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Next Course: Working with Journalists 18/11

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Are you terrified of journalists and perplexed by the rapid changes taking place in the media? If so, you are not alone. Reporters can be pretty intimidating and the media landscape is in constant flux.

So how can you feel more at ease with journalists and more at home in the brave new digital media world?

The aim of our next open course on November 18 is to help you understand what makes journalists tick and how to work with them to get more and better coverage. By the end of the day we want you to feel more comfortable dealing with reporters and more confident writing press releases, pitching stories and doing interviews. Read More

22 ugly EU jargon words we really hate

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Jargon is a form of linguistic cancer eating away at the European body politic.  If EU institutions are to stand any chance of reconnecting with disillusioned voters, they must  surgically remove jargon and communicate in clear, concrete language.

Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. Over the years, EU officials – and the tens of thousands of lobbyists, diplomats and even journalists who inhabit the Brussels bubble – have developed a bizarre, contorted language of their own. Dubbed ‘Eurospeak’ or ‘Euro-English,’ this lazy, alienating form of talking and writing relies on glueing together vague, abstract and often meaningless phrases like shards of a smashed vase, using long, complicated, show-off words where short, clear, simple ones will do and falling back on unintelligible jargon to express often simple ideas. Read More

Clear Europe is Hiring!

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Clear Europe is growing and we are looking for a communications consultant to help market the company, promote training sessions, produce presentations, update the website and social media, write and edit copy for clients, organise educational visits and attend events in Brussels. Read More

Next Course: Mastering Social Media 21/10

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Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and blogs have become vital tools for doing business and public affairs in Brussels. But do you know how to make the most of these platforms to influence policy makers and contribute to the EU debate?

Our next open course on October 21 will focus on how to master social media professionally and will be lead by renowned blogger and online communications consultant Jon Worth. By the end of the workshop you will be able to identify where discussions important to you and your organisation are taking place online, develop a strategy to fit social media into your overall communications planning and understand the main pros and cons of different platforms such as Twitter, blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Flickr and Youtube. Read More

Clear Europe en français!

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What better way to celebrate the 225th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille than by announcing that our website is now fully functioning in French?

We welcome you to visit cleareurope.eu/fr to learn more about who we are and what we have to offer. Check out our courses, including how to handle interviews, how to influence the Brussels press corps and how to master social media. We can also edit and draft texts in French, moderate your conferences and organise study visits to the EU capital for francophone groups.

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Clear Europe en français!

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Pour célébrer la prise de la Bastille, Clear Europe se met au français avec un site complètement bilingue FR / EN.

Nous vous invitons à visiter cleareurope.eu/fr pour en savoir plus sur qui nous sommes et ce que nous faisons. Jetez un coup d’œil à nos cours: comment maîtriser les interviews, comment influencer les journalistes européens, comment utiliser les médias sociaux… Nous pouvons aussi écrire ou réécrire vos textes en français, animer vos conférences ou encore organiser des visites pédagogiques du quartier européen à Bruxelles. Read More

Mind The Gap

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Foreign Affairs article by Clear Europe Managing Director Gareth Harding on how to win over euroskeptics and win back the trust of European voters.

The European Union’s democratic deficit has rarely been on clearer display than on May 26, the day after polls closed for elections to the European Parliament. Despite the fact that forces hostile to the EU had made enormous gains, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso announced that the pro-austerity status quo had “won once again.” In a narrow sense, Barroso was correct: pro-Europeans did manage to win more than three-quarters of the seats in the parliament, the EU’s only directly elected body. In four of the union’s six largest member states — Germany, Italy, Poland, and Spain — the country’s ruling party topped the poll. And the motley crew of europhobes who were elected to the next parliament are united only in their disunity. Read More

Running for Europe

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In an article for Foreign Policy, Clear Europe Managing Director Gareth Harding argues that the European Commission presidential campaign might not be riveting but is a step forward for EU democracy.

Imagine a presidential campaign in which the leading contenders are unknown to the vast majority of the public, voters cannot directly cast their ballots for the candidate of their choice, and the eventual winner can be struck down in favor of a more palatable politician by ruling elites. This may sound like a sham election in a post-Soviet dictatorship. But in fact, it is the slightly surreal circumstances of the world’s first transnational presidential campaign. Read More

Brussels Media – The Breakdown

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A couple of months ago I wrote a blog piece puncturing the myth of the shrinking EU press corps. Far from dwindling, I showed how the number of correspondents in Brussels has risen constantly over the last four decades – and continues to grow despite the crisis. According to the latest official figures, there were 1022 journalists accredited to the European Commission in September 2013. However, Lorenzo Consoli, the former president of the Foreign Press Association in Brussels, recently informed me this figure had jumped to 1095 by the end of 2013.

Evolution Press Corps Size Read More

Virtual Reality: First Thoughts on Online Training

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Clear Europe has just wrapped up an online training course on ‘Reporting the EU’ for young Czech journalists and students. The three-month programme was funded by the European Commission’s representation in Prague and co-organised with Transitions, a Prague-based non-profit aimed at strengthening the media in central and eastern Europe.

Despite many years of experience teaching journalism classes, this was my first foray into online training and I was nervous about its limitations – which makes the mainly positive feedback we received from participants all the more pleasing. One wrote: “That was a unique and greatly useful experience, and also very inspiring personally for me…what I received from the programme is simply priceless.” Another said she gained “valuable insight about writing and being a journalist.” Read More