Synthesis Study of the European Commission’s Corporate Communication Campaigns

With the highest turnout since 1994 – and the largest increase recorded among younger people and first-time voters – the 2019 European Parliament elections indicated that EU citizens are showing increasing interest in European matters.

Yet the Brexit saga cast a shadow on the EU and some other countries were questioning the future of Europe in a way that they hadn’t before.
The European Commission (EC), in the need to bring together different EC policy stakeholders to communicate with the public with one EU voice.

The timing of the reinforced focus on EU communication and this assignment corresponded to the increased focus of the role and benefits of the membership of the EU. With the installation of Ursula von der Leyen as the new President and a new Commission, the Commission determined that must improve the way the EU communicates to confirm unity within the bloc and show citizens how the EU improves and enhances their lives.

The Directorate-General for Communications contracted Tetra Tech to take stock of its new corporate communications approach, assess the results of the approach as a whole, as well as the individual campaigns implemented. The Commission’s goal was to improve the way that it engages with EU citizens and to enhance trust in EU institutions.

The approach involved pooling communication budgets and efforts to support the roll out of three large-scale multichannel campaigns towards three specific target groups within the EU population. Key messages confirmed the shared values of EU citizens, and used local heroes to demonstrate how the EU impacts on everyday life, using the slogans:

  • EU that delivers
  • EU that empowers
  • EU that protects

We worked with with internally recognised experts in the field of the evaluation of communications. Our team provided a holistic performance assessment of the corporate approach and conducted target group focus groups, attended campaign events across the EU, developed a global best practice corporate communications review, and benchmarked key campaign performance indicators.

Our report confirmed that the corporate approach had delivered a number of benefits for the European Commission and the public. We also suggested ways to enhance individual campaigns, decision-making and future priority setting.

Europe

2018-2019

Directorate-General for Communication, European Commission