Thanks to the 60 people who showed up for our inaugural News & Booze evening with Euractiv’s James Crisp on 16 January. Co-hosted by Clear Europe, Conscience Consulting and Eurodad’s Julia Ravenscroft, the monthly meeting is aimed at our NGO friends working in communication. The next soirée will be on 27 February and will focus on how to use data to tell better stories. Please sign up here.
Our social media trainer Jon Worth is a former UK civil servant who taught EU policy making for the British government and now works with EU institutions and other clients to help them improve their social media strategies, web writing and online policy advocacy. He has written columns for POLITICO Europe, The Guardian and the World Economic Forum and has been blogging about EU affairs for over a decade. Jon lives in Berlin, but makes speeches, presentations and runs courses across Europe. He also teaches at the College of Europe in Bruges, the University of Maastricht and the University of St. Gallen. Read More
Leo has worked as a journalist for over two decades, reporting from around the globe for dozens of titles on a plethora of issues – from reporting EU affairs in Brussels to covering the Zimbabwe elections in 2013. He was a longtime correspondent for Time in Brussels and his work has appeared in the Guardian, The Independent, The Financial Times and The Hollywood Reporter. He also edits The Economist Guide to the European Union.
Leo is Clear Europe’s lead writer and has written and edited numerous conference reports, speeches and articles for our clients. He has also delivered training on how to report the EU in Vietnam and guided journalists on study tours of Brussels.
Journalists love Twitter, favour personal contacts over press releases, rate NGOs highly and companies poorly, and think that PR people don’t understand their needs. These are some of the key takeaways from a major survey of Brussels-based correspondents written and published by Dober Partners today.
The poll of 80 correspondents, almost 10% of the total number in Brussels, offers a unique insight into what journalists are looking for from the army of communicators that tries to influence them.
Welcome to the first edition of our newsletter, which we hope to make a regular thing. If you don’t already subscribe, please do so here.
The latest novel by our storytelling trainer Danny Scheinmann – The Half Life of Joshua Jones – will be published on March 24. Danny, an actor, film director and best-selling author will lead a storytelling masterclass and sign copies of his book in our offices on June 13. More details to follow.
PITCHING TO JOURNALISTS IN A SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD
When pitching a story to journalists, email is the preferred medium. A recent study showed that nine out of 10 journalists prefer this method over social media and phone pitches. See our analysis here.
Aside from media training and copywriting, our Managing Director Gareth Harding has been busy producing articles for POLITICO, the EUobserver and others. Enjoy three of his latest posts below.
Dear American Voters: Welcome to Europe As Donald Drumpf sends shockwaves across the world by upending party politics, read Gareth’s thoughts on how the polarisation of American politics mirrors that of Europe.
Ha Ha Journalism: John Oliver The ‘Last Week Tonight’ host may deny he is a reporter but his unique brand of investigative comedy proves John Oliver is guilty of ‘committing acts of journalism.’
The EU in Limbo “The EU is in danger of becoming little more than a glorified think-tank.” Gareth on the tough choices facing the EU.
GMF MEDIA TRAINING
Media training can be fun – as young politicians from both sides of the Atlantic discovered at this German Marshall Fund workshop
CYPRIOT JOURNALISTS VISIT
Cypriot journalists meeting EU Commissioner Stylianides at the end of a Brussels study trip organised for the US Embassy in Nicosia
REWRITE OR RETHINK?
Communication adviser Mathew Lowry wrote a guest blog for Clear Europe on why you should re-think before just reposting your blog across each social media platform.
Clear Europe is delighted to be advising environmental NGO FERN on how to sharpen its message on the importance of forests in combating climate change. We are also working with the European Commission to make its European Development Days conference in June a success. If you need help fine-tuning your messages or making them more media-friendly, don’t hesitate to contact us.
TRAINER PROFILE – JOHN HOLLAND
One of our most experienced trainers is John Holland, a former journalist turned media adviser who loves telling stories, listening to stories and being in the middle of stories. Check out his profile below.
If you are interested in politics, journalism and communications then you are probably a big fan of Borgen – the Danish TV show about a female politician and the reporters, officials and spin-doctors circling around her.
As I was struggling with the opening paragraph of a book chapter I’m writing on reporting the European Union, I remembered a scene from an earlier episode of Borgen – entitled ‘In Brussels No One Can Hear You Scream’ – that speaks volumes about how the EU is viewed by large chunks of the press and public.
Journalist Katrine Fonsmark believes she can reveal who Prime Minister Birgitte Nyborg is going to nominate as the next Danish commissioner to the EU. It is a scoop, so at the daily editorial meeting of her populist newspaper Ekspres, she proposes to run with it to fellow reporter Hanne Holm and Editor-in-chief Michael Laugesen.
This is a transcript of what follows:
Laugesen: No one wants to read about the EU. It’s too complicated and unsexy.
Holm: Complicated? Oh come on, the prime minister is appointing a commissioner.
Laugesen: The Danes know nothing about it.
Fonsmark: So let’s enlighten them. The Commission helps legislate in the EU. Let’s write about it.
Laugesen: People only want to hear about salaries and corruption in the EU.
Anyone who has tried to report the EU for a newspaper outside Brussels will recognise Laugesen’s reaction. But is it necessarily true – let alone right? Does the public only want to hear about ‘salaries and corruption’ in the EU? Is Europe simply too ‘complicated and unsexy’ for readers and viewers?
With just over six months until the next European Parliament elections and the prospect of a referendum on EU membership looming in Britain, these questions matter. So we’d like to know whether you think reporting the EU is ‘mission impossible’ or a challenge journalists and editors simply cannot ignore?