Dissemination is the process of making the results and deliverables of a project available to stakeholders and to wider audience. The dissemination activity is considered essential for EU-funded projects like S.T.R.E.E.T. for the sustainability of outputs in the long term.
A good dissemination strategy should have a definite purpose and be able to support the project development (EU, 2010) to:
- raise awareness about the project goal
- inform and educate the community of reference
- engage and get feedbacks from the public
- promote project outputs
- ensure that the effects will be sustained after the end of the project
Transpadana, as the project partner in charge of the communication and dissemination activities, created a stakeholder analysis starting from a questionnaire sent to other project partners: each partner identified and mapped their own target groups. A stakeholder can be considered as anyone who has an interest in the project or will be affected by its outcomes.
The stakeholder analysis is the first step for the dissemination strategy because all the outcomes will be shared during the project life with the identified stakeholders (relevant institutions, organisations and individuals). It should be planned in consultation with the project partners and should explain as follows (the five Ws):
- What you plan to disseminate (the message);
- to Whom (the audience);
- Why (the purpose);
- When (the timing);
- Where you plan to disseminate (the publicity channels);
- How (the method).
Considering these elements, it was built a communication and dissemination strategy that encompassed four different tools and channels:
- Social media (Facebook)
- Multiplier Events
A1.1 – The Project Website
For the S.T.R.E.E.T. project Transpadana and ENGIM created a website to explain the project goals and objectives and to disseminate information about project activities and results: www.streetproject.eu (Fig. A1.1). As a dissemination channel, this website includes all publicity the project created such as newsletters, photos and videos, publications, and study visits presentations. All the deliverables are available through images and links.
It is important to think of what would interest and engage those people who will visit the site and attract visitors. For this reason, we:
- made our website attractive and easy to use, with intuitive navigation;
- kept the website updated;
- submitted the website to key Search Engines Optimisation (SEO) tools so it could get a good amount of traffic;
- asked other key websites on similar web pages to link to ours;
- used a link checker to make sure there were no broken links
On the S.T.R.E.E.T. website there is a special Platform (Fig. A1.2) where the training modules were added to the Basic Course label. A box dedicated to the project, linked to the website, was created by all project partners on their institutional sites and the online publication were announced through specific communications to stakeholders.
A1.2 – The Project Newsletters
Newsletters (Fig. A1.3) presenting a project and describing its results are the most common method to disseminate projects results. The S.T.R.E.E.T. newsletters were created in the 4 languages of the project partners (English, Italian, German and Slovenian). It was decided that each partner send the newsletter to a dedicated mailing list, through their own communication channels. Our Newsletters aimed to keep recipients informed on S.T.R.E.E.T. project developments in a clear, concise and relevant way.
The entire collection of the S.T.R.E.E.T. Project Newsletters can be found here: http://www.streetproject.eu/?page_id=248 while the single issues are listed below.
- Newsletter No. 1 – April 2016
- Newsletter No. 2 – February 2017
- Newsletter No. 3 – June 2017
- Newsletter No. 4 – October 2017 – with info on the London (UK) Study Visit
- Newsletter No. 5 – November 2017 – with info on the Werfenweng (AT) Study Visit
- Newsletter No. 6 – December 2017 – with info on the Bled (SLO) Study Visit
- Newsletter No. 7 – April 2018 – with info on the Turin (IT) Study Visit
- Newsletter No. 8 – July 2018 – with info on the Turin and London Multiplier Events
A1.3 – The Project Facebook page
In December 2016 the S.T.R.E.E.T. Facebook page was created, linked to the project website, to present the project and its developments. Each partner was enabled as administrator/editor of the Facebook page as to post contents autonomously and animate the network.
In addition to the dissemination of the project results (Fig. A1.4-5), the research of participants in the Basic Courses also used this channel. In February 2017 a communication campaign was carried out through specific posts made in the four project languages that invited to visit the website and to register for the online Basic Course.
Before the learning activities started, each participant was introduced with a brief profile including a picture and describing the reason why s/he chose to participate in the activities.
The recruitment campaign was very successful, so much that in the first 20 days, around 150 enrolments were collected for the Course. The Facebook page became then very important as live narrator of the training experiences made during the Study Visits between 2017 and 2018, through direct contributions of the students and with the support of the host project partners.
The Facebook page has an average of 200 followers and the average posts cover roughly 250 people up to 900 people during the learning activities.
A1.4 – The Project Multiplier Events
Multiplier Events were defined as events based on the project results that would happen close to the end of the project lifetime. Their goal was to ensure that a wider community be informed about the project achievements. They were considered a good opportunity for a two-way communication: members of the target community can be invited to contribute with ideas and brainstorm about ways to make the best use of the project results. Thinking early about the use of project results will maximise the impact of dissemination and the sustainability of its outputs.
