Detailed description of the Good Practice
Focusing on the organization, it is recommended that each city should have a plan or strategy for communicating sustainable development issues. This document should identify the key elements for both internal and external communication, and could be be composed of:
Determination of goal(s)
Identification of Target Audience
The Key Message
Determination of strategies
Determination of activities
Determination of an evaluation mechanism
Perspectives on what comes next
- stakeholder involvement
- participatory approach
- internal communication
- external communication
Objectives of the Good Practice
Communication plays an essential role to city´s sustainability management and the unit or team responsible for it. Carefully considered content combined with dissemination to a target audience makes for successful communication. In fact, with communication you can bring in new stakeholders, generate new possibilities, and reveal untapped personal, organisational and societal resources.
Participants of the Good Practice
Communication strategies have been included as a chapter in "Managing sustainability- An organizational Plans", that have been produced in 13 BSR cities during the SUSTAINMENT project. These plans focus on a special unit managing the city´s sustainable development.
Target group of the Good Practice
Identification of the Communication strategy and including it into your city´s leading sustainble development document is a method targeted to the city officials working with broad city development issues and who are interested in developing their organisational capacity. Perhaps you are in the Local Agenda 21 Office, the Environmental Office, Strategic Planning Department, or in a working group dealing with sustainable development issues.
Funding of the Good Practice
The SUSTAINMENT project was carried out 2006-2007 and it was part financed by the European Union within the BSR Interreg IIIB Neighbourhood programme, TACIS, Finnish Ministry of Environment and the partner cities.
More Details of the Good Practice
The process of developing the Communication startegy is based on a cyclical communication-model: the process of discussing the communication elements is ment to be gone through in the responsible workgroup, as well as with other internal stakeholders.
The model allows for flexibility when qualifying your decisions and continuously cross-checking them. It will ease the drafting process, as you have already tried to foresee challenges and obstacles. Through dialogue with internal and external stakeholders, you bring more perspectives and knowledge to the table. It also allows for more knowledge generation.
The 13 SUSTAINMENT partner cities have during the project successfully produced their Communication strategies based on this framework, and have strenghtened the communication with different actors involved. Each city has also organized at least one Local dissemination event, focusing on communicating certain sustainable development issue to defined target audience. In many cases, the interactivness of communciation activities and the participation of stakeholders have been already strengtened.
Documentation and documents
See pages 13-18 in the following:
Union of the Baltic Cities
Environment and Sustainable Development Secretariat
Tel. +358 2 262 3179
Vanha suurtori 7
FIN-20500 Turku, Finland
Data sources and references
KaosPilots as a trainer in SUSTAINMENT: www.sustainment-project.net