June Newsletter

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“Get the people who panic out of the room,” was Amadeu Altafaj’s blunt advice on how to handle a crisis at the latest News and Booze event for NGO communicators.

As a European Commission spokesman during the financial crisis, Amadeu knows how to keep calm and carry on communicating when things go pear-shaped. So does experienced comms consultant Jo Sullivan, who advised: “You need to be at the front of the crisis with a solution.”

Other tips on how to handle a crisis were: Make sure you have an updated crisis communication strategy, accept there is a problem and talk about the solution, and stick to your core principles when messaging.

If you missed the session, News and Booze co-founder Julia Ravenscroft has kindly summed up all the tips for you.

POLITICO Europe is still the most influential media in the Brussels bubble, with the FT second, according to a Burson-Marsteller poll of EU movers and shakers. But the most interesting finding in the annual survey is how personal and professional contacts are way more important than traditional or social media in influencing decision-making.

So read your morning Playbook, sound off on Twitter but don’t forget to have coffee or pints with the people who matter most. We’re available for the former before 11am and the latter after 5pm.




Elizabeth Van Der Bergh, our presentation skills and public speaking coach, is an experienced communicator who has advised everyone from CEOs to young development activists how to speak more clearly and confidently. Watch her tips on how to speak with impact, establish a strong connection with your audience and make your content relevant to them.

If you want to make your speeches memorable, sign up for Elizabeth’s presentation skills or public speaking workshop.



The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism’s Digital Report is a treasure trove of data for those interested in the rapid changes taking place in media and communication. Here are our five key takeaways from the annual survey:
  • Social media for news usage is falling. Facebook is losing popularity while WhatsApp and Snapchat are the rising stars.
  • Paying for online news is up in Nordic countries and crowdfunding has become a popular source for funding legacy news organisations.
  • The public demands more government action to fight fake news.
  • Trust in news brands is stable at 44%. 
  • Podcasts are a global phenomenon – especially in South Korea, Taiwan, USA and the UK.
Read our full take on journalism’s latest trends here.


A couple of weeks ago we crowdsourced on LinkedIn about how to attract folk to our first ever Clear Europe conference stall – at the European Communication Summit in Berlin. You recommended free coffee, chocolates and training. We took your advice to heart and left the German capital with fewer Neuhaus chocs, Nespresso capsules and business cards than we arrived with. Thanks for the tips and see you next year at ECS.




  • New Pew research Center poll shows US teens’ use of Facebook slumping – down 20% in 3 years. YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat are the most popular platforms.
  • Great tips from Brussels correspondents and what they want from public relations folk from Cambre Associates.
  • We don’t like meaningless jargon language when speaking in public. Instead keep it simple and clear. This article from Training Journal offers sound advice for improving your presentation skills.
  • Now here is a guy who knows how to tell a story with a smartphone. This 2-minute video shows Femi simplifying the complex workings of EU institutions in Brussels. We need more of this!
  • It’s difficult to win your audience’s attention in the first 30 seconds and maintain it during a presentation. To prepare, study your audience, use relevant visual content and keep your information to the point.
  • Want to know what good storytelling is? Read this profoundly moving piece by Belgium’s star striker Romelu Lukaku on what growing up poor taught him.
  • Clear messaging – and great social media use – by United Nations #BeatPlasticPollution campaign.

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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