Communications are an essential part of ECF’s work – informing, inspiring and activating our audiences.
The Communications team supports our Programmes and activities. 2022 started out with many of the same pandemic restrictions we had faced since 2020, but these challenges were quickly overshadowed by the invasion of Ukraine, that had a huge impact on our Communications campaigns in 2022. From March onwards, the team helped to spread the word about the Culture of Solidarity Fund Ukraine edition and its successor editions. We launched a dedicated website for the fund. As well as ensuring our open calls reached future grantees in Ukraine and across Europe, storytelling about the work of our grantees was an important element in our 2022 communications.
The war in Ukraine also resulted in extending our Cultural Deal for Europe with a European Cultural Deal for Ukraine, which was an important element of the Public Policy work we supported in 2022.
As one of our major events during the year, Europe Day 2022 was our third edition of the event. It was a hybrid offline and online programme bringing together artists, creatives, policy- and opinionmakers, journalists, partners and grantees for a day of conversations, films and talk shows in which culture and solidarity played a central role. Important part of the programme was the Europe Challenge launch event in Amsterdam. Other highlights were the European Sentiment Compass, and the evening programme co-organised with De Balie in Amsterdam. Highlights included a Europe speech by ECF President HRH Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands, and the late-night comedy show The Shuman Show. See this dedicated playlist on YouTube.
May 2022 saw the launch of a new programme CrAFT (Creating Actionable Futures), for which we produced a website, a communications strategy and a promotional video.
ECF also partnered in the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) 2022, during which we collaborated with Turkish filmmakers and the Goethe Institut in hosting and filming a Gezi Solidarity event demanding attention for the unlawful arrests of Turkish filmmakers. Watch the clip.
The biennial event closing the first stage of the European Pavilion in Rome, November 2022, was accompanied by a media campaign, both in Italy and internationally. This resulted in media coverage including three videos on Euronews.
In autumn 2022 we ran a fundraising campaign in the run up to #GivingTuesday with online advertisements in dedicated media focusing on donors to help create a European sense of belonging via and in cultural production.
Year of renewal
2022 was a year of renewal in the Communications department. A new Head of Communications and a Community Engagement & Communications Assistant came on board.
In order to increase the impact of our campaigns, our channels and the engagement with our audiences, we refreshed our website and started a mapping process to identify our audiences, ranging from grantees and cultural partners to policymakers and fellow foundations.
This was the starting point of a process to create a new community engagement plan, aiming to strengthen our ties with the various communities and stakeholders that we work with, materialising mutual benefits and increasing the outreach of our messaging. The final plan will be delivered in 2023.
In order to make sure our stories were heard beyond the circle of our followers and to make sure we contribute to growing a European public space, we established media partnerships with a number of outlets in 2022, including:
- The Europeans– a photographic project of modern Europe, which hosted a session at our Europe Day programme in De Balie on 9 May.
- The Schuman Show– a comedy show about the EU that were able to set up a digital presence, with our support. On Europe Day, they hosted their first international show in Amsterdam.
- Eurozine – a network of European cultural journals, linking up more than 100 partner journals and associated magazines and institutions from across Europe.
- Stichting Podcastnetwerk– a network that promotes podcast culture in the Netherlands, and abroad. Our support helps the network to programme a European track in their annual festival on podcasts. In 2022, this track was called “Crossing borders, creating communities”, which was curated by Are We Europe.
- “Drawing the times” – a platform for graphic journalism. Our support helped them to sustain their special series Window Comics, which illustrated climate change from balconies across Europe.
Another edition of our annual publication, Common Ground, was curated and published by the Communications team in both print and online versions in May 2022, covering a wide range of topics and featuring many of our grantees.
Communications also organised publications for the European Pavilion, the Annual Report, the final publications of I-Portunus and the European Sentiment Compass.
You can see more details about all our latest publications here.
Reach and engagement
We continued to develop our channels to showcase our programmes and activities. Our website attracted over 100,000 unique users in 2022 (+9% compared to 2021), the newly launched programme-specific websites attracted 10,000 visitors. With intensified activities, our social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) reached a record of nearly 100,000 followers. 20,000 subscribers monthly received our digital newsletters.