October Newsletter

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John has been busy putting his storytelling skills to good use in Turkey and the Balkans over the past few months. Together with our social media coach Steffen Thejll-Moller, he has led a series of trainings for the European Commission on how to tell the EU’s story better by focusing on values and emotions as well as data.

So far, John and Steffen have trained project managers in Bosnia, Kosovo, Albania, Macedonia and Turkey. Montenegro, a return journey to Ankara and a wrap-up session in Brussels are planned for later in the Autumn.

The pair have earned rave reviews from the 40+ participants at each workshop. “The trainers were very energetic, positive, open and supportive,” said one. “They worked perfectly as a duo,” said another. “The trainers are real experts in their field.” Not that we’re proud or anything!




Listen to John Holland, our veteran media trainer and broadcast pro, share his top tips on how to master public speaking and answer tough questions from journalists. If you haven’t got time, here are five:

  • Tell a story with conviction.
  • Focus on 2-3 main points.
  • Be prepared.
  • Never lie or distort.
  • Be compelling. “It’s in the eyes.”

As a former correspondent for CBS News and CNBC Europe, John covered many of the leading stories of the last 30 years – including the first Gulf War, the Rwandan genocide, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Balkan wars. So if anyone knows what makes reporters tick, John does.

If you’d like to work with John – in English or German – check out the courses he teaches for Clear Europe: Public Speaking, How to Shine on Camera, Working with Journalists and Mastering Media Interviews.



How to shake up the often staid world of corporate communication was the topic Steffen Thejll-Moller grappled with during his packed workshops at last month’s 11th Social Media Conference organised by Quadriga University in Berlin. Among his suggestions:

  • Content isn’t king. Focus on your distribution.
  • Tell stories that make people care. It’s about results not process.
  • Create personas so you can better understand the audience you’re communicating with.

If you’d like to get creative with your social media strategy, contact us to arrange a course with Steffen. And keep your eyes peeled for an announcement about the revamp of our social media courses next month!



Millennials and Generation Z are not just demographics. They are different generations with different needs and desires. So as communicators and advocacy campaigners, how do you reach and talk to young people? What makes them care about an issue? And how can you work with influencers & through Instagram and Snapchat to connect with young audiences?

Nanna Moe, Director of Communications and Events at the European Youth Forum, told us how at the News and Booze session for Brussels communicators on Monday 29 October.



  • Google is the clear beneficiary of the new GDPR rules. While the number of trackers is decreasing overall, Google now receives even more user data.
  • Want to understand journalism and journalists better? You could start by reading some of the books, articles and blogs on this list.
  • Impartial journalism is not giving equal airtime to two people, one of whom says the world is flat and the other one says the world is round.
  • So much for the myth about smartphone-addicted youngsters being duped by social media. Younger people are better than older ones at separating news from opinion.
  • This ruthless public service announcement is trying to motivate young people to vote with some clever reverse psychology.
  • Most people might think the content of media coverage is the most persuasive part. Quite the contrary: an argument’s form is often its most arresting element.
  • If you’d like to maintain good relations with your social media manager, never ask these four questions.



We wish our readers a Boo-tiful half-term full of tricks and treats.

About Laura

A linguist by training, Laura gained B.A./M.A. degrees from the Universities of Bristol and Bath, followed by a specialisation in Communications from the ULB Brussels. Laura has over 6 years' experience at the European Commission and 2 years' experience in the Communications team at the Chapel for Europe.

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