July Newsletter

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We’re often critical of the way the EU communicates. But we are delighted to be working with the European Commission to help project managers in future member states make EU funding more visible.

At the heart of the training is how to tell the EU’s story better. That’s why our trainers, former TV anchor John Holland and social media expert Steffen Thejll-Moller, have been busy in the Balkans advising officials how to make the EU appear less boring and technocratic by teasing out the human angle, telling stories that connect and focusing on values and emotions as well as facts.

So far, John and Steffen have trained project managers in Bosnia and Kosovo and their south-east Europe tour will continue in Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Turkey and Serbia in the Autumn.



Our MD Gareth Harding has been training experts at a renowned think-tank how to write punchier op-eds. Here are his seven top tips:
  1. Be opinionated. Positions should be expressed unequivocally, without too much nuance. Dare to be bold. Risk offending but don’t rant.
  2. Prove it. Back up your opinions with evidence, whether hard (facts and figures) or soft (stories, examples).
  3. Don’t just whine. Provide solutions.
  4. Make it topical. Find an original angle for your op-ed and peg it to an upcoming event.
  5. Keep it short. 500 words should be more than enough to express your position. To avoid meandering, focus on one topic.
  6. Grab the reader by using short, provocative headlines and stating your view strongly in the first paragraph.
  7. Hold the readers’ attention by using vivid, evocative words that jolt the senses. As with speeches, rhetorical devices like contrast, repetition and alliteration work well.

If you’re interested in learning how to use op-eds to get your message across to a wide audience, contact us and we’ll organise a customised workshop.



Listen to our video trainer Hervé Verloes explain why you can’t become Steven Spielberg overnight but can learn the basics of shooting and editing film in two days.

Past clients, such as the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the European Parliament, have taken the two-day challenge with veteran producer, editor, journalist and cameraman Hervé.

If you are interested in making professional top quality videos – whether by video camera or smartphone – sign up for one of his workshops.




Look who’s running a workshop in Berlin at the social media conference organised by Quadriga University of Applied Sciences. Our social media strategist Steffen Thejll-Moller will talk about getting creative in corporate comms. Our Communication Manager Aurélie Vo Thi will also be there. So if you’re in Berlin on September 20-21, let’s meet for a coffee. Or beer.




  • ‘Game-changer’, ‘no-brainer’ and ‘we’re on a journey’. These are some of the most annoying examples of office jargon in 2018, according to Linda Yueh. We’d add: deliverables, ecosystem,  synergise, framework, outside-the-box, blue-sky-thinking, alignment and leverage. What are the jargon words you hate the most?
  • From our good friends at the European Journalism Centre, some invaluable advice from editors of the biggest media organisations on how to pitch a story in journalism.
  • The award-winning campaign The Trash Isles reached over 500 million people. How? By creating an official currency, passport and national flag and recruiting over 200,000 citizens through online petitions.
  • Netflix demonstrates that you can be successful while maintaining an authentic voice. Unlike most companies, it maintains a casual style and doesn’t try to play it safe.
  • Stories involve change and they need verbs. As Hemingway said: “Use vigorous English.” Thanks to Ann Handley for the recommendation.
  • Write snappy press releases and paste your text into the email, rather than an attachment. It’s much easier to scroll on a mobile.



Happy summer holidays to all our readers. If you’re American and your annual fortnight’s vacation is over, we hope it was awesome. If you’re European and only a week into your month off in the sun, may the sangria keep flowing. And if, like us, you are still at your desk in Belgium, the weather is so great you really don’t need to go anywhere else!

About Aurelie Vo Thi

A graduate in advertising from the IHECS school of communication and European affairs from ULB, Aurélie worked in the European Parliament and a child-rights organisation in London before joining Clear Europe.

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