EPO´s corporate communication team to be “digitally transformed” by an external agency

Tender: Development Programme for Staff Members of the Principal Directorate Communicatio

Contracting Authority: European Patent Organisation, Munich

Deadline 15/7

Background information: The Principal Directorate (PD) Communication is composed of three directorates: Content creation, Channel Management and Event Logistics. The team is responsible for all corporate communication of the European Patent Organisation (EPO), including all events, for the development and protection of the EPO’s corporate culture, its corporate reputation, and for an inspiring corporate brand.

One of PD Communication team’s features is the diversity of its people background. Not only the cultural mix but also the diversity in terms of education and professional experience are the hallmarks of this unit. With more than 60 people, the team’s skills set also covers a range of nine main field of expertise:

– Digital communication

– Social medias and community management

– Press

– Editing and executive communication

– Visual communication (including multimedia production)

– Branding

– Content creation

– Event management

– Stakeholders management

– Communication performance management

The PD Communication Development Programme is meant to support the digital transformation and fulfilment of the unit’s mandate by addressing two dimensions:

1. Functional skills update: We want to ensure that PD Communication has the right set of skills and the appropriate level of expertise to be able to address PD Communications’ business goals and the digital transformation. A skill gap analysis carried out in 2020 has allowed us to define the main skills requiring further development, as featured below.

2. Functional upskilling: In addition to the skills update, which will provide common grounds to the diverse and complementary set of skills available in the team, the upskilling plan will focus on providing outlook on the emerging communications trends, technologies and tools. It is therefore expected from the training provider to be a forward-thinking partner, supporting PD Communication team in spotting new communication trends and anticipating potential technical shifts.

Purpose of the training & development request: Following a skill gap analysis conducted in 2020 and based on the development needs identified at individual and collective levels in each of the departments, the Development Programme for staff members in PD Communication should focus on the following areas of expertise:

 Social media and community management

 Corporate influencers strategies

 Digital marketing and advertising

 Digital and hybrid events organisation

 Virtual press conference

 Creative writing and editing for different types of medias

 Stakeholder and relationship management

 Communicating on change

 Product management

The purpose of this development programme is to equip all staff in PD Communication with the skills and knowledge required to follow best practices (update) and use the latest technologies and tools (upskilling) in the professional areas identified above.

The selected provider should offer learning & development solutions in the form of online training events, which should be complemented by online tutorials (available on-demand depending on individual needs), work assignments and peer-learning activities in between of the training events. This, to practise the acquired skills in the work environment, as well as sharing knowledge and best practices with peers and/or any relevant stakeholder.

Minimum qualifications of trainers:  Ideally, the trainers should have experience in working in a multicultural environment. We would expect a pool of trainers originating from the EPO member states, having experience in marketing, communication and/or PR in large organisations. Fluency in the English language is a pre-requisite, knowledge of German and/or French language would be an additional asset. The training will be delivered in English.

European Parliament (Vienna´s office) to hire an agency to teach journalists how to tell the story

Call: Establishment and Management of a Visual Storytelling Lab

Contracting Authority: European Parliament´s Liaison Office in Austria

Purpose of the action: EPLO Vienna intends to establish a new service to enrich its storytelling on current issues and main legislative topics by means of data-journalistically prepared visual content. The aim is to visually convince media consumers of the impact and relevance of certain EP policies on everyday life by providing easy to understand, visually attractive and relevant content, such as infographics or interactive widgets.

Visual journalism is a rather late development in Austrian media. Hence, the most innovative visual journalists are either young professionals or even still students of journalism. Therefore, in order to facilitate the new service, EPLO Vienna intends to harness the creativity of these visual journalists and, by doing so, giving them an opportunity to display their talent, experiment with innovative ways of storytelling and gain experience in covering EU affairs. In addition to that, this service will provide Austrian media outlets that often lack the financial means to create such content on their own with innovative ready-to-use content.

Description of the action: In the Visual Storytelling Lab, visual journalists will be on several occasions throughout the year called to put their ideas on how to visualise certain aspects of the legislative work into a competition. Such stories might focus on previous achievements by or the need for EU legislation.

An example for such an idea could be a story on the elimination of roaming charges in the EU that contains a series of charts that visually demonstrate how much money EU citizens were able to save because of it, to what extend it enhanced cross-border communication and to what extend additional legislative efforts in that regard could improve people’s lifes even more.

Another example for an idea for a story could be an interactive widget for online media on the impact of water framework directive. In that, the user of the website will be asked to enter his or her zip code to receive an overview on how the directive affected his or her municipality.

If the journalist are able to convince EPLO Vienna with their idea, they will be commissioned to go ahead and execute it. Both the contractor and the journalists will then aim to get the content published in Austrian media. In addition to that, the content will be on display on an online platform and free to use for everybody.

Visual content: The visual content can appear in various formats, depending on what a particular story or narrative requires – f.e. interactive widgets for online media, visuals for social media, simple data-sets for print media or combination of multiple formats etc. One widget could be adaptable for various regional online media outlets; another set of plain visuals could tell a story of national relevance.

To create this visual content, the journalists will make use of sound and publicly available data. This data can be provided by the European Parliament (Eurobarometer surveys, EPRS etc.) or by trusted sources like Eurostat, national statistic services, OECD, IMF, World Bank or academic institutions. Institutions like Kantar, Gallup, Pew Research etc could provide relevant data on public opinion.

Closing date for the submission of tenders: 21/07

Probable date of award of contract: 04/08