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E.L.C. Communication Working Group ~ Developing A Strategic Approach.

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Presentation on theme: "E.L.C. Communication Working Group ~ Developing A Strategic Approach."— Presentation transcript:

1 E.L.C. Communication Working Group ~ Developing A Strategic Approach

2 The rationale for building a structured, managed communication strategy We live in an age of instant communication across all areas of daily life and business. It is a fact that is more true than it has ever been - today perception of a situation rather than actual fact is frequently the most critical point. Against this background, in any given situation, if one does not communicate there are certainly many groups who will - and worse still may suggest sinister motives for any silence. Put simply if one does not deliver ones own message someone else will do it for you - with unpredictable consequences.

3 The key principles of effective communication The core objective is to anticipate, plan and manage perceptions associated with events, people or issues. Analysis of potential areas of external interest should be prepared for reaction. Both a reactive and a proactive approach are required. Communication destined as part of any lobbying process needs to also clearly to have an external dimension as it will directly affect the perception of the industry. Consistency of approach is vital.

4 Proposed ELC Communication Activities Establish an effective long term (3-5 year) communication strategy for ELC which must be one which is constantly developing. Undertake a communication audit of all existing material and activities to establish profile support. Develop a concise, simple, public mission statement for the ELC outlining its core purpose and objectives. Establish/enhance procedures for the development of an agreed timely response mechanism to manage creation, approval and issue of specific association/industry reaction statements.

5 Communication Objectives Establish ELC as the European industry champion and authority Ensure ELC seen as the go to for quality overview information at pan European level Make ELC the first, easily accessible, European contact point for factual overview of our industry which currently may appear very complex for interested general information seekers Strengthen existing proactive relationship with opinion formers and influencers with quality, support information

6 Communication Objectives Support primary case - preserving our licence to operate INFOCATION i.e. better inform and educate our target audiences Use most effective vehicles to communicate messages and key facts Build membership and Association credibility

7 Possible Target Audiences European Institutions And Legislators Consumer & Opinion Formers Food Manufacturers and Retailers Health Professionals Academics + Scientific Community wide scope to communicate to and through

8 The changing business / consumer environment Health and well-being Desire for natural foods Legislation on food safety – covering raw materials, ingredients, transport,distribution, retail, food products Environment – input, processing, use, consumption Sustainable / renewable Globalisation of trade Globalisation of consumer awareness, trends, demands

9 The changing business / consumer environment More active / aggressive interest and/or pressure groups More and more information and means of delivery Economic drivers / factors for industry Development of emerging consumer base Increased cost & marketing advantage pressure by retailers Stronger European Parliament

10 Planned Communication Development Adopt flexible method, gradual build up approach Accept this is a long term project over several years Initial consolidation of information resources available externally Upgrade website as the primary information resource Review need for basic simple brochure – Association calling card Review suitability of future staged, targeted information/lobbying events – e.g. Euro Parliament evening Review other vehicles – media article placement etc Review need for potential general PR campaign

11 Communication development – timeline Review and upgrade website – September 2006 Review existing information sources – September 2006 Review, decide need for primary basic print material – October 2006 Review, decide need/practicality for possible EP events plan – November 2006 Review, decide other key message vehicles needed – Summer 2007 Review, decide if general long term PR campaign practical – Summer 2007

12 Communication - Mission Statement One of the key elements was the need for a concise mission statement for the ELC which clearly summarises our positive purpose to the external world. Identified key areas of interest for our industry and the main message we wish to associate with. Statement was discussed,created, amended and approved by EXCO The resulting mission statement can be commonly available supporting both a positive and consistent approach.

13 Mission Statement - developed ELC Mission Statement – … ELC's mission is to improve public knowledge of the contribution food ingredients and additives make to the wider food industry; through clear factual understanding, among identified key European audiences including manufacturers, retailers, health professionals, regulatory authorities, politicians, scientists, teachers, students and consumers.

14 ELC Website - Review and Development Whilst having been very effective at its launch a more interactive format is now required for future support and positive profile development. The structure and site navigation elements need enhancing to make the site easier for visitors to find their way around. More informative detail about the wide use and core value of additives & ingredients in industry and daily life is needed. We need future flexibility to add relevant ELC news items as we wish. Facility to analyse site statistics to be able to understand and focus on key interest areas is vital

15 Offers 13 English language pages and 30 language pages (8 x French, 8 x German, 7 x Spanish, 7 x Italian) No imagery or photography Basic navigation and unclear sign posting Extremely long pages Uninviting, no interaction, not user friendly No clear channels for differing audiences Little or no statistical information available Review of the current ELC website

16 Website development Improve site structure Re-define navigation, move pages, combine some pages and separate others, shorten where ever possible Update the design and visual feel Make the site look more like a professional organisation tool rather than an amateur web site Add graphics and photography Provide relevant but visually appealing content Improve ELC contact points Standardise the contacts, common ELC addresses

17 Website development Add a NEWS section Provide latest relevant industry news. Communicate and provide a reason to return to the site Re-evaluate the need for other language options If not required this will save time and money Begin to monitor and analyse visitor statistics

18 Website development Re-assess the current content Shorten where ever possible Have text professionally re-written and above all… Ensure it is current, accurate and of interest Relocate some content to downloadable PDF format Move older, out of date or lengthy items to secure PDF documents available in Archive for downloading Introduce ELC managed web pages (NEWS, ARCHIVE) Provide self-administered pages

19 Website development Re-assess EU Approved lists Develop a simpler system of locating and presenting the data on the page Develop the USEFUL LINKS section Look for and attract reciprocal links to improve user appreciation and improve search engine optimisation (SEO) Introduce possible USER SPECIFIC sections Unique information for Food Manufacturers and Retailers Unique information for Government Bodies/Organisations Unique information for Members

20 Website development Provide an in-site SEARCH facility To improve ease of use and further develop capacity Search Engine Optimisation To improve visitor traffic with a guaranteed Google listing and submission to over 400 search engines with automatic monthly submissions Consider possibility of making the site self-funding Possible to introduce small and unobtrusive advertising from interested organisations e.g. magazine publishers, website publishers, suitable services or suppliers

21 In overview the target is by September 2006 to.. Launch the enhanced, redesigned site Professionally re-write basic content sourced from existing member sites Website development

22 Design and re-build 5000 Professional writer re-work of existing material from approved sources 3000 Annual hosting/management costs of new site 250 per year hosting 750 per year depending on amount of change required Website development - costings

23 Conclusion - Future communication needs Going forward we need to build on the strength we have already established Our objective should be to enhance the consumer friendliness and real necessity of food additives and ingredients and to stress the vital part contribution they make to daily life – although not understood by most Good, factual information to counter freely available mis-information The health and environment debate is something we should enter where appropriate Ultimately public opinion generates reactions which produce legislative or market pressure change, we should be prepared to influence when we have the opportunity A sustained positive perception for our industry can only assist our long term aims. Long Term

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