by Nada Serajnik
Do you remember the introduction of the euro in your country? In the last six years, fifteen European countries have introduced the euro as the common currency. And there are more countries preparing to enter European Monetary Union.
Changing currency affects many aspect of our life. Communication is thus an essential part of countries’ preparation for the introduction. One task, many approaches! Experience shows many similarities and but also differences. What do you remember from your national campaign?
We encounter public communication campaigns every day, almost everywhere we look. Most people remember election campaigns and promotional campaigns for products or services. Anyone can name at least few campaigns aimed at improving health, traffic safety, respect for human rights or protection of the environment. Not only national, but also international ones.
There are many different kinds of campaigns – memorable ones, be it for their message or creativity, those which draw criticism or annoy people, and those which pass (almost) unnoticed.
The term ‘public communication campaign’ entails “everything connected with informing, educating, raising awareness or engaging the public on a public issue or matter in the public interest”. Can public issues win their share of public attention in the increasingly saturated sphere of communications?
Actually, the number of campaigns is growing, but all too frequently clients and providers fail to ask if they all are necessary and meet the requirements to make them successful.
The following points come to mind:
• Before we decide to launch a campaign, we must know if we really need it. Will the campaign help the issue?
• Managing campaigns is not simple. They have to be planned and run strategically. Case studies show that providers omit many steps from strategic planning or give them insufficient attention. How can we succeed if we do not know how to define our purpose and goals well?
• Many campaigns focus only on the media and advertising. However, we must listen to the people, and give them a chance to contribute to the campaign, and, most importantly, show them what they have to do. How?
• Assessing and demonstrating effectiveness and efficiency during and after a project is also required for communication campaigns. How else can we confirm that we have met the goals we set or justify the use of public funds?
Every campaign is unique; it is governed by its own rules and particular features. Still, we can learn a lot from other examples, particularly good practices. Let it be Slovenian!
In Slovenia, the introduction of the euro was carried out smoothly, quickly and without major difficulties, which can also be attributed to a good national communication campaign. The campaign was also an excellent learning experience, not just for us in public sector. You will find out more about the particulars at the conference…
But Slovenia is now facing another great project – Presidency of the Council of the European Union.…
Photo: thanks to donaldtownsend from flickr.com (CCL)
Nada Serajnik Sraka (Slovenia) is a senior communication advisor at the Government Communication Office. Her professional expertise is in PR and communications working in business and the public sector. She is the founding member of Public Relations Society of Slovenia (PRSS) and IABC Slovenia and has served as President to both associations. Nada is an Accredited Business Communicator (ABC) and has a master in communication (MA).
Nada will be speaking at the EuroComm Conference on:
Communication Lessons for the Public Sector: the Introduction of the Euro in Slovenia
The introduction of a new currency, the Euro, was a major communication challenge for twelve European countries in 2002. Introducing a new currency is a large and complex logistical project, involving the cooperation of several decisionmaking bodies. Besides technical preparations for the changeover, providing information to the public should be one of the priority tasks of the
authorities and all those involved. On 1 January 2007, Slovenia was the first new member state to introduce the Euro. According
to the report of the European Commission, Slovenia’s Euro adoption was swift and smooth. In informing the public, Slovenians took into account the experiences of the countries that had successfully introduced the Euro in 2002 as well as other factors specific to their social environment. A two year national communication campaign paved the way for the successful changeover process.
This presentation highlights the main features of the Slovenian communication campaign and shows the similarities and ifferences between the campaigns of other European countries in adopting the Euro. This session will be of interest to those involved in public communication campaigns of a large scale and similar complexity.