As we all know by now a huge part of the Horizon 2020 proposals is the Impact section (if this is new information then check out our last blog on Impact in EU projects). Communication and dissemination occupy an important role in the impact of your project, but it can be hard to tell the difference between the two.
Why is it so important to have a Plan for communication and dissemination?
Because communication and dissemination are essential in terms of project visibility and impact. It is also a question of accountability and transparency to EU taxpayers that help finance these programmes. Thus, the public at large should be made aware of developed projects and benefit from their results and knowledge.
Expected impact must be planned right from the beginning of your project as it is also an evaluation criterion for its success. The European Commission is very selective due to a high number of proposal submissions. So, to make your project stand out from the others, you will need to be specific and demonstrate to the evaluators that your project has an added-value and will have a great impact on the public.
A real impact can only be fully achieved by excellent communication and dissemination strategies. Conceptually, the difference between these two words can be difficult to grasp… So, if you are not sure you understand, we’ll break it down! In later posts, we will go into more depth on different ways to communicate and disseminate, but for now, let us clear up what makes communication and dissemination different.
Let’s start with Communication!
Communication is about promoting your project, its themes and the challenges it is trying to solve. Consortium partners must promote the action and its results, by providing targeted information to multiple audiences (including the media and the public), in a strategic and effective manner and possibly engage in a two-way exchange . This two-way exchange allows your audiences to get more invested in the project, the consortium and the issue it is trying to tackle. Science is no longer confined to laboratories but is being integrated into society, helped by effective communication.
What does a communication strategy involve?
A comprehensive communication plan should define clear objectives with key messages addressed to relevant target audiences and set out a description and timing for each activity. This will help you create communication strategies that can be adapted for any situation or audience present. By calling the attention of various audiences about your research, the visibility of your project and project’s results are multiplied and can be understood also by non-specialists.
And what about Dissemination?
Dissemination is the public disclosure of the results of the project in any medium. Dissemination includes the promotion and awareness-raising of a project. The dissemination strategy, like communication, needs to be set from the beginning.
Dissemination addresses more specific audiences than communication. For example, for a scientific project about health in school, the results will particularly interest and target education boards health practitioners, policymakers to enable them to use the results in their own work. Dissemination includes scientific publishing and press relations, getting your results across to the public in order to get them used and make a difference!
Now, you know the difference between communication and dissemination! Keep following our publications as we will get deeper into the subject of different types of communication and dissemination.
If you would like to know more in a more personal setting, consider taking one of our workshops on Impact for your EU project. When you are looking for an expert in communication and dissemination to make a great impact on your H2020 project, we will be happy to join your consortium. Give us a call or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
She moved to Paris in June 2017 to fulfill the role of International Cooperation Assistant.
Latest posts by Coralie Oliger (see all)
- What’s the difference between Communication and Dissemination in EU projects? - 9 August 2017
- How to dissect a Horizon 2020 proposal call - 19 July 2017