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International Partnerships

The need for clear and engaging content

Whether it’s informative, inspiring or emotional, we focus on engaging content which connects with our audience. It reinforces EU policy messages by reminding people that progress is possible. It emphasises our mission and work in a positive, outcome-focused way by showing that life- and world-changing results are achievable.

Our audiences expect clear, friendly and concise information. They trust us to provide them with information about the EU’s work, policies and impact in a way that is both accessible and engaging, without losing our authority or watering down the messages we need to convey.

Experts and layman alike appreciate clear and simple language, which has a more positive impact on people as they are more likely to remember and act on the information communicated.

Stories

Storytelling builds connections among people, and between people and ideas. Stories convey the culture, history and values that unite people, so the best way to connect with people is by telling real stories. Our stories should demonstrate the agency of individuals and communities as active participants in the development process – from an individual to global level. Through these stories, we can show how the EU is creating opportunities and improving lives, in a way that people identify with, remember and act upon.

Identifying stories

When identifying stories to share, consider which stories demonstrate the most significant change on individuals or communities. Ask questions to identify what the change is, how it came about, and when it occurred.

Narrative or journalistic approach

  • The narrative approach is a classic storytelling format. There is a main character, who has an objective and a challenge to overcome before reaching their destination.
  • The journalistic approach is based on a narrative that moves from human stories to illustrate the broader picture of the project and impact.

Format – written, photo, video

Stories can be presented in different formats, according to the material available. Photo stories, video micro-narratives, or classic written stories are all supported formats. The audio-visual material should always be good quality.

Examples

Projects and programmes

Projects and programmes show what we do in a certain region and/or country. They provide context and results to show why we are doing it and the impact we have made, illustrated with facts and figures. They are factual yet engaging, providing concrete examples of our work on the ground.

Top tips

  • choose a short but clear title
  • summarise the body text with a lead which entices the reader to continue
  • set out the objectives and results – underlined with powerful quotes from people involved, if available
  • use headlines and paragraphs to structure the text

All projects and programmes include a ‘Key information’ box giving information on the total budget, the EU’s contribution, the duration and the implementing organisation.

Examples