The European Union (EU) has high expectations of participants in EU funded projects in terms of communication and dissemination efforts. All EU funded projects need to communicate about their project activities “throughout its entire lifetime”. It is especially true for the latest Horizon 2020 (H2020) Programme which started in 2014.
H2020 or the 9th Framework Programme for Research and Innovation has put an emphasis on project dissemination activities. Because EU citizens finance the Programme, its beneficiaries are advised to put more effort into ways of reaching and engaging with them.
Impact is crucial criteria of the H2020 program. It will become even more important in the next framework programme Horizon Europe, starting in January 2021. Beneficiaries of EU funding will be expected to enhance their dissemination activities to engage with society.
Thus, dissemination is more oriented on project results and how to share them with potential users. Those are peers in the industry field, policy-makers and various commercial organisations. Better dissemination means contributing to the scientific community, but also having a bigger impact on society. In particular, the European Commission encourages recipients of grants to use social media during the H2020 programme to reach broader audiences.
Strategic approach to communication and dissemination could help boost the project's visibility. Basics of a good dissemination plan start with answering these three questions:
- What is the key message of the project?
To answer this question, summarise the added value of your project in a sentence by asking “Why should anyone care about this project?” It is important that your key message is clear and comprehensive to lay audiences, but also to peers, stakeholders and journalists.
- Who is the target audience?
Who would you like to reach with your key messages? Who might be interested in your project? Who might find your project useful? Try to identify influential people and organizations related to your project topic. Identifying them will help to plan your dissemination activities. If you have a clear idea of your target audience, it would be even easier for you to identify and reach influencers afterwards.
- How to reach them?
What are the media channels your targeted audience uses the most? Do they read newspapers or do they prefer social networks? Are they active on social media or they prefer emails?
Answering those questions will give you a clear direction for your dissemination activities. In this article we will focus on how to use Twitter for effective project dissemination.