Globally mobilizing the media for the ERC.
Under the Lisbon Strategy for growth and employment, Member States of the European Union set a goal for becoming the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy by 2010. The European Research Council (ERC), the first pan-European funding organization to support frontier research across all fields of science, was an incremental step towards this goal. To celebrate its establishment, the new agency planned to officially launch in February 2007 with an inaugural conference in Berlin.
The launch of the ERC marked a historic moment in European research policy. In addition to making frontier research a political priority, it would open up new opportunities for the most talented and creative researchers from all over the world. Researchers and stakeholders from more than 30 countries were attending the launch to discuss its strategic and programmatic objectives - it was critical to everyone that the media was there, too.
Ogilvy PR developed a series of intensive media activities, including a press conference with leading dignitaries, on-site visits to leading research institutes and innovative press materials that complemented the event. As gauging overall perception of the new agency was critical, the team created a custom tracking methodology to analyze coverage in five key Member States. It evaluated the impact of key messages, identified trends, monitored variances in coverage, and served as a strong indicator for the overall perception of the ERC during the launch phase. The goal was to use these findings to help shape the Agency’s future communications strategy.
More than 80 journalists attended the launch. In a six month period, more than 500 articles were tracked in the most influential daily newspapers, newswires and specialised science, health and engineering publications of 35 countries. The ERC heralded as a credible, independent Agency marking a new and positive approach in European research and they were left with a solid foundation for shaping the future communications strategy of the ERC.