FP7 Projects: Communication best practices
The visibility of your project depends on how you promote it. This means telling people about it! These best practices are intended to help you, and us, ensure the right people hear about your excellent work. The advice provided on these pages does not replace a project's contractual obligations regarding communications, such as those set out in the Annex I to your contract (Technical Annex) or in section II.12 of Annex 2 ( 193KB) to your contract. What is provided on these pages are complementary to what is set down in the contract relating to communication activities.
The best practices in these pages present a chronological order of tasks that projects can undertake to ensure good communications. For example for the project start we provide suggestions on issuing a project launch press release by partners, creating a professional project logo and launching a project website (which is strongly recommended). Once your project is up and running we advise on issuing press releases about concrete project achievements and breakthroughs, optimising a project website for search engines and tips for writing targeted content for web-based audiences.
What you should do
Think about your work
- What is your project about?
- Who will benefit?
- Who should be interested?
The first steps: At the Launch
Congratulations, you have been successful in your bid for EU funding. Now it is time to tell everyone.
A press release is sent to journalists to announce something new. Key partners in your new project should issue a Press Release for their local press as soon as you sign the Contract. This press release should:
- be simple
- be written in the journalists' language
- focus on:
- the achievement of a local company / institution in securing EU funding in a very competitive environment,
- the fact that groundbreaking research into next generation ICT will now be undertaken by a local company / institution X.
You should contact the press at different stages during your project, typically at key technological milestones, to announce technical breakthroughs or to promote project events and news.
Top logo tips:
- Do not use Word Art or Clip Art.
- Try an on-line logo design company. Many such companies can create customised, professional logos within 72 hours for a few hundred euros. A search for key words such as 'logo design services' will typically provide information on such companies.
- Ask a local art student or hold a competition for the best logo
- A logo should have a minimum resolution of 300 dpi (dots per inch).
- Industry standard file formats for graphical logos include tagged image file format (.TIF) and Encapsulated PostScript (.eps). These can then be converted to JPEG, PNG or GIF for use on the project website.
As soon as your project starts it needs an attractive visual identity that can then be used on the web-site, in all publicity material, presentations, letter heads...
Your project may already have a logo. Now that you have been successful in your bid for EU funding, this logo should be critically reviewed to ensure it is attractive, professional and relevant. Don't hesitate to redesign a logo if it can be improved. If your project does not yet have a logo, create one. We will also use it, for example, on the Cordis web-site.
Top website tips:
- Register and use a .eu domain name. Register it for two years after the end of the project (you can still charge it to the project budget)
- Keep it simple – remember that you have to maintain it. It should only be as big as you can manage.
- Keep it up to date. No matter how wonderful your site is, it is of no interest if it is not regularly updated.
- You don't need to build a site from scratch. Using an existing content management system platform can make your job much easier. Many are open source (and free to use) and have active communities to support users.
- Your audience is pan European, but may also be local – consider languages. Make sure all content is proof read.
- Avoid EU contract jargon – this is not what your audience wants
- Take steps to optimise your site for search engines by following these simple best practices in search engine optimisation
A website is a project's key communication tool and is therefore strongly recommended. Any website must clearly acknowledge the EU as a source of funding and use the EU emblem (i.e. the blue EU flag with 12 yellow stars). Remember that writing for the web is different to writing for publications because we use the web differently. More tips on writing for the web are available here
The next steps: Keeping people informed
New developments provide a good opportunity to remind people about your project. Keep the spotlight on your work, further guidelines to help you are coming shortly.
- target audiences
- website and beyond
- audiovisual material
- other promotional material
We're here to help. If you have any questions or need some advice, contact your project officer. We'll be glad to hear from you. Your news is our news.