"A signature story is a “once upon a time” narrative. It describes an event, or an experience, or a process, and it has embedded in it the potential of having emotion and attention – and surprise and interesting characters."

Dr. David Aaker in a Forbes interview

 

 

With a story in the EUSBSR context we don’t mean an imagined story like a fairy tale. Instead, a story is usually a true story by you about a success (or failure) in your work. In the EUSBSR context the contents for communication should be thought in terms of success stories to both internal and external audiences.

 

A success story for internal audience in the EUSBSR context could mean

  • a good practice found by an NC in involving all national EUSBSR stakeholders of a country in the implementation of the Strategy;
  • an example of fruitful cooperation between two or more Policy Areas and/or Horizontal Actions in organizing an event together (why, how, where was it done, results?);
  • a good practice in how to get the Steering Group of a Policy Area/Horizontal Action motivated and actively involved in the work of the PA/HA;
  • an example of fruitful cooperation between two or more Flagships and/or other project implementing the EUSBSR in communication activities;
  • a good practice in cooperating with an external partner in getting the EUSBSR on the agenda of event or communicated in external channels.

Even the simplest practice of how you do your job might be valuable to another stakeholder within the EUSBSR. It is also only you who know and are able to share these experiences and good practices – “Let’s communicate!” can help in sharing them (e.g. through an internal “newsletter” or in the tool kit) but “Let’s communicate!” does not know the day-to-day work of all the stakeholders.

Do not underestimate the importance of communicating your success stories to fellow EUSBSR stakeholders!

 

On the other hand, a success story for external audience of the EUSBSR could mean

  • an NC communicating the importance and results of the EUSBSR framework for a Member State in a news item, in an interview or an event in the national context;
  • a PA/HA event organized to communicate the actions and results of the PA/HA to e.g. Members of Parliament or other interest groups;
  • an event or piece of news from a Flagship: results on how the EUSBSR is concretely being implemented
    • can consequently be communicated by the respective PA/HA: how the Flagship result is in line with the PA/HA objective
    • can consequently be communicated by NCs/Commission/any other stakeholder: how the Flagship result contributes to the overall objectives of the EUSBSR.
  • pieces of news on the EUSBSR official website about any event, development, news which deserves to be communicated to the external audiences (the website is always at the stakeholders’ disposal);
  • using Twitter or Facebook (personal/organisation’s/EUSBSR’s accounts) or other social media to communicate an EUSBSR development or results;
  • a spokesperson, like an “EUSBSR ambassador”, communicates the importance and results of the EUSBSR framework.

The stories to communicate to the external audiences are at your hand and around you: almost 10 years of EUSBSR implementation has brought many improvements and advancements for the region and people – be they small or big steps forward. Many small streams make one big river!

If you feel that you cannot detect the stories that float around you or put your message in a “story format”, there are tools and examples provided in the tool kit. It is easier than you think!