kandava, Talsi, Saldus, Brocēni, Dobele, Krāslava, Ilūkste, Bēne, Auce, Tukums, Smiltene, Cēsis and Madona

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