The main objective of SHOW is to organise the promotion and dissemination of ACTS results to a large scale non-technical audience, by producing high quality audio-visual programmes and documentary reference information, to be diffused both as broadcast TV programs, through the Internet World Wide Web, at major international events, and through a variety of channels. The project will focus on presenting the key messages emerging from ACTS work in an attractive way for a mass market audience, in order to stimulate awareness of the attractiveness of advanced communications applications and services, and to improve the understanding of their competitiveness, employment and sustainability benefits. The project consortium includes participants from the main ACTS Horizontal Projects (in order to leverage their know-how of the Programme), well-known European TV production companies, and a Panel of Broadcast Advisors from main European Broadcasters providing support and advice. More specifically, the project aims at:
1. Providing the basic content for audio-visual production, by selecting and consolidating ACTS results. This includes defining the key messages to be communicated, producing a list (periodically updated) of draft scripts/story ideas based on the achievements and success stories of ACTS projects on which to build the videos, producing supporting documentation for the videos.
2. Producing high quality audio-visual material structured in the following way:
a. 10 to 15 thematic videos of duration between 5 to 10 minutes;
b. a longer duration video (approximately 25 minutes) assembled from the shorter videos;
c. an audio-visual database from which producers/ journalists can extract images/video-clips to use in their media.
3. To implement an effective dissemination/marketing strategy based on a Distributed Promotion Desk covering all of the European Union, with the support of the Panel of Broadcast Advisors. The partners will manage proactive contact points in Belgium, France, Germany and the UK, and have shared the responsibility to reach contacts in the other EU countries. The Desk will also be responsible for monitoring the results of dissemination, assessing and reporting the project's achievements.
4. To have SHOW output seen by the largest possible European audience. Our minimum targets are:
a. to achieve broadcasting of at least one SHOW video by a major TV channel in a high audience time of the day in at least three main European countries;
b. to insure that SHOW longer video is shown in at least two major international events;
c. To ensure that 80% of SHOW audio-visual production reaches the public through at least one channel: TV broadcast or thematic channels, showing in major international events, in science and technology museums and exhibitions, distribution as videotapes to schools, firms, non-profit organisations.
5. To coordinate SHOW communication strategy with the other ACTS projects, Chains and Programme dissemination activities, and make available SHOW audiovisual material to ACTS projects on-line services, international events which ACTS projects/Programme plans to attend, other Commission promotion campaigns of the European Information Society.
Project SHOW faces three main challenges:
-to select and consolidate from ACTS work the results suitable to interest the targeted mass-market audience;
-to produce high quality audio-visual and multimedia materials and reference documentation;
-to define and implement a successful communication strategy insuring that the project output reaches the largest possible European audience.
These tasks are challenging because they require different mix of skills and careful planning. The project consortium includes partners with specific expertise able to address each of these tasks. Each one of these tasks will be addressed by a workpackage where partners will work as a taskforce: the taskforces will cooperate in a constant but flexible interaction.
A key aspect of the project's technical approach is that, after the first preparatory phase, the production and dissemination activities will be carried out in parallel, in order to respond to feed-back from the distribution channels and to remain in tune with the fast pace of markets developments. More specifically, the production cycle will be organised in order to produce an audiovisual database and a series of 10-15 short films along the duration of the project, to be released gradually.
The dissemination strategy will entail a continuous activity, including active promotion moments (press-conferences in several countries, mailing of a catalogue of the audio-visual material, organisation of the presentation of videos to international events) and a Distributed Promotion Desk, that is a permanent network of contact points managed by the partners in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and the UK. This will be complemented by the Web site interactive communication capability.
The achievement of a successful communication strategy must first of all target and convince the distributors and broadcasters. Three important facts support the project belief to be able to reach these goals:
-by producing high-quality audiovisual material free of rights, the project will respond to the increasing demand for content on the perspectives of innovation diffusion in Europe; any commercial initiative prepared to invest in the production of similar programming would demand high prices for retransmission, thereby restricting the chances for Europe-wide distribution;
-the experience of the TV production companies partners of the project as successful producers of innovation and scientific programming broadcast by main TV channels;
-the presence in the Panel of Advisors of key executives active in the editorial departments of main European broadcasting companies, who have agreed to give their time for free to the project, because they believe its concept is an interesting and potentially successful one.
To achieve these goals, the Workplan includes the following main activities:
-ACTS key messages production, i.e. providing the basic content for audio-visual production and complementary documentation (WP1);
-production of the audio-visual material (WP2);
-implementation of the dissemination strategy and tracking of results (WP3).
Summary of the Trials
The project SHOW has been designed to provide the ACTS Programme with a powerful dissemination instrument. Its target audience is the general public, which will be reached through the involvement of major European TV broadcasters. The presence of ACTS in major European prime-time technology TV-programs (e.g. NetPlusUltra, Tomorrow's World, etc.) will further raise awareness in the general public of the efforts the European Commission is making to support technology innovation in telecommunication technologies and services. SHOW will thus contribute to modifying the general perception of European citizens towards technology, by making them better aware that Europe, not only the United States, is in the avantgarde of research and experimentation in telecommunications. Project partners expect SHOW output of ACTS results to reach several million people during the two years of life of the project.
-to raise awareness in European citizens of the potential benefits deriving from the introduction of advanced communication technologies and services;
-to highlight the role played by Europe and the European Commission in the process of supporting and developing advanced communication technologies and services;
-to disseminate the results of SHOW to key journalists and European TV and media channels.