The Multiplier Events were designed to disseminate results for clusters of related projects that are not only cost effective, but also having more impact than those at project level. Participants (e.g. experts and students) are more likely to attend a meeting presenting the project results.
On the occasion of Multiplier Events, it was planned to create specific dissemination materials summarising the course contents (leaflets, brochures, posters). In addition, a specific video tutorial of the online platform was prepared to brief the audience on the entire S.T.R.E.E.T. training experience, whose dissemination was planned to be performed during the Multiplier Events in Turin and London in 2018.
A1.4.1 – The TURIN Multiplier Event
On 30th May 2018 the first Multiplier Event of the S.T.R.E.E.T. project was held in Turin (Fig. A1.12), with the title: “Muoviamoci Bene. The Forum for New Mobility in Piedmont”. Turin’s Multiplier Event became the opportunity for our students to discuss about sustainable mobility with experts, who showed unpublished case studies and data to businesses, associations and citizens interested in this topic (Fig. A1.16).
The Multiplier Event was the occasion to project the final video of S.T.R.E.E.T. project (Italian version , English version). The video (with a duration of about 5 minutes) was structured in three parts showing to the audience the project outputs:
- the Learning Platform, showing its functioning and opportunities for the registered users;
- the experience of the four Study Visits in London, Werfenweng, Bled and Turin;
- the Toolbox, the interactive e-book with detailed materials and with comprehensive materials (with hypertext, links, …) about the topic addressed during the project.
After the presentation of the final video of the S.T.R.E.E.T. project, a group of participants in our training activities – Mariapaola Ritrovato, Alessandro Varalda and Giorgia Angelino Giorzet – presented their experience illustrating good practices tested in the four Study Visits of London, Werfenweng, Bled and Turin as opportunities to experience on the field the lessons learned in the Basic course and suggesting some solutions also for areas different from the point of view of territory, economic vocations and with different approaches to mobility and sustainable tourism.
How are Londoners moving? – Mariapaola Ritrovato has shown that, although the private car is still the most used means of transport, at the same time the use of local public transport is increasing from 25% to 29%. Following the Major’s Transport Strategy (Fig. A1.13), which envisages by 2041 to push 80% of Londoners to use sustainable mobility (pedestrian, cycle and public transport), it has emerged that the key element is to implement intermodality (in terms of efficiency, quality, accessibility and understanding).
Alessandro Varalda presented the two experiences of Werfenweng (Austria) and Bled (Slovenia). The first, Werfenweng, is a mountain town, an “alpine pearl”: through the SAMO card (Fig. A1.14), it is in fact possible to leave the car at home and, with a small contribution, travel with cars, motorcycles, strictly electric segways bikes, made available by the municipal administration.
The second one, Bled, is another “alpine pearl” known for its beautiful lake, where policies for sustainable mobility have recently been tested (for example the drafting of a SUMP) in order to reduce environmental impacts and pursue effective and lasting solutions for mobility dedicated to tourism.
Then what are the alternatives we can offer to young people? Giorgia Angelino Giorzet presented some conclusions starting from a significant fact: in Italy the average age for obtaining the driving license is 21 years and 3 months, while in Piedmont it is 21 years and 4 months (Fig. A1.15). This fact shows that in Italy, and particularly in Piedmont, driving licenses are to be considered less and less an element of emancipation of young people who have instead more interest in other modes of transport, such as cycling and public transport. This aspect is also confirmed at international level: for example, in the London Mobility Survey (2016) 87% of young people no longer need to own a car.
Finally, this last aspect represents more and more a change of mentality: “from ownership to usership”, which can be supported through two fundamental policies:
- an offer so convenient as to discourage the demand (the Werfenweng model);
- the introduction of the Mobility as a Service (MaaS) as a single integrated multimodality system (the London model).
A1.4.2 – The LONDON Multiplier Event
The organisation of the London Multiplier event was in charge of EPN Consulting, the UK project partner. It started in early Spring 2018 and was publicised early June 2018, soon after the Turin multiplier Event to avoid overlapping the two awareness campaigns.
The London Multiplier Event (LME) Organisation Strategy was designed taking account of six steps:
- Identify topics and related speakers that could interest an audience gathered to learn about the S.T.R.E.E.T. project and its results
- Identify the event venue
- Assess several online booking platforms that could take care of the delegates’ details registration, provide delegates with information on the event and the venue, provide the organiser with the attendees list updated in real time and, possibly FREE
- Assess effective advertising channels that could reach a good number of potential attendees
- Design the Delegates’ Satisfaction Survey
- Assess the results including the engagement generated during the event
that are going to be described in detail below.
