European Union External Action

ESDC/PPI: About messaging, campaigning, spinning and filmmaking

17/05/2018 - 17:12
News stories

Imagine: There is a terrorist attack in one of the CSDP missions and operations. Immediately after the attacks, films and videos are published on social media outlets. Journalists try to get information. You are the press and public information officer of the mission/operation under attack. How would you react?

The EU colleagues dealing with press and public information issues could be confronted any day with such a scenario. There are no clear rules on how to react, but there are a lot of good practices. Experiences and Dos and Don'ts were shared during a two-day workshop in Brussels. A Belgian expert from the crisis centre shared his memories of the terrorist attacks in Paris (2014) and Brussels (2015). He underlined the importance of team-work and good relations with media outlets.

Lutz Guellner, Head of Division of the Strategic Communication Division, and Jochen Rehrl, course director

Besides the real day-to-day business, the CSDP experts received some training on 'how to shoot with your mobile', a hands-on training session on filming and video shooting/editing with mobile devices. The speechwriter of the High Representative gave advice on 'how to write impact stories', the most successful communication tool in order to obtain the attention of your audience. An audio-visual expert from the Council General Secretariat shared guidelines on how to make a video for social media for access from mobile devices. Under these specific circumstances, one has to pay attention to the format (square is better than cinemascope), subtitles (80 % of the videos in the social media are watched without sound) and the message (the main message should be visible within the first five seconds).

The press and public information workshop was organised in advance of the EU's Open Day on 5 May, in order to celebrate the 'Europe Day' (Schuman declaration). The EU Open Day is a unique opportunity for everyone, from the young to the not-so-young, to discover how the European institutions work, what their priorities are and how they affect the lives of Europeans. During this day, the European External Action Service presents its global activities, including the missions and operations of the Common Security and Defence Policy.