1) The main objective of the event, known as “Smart Transport for Sustainable Tourism”, was to present the S.T.R.E.E.T. project from the original idea to the TOOLBOX through the Basic Course, the Specialised Course and the Study Visits. For this reason, one entire hour was dedicated to provide details of the project. As the project is focused on sustainable tourism and funded by the European Erasmus+ scheme, the idea was to provide more information on other initiatives dealing with these hot topics and that’s why in the morning session there were presentations of projects addressing technology for sustainable transport and funded by EU schemes. The afternoon session was then dedicated to the many EU funding schemes available with particular focuses on Erasmus+, whose S.T.R.E.E.T. was part, and Horizon 2020, probably the most popular funding scheme in Europe.
A more detailed description of the conference programme follows in the next paragraph.
2) For this event Stefano Mainero (EPN Consulting) asked Maria Kamargianni, (UCL, University College London) if she could host the event at the university as she had been very kind in 2017 to host the 22 S.T.R.E.E.T. Students for the classroom lectures held during the London Study Visit. Maria agreed to give continuity to the promotion of the project’s UK activities and booked a room for this conference. An additional value was the advertisement of the London Multiplier Event published on the UCL Energy Institute as pictured in A1.18.
3) The search for online booking platforms was quite time consuming and, in the end, EPN Consulting chose the popular Eventbrite platform as this is one of the best-of-its-kind services and, for free events, is at no cost for the organisers. The other reason for using this platform was to take advantage of the internal dissemination the platform conveys among its clients about the events organised through it.
4) An assessment of effective advertising channels that could reach a good number of potential attendees was carried out and the selection regarded LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. On the Eventbrite platform the URL regarding the event were customised in relation to the channels chosen as “referrals” in order to monitor which registrations were done from where. LinkedIn was used as Stefano Mainero’s account whereas Twitter and Facebook were used as EPN Consulting’s accounts. In particular, for Facebook EPN Consulting decided to buy an advertising campaign and allocated £9 (about €10.50) that was supposed to last for 12 days and targeting the range of people that S.T.R.E.E.T. addressed:
- Young people between 20-35 y.o
- Living in the UK (for the scope of the event)
- Degree in Engineering and Architecture
- High-school diploma in technical subjects
- Interests in Sustainability, Transport, Environment, Mobility Management
The campaign lasted shorter than planned because two people registered to the event through Facebook that according to its market rules, charged every registration £4.50 and exhausted the money allocated. EPN Consulting then assessed this was not an effective ad tool
5) EPN Consulting then designed and delivered a Delegates’ Satisfaction Survey; the questionnaires received showed high interest in the topics discussed. Some delegates asked why such events were organised only in Turin and London, whereas similar events in other partner countries would have been more beneficial as they would have reached a larger audience. Even better to have such events in non-partner countries. EPN Consulting registered these comments that will help design similar projects in the future. In the audience there was also Mrs Jennie Martin, Secretary General of the ITS UK Association, who very much appreciated the kind and topics of the London Multiplier Event. At the end of July EPN Consulting was very much happy to read the following tweet that included a link to the S.T.R.E.E.T. webpage that gathers all presentations and videos of the London Multiplier Event:
6) Before receiving the surveys filled in EPN Consulting had already assessed the sentiment of the audience during the event and realised the theme of sustainable transport and tourism is something perceived as highly important. They were engaged with the speakers, asking technical and management questions about the different technical and policy solutions applied and currently available. Most of them were impressed by how many positive effects EU funds can generate in putting EU member states ahead in protecting the environment while training young professionals in this direction.
A184.108.40.206 – The London Conference programme
The “Smart Transport for Sustainable Tourism” Conference was divided in two sessions:
- the morning session dedicated to “S.T.R.E.E.T. Project and Smart Transport for Sustainable Tourism”
- the afternoon session dedicated to “The opportunities of EU funding for Smart Transport and Sustainable Tourism”
After a brief description of EPN Consulting that was also in charge of realising the project TOOLBOX, Stefano Mainero, the EPN Consulting CEO, kicked off the morning session with “The S.T.R.E.E.T. Project goals, activities, results and legacy: the TOOLBOX” (Part1, Part2) providing a detailed presentation of the project with a special focus on the TOOLBOX and how this was being prepared to ensure a widespread and effective dissemination.
The three EPN Consulting students, Ilaria Argiolas, Andrea Pinna and Sotiris Economou, pictured in Fig A1.21 (respectively left, centre, right), weren’t able to attend the event in person, however each of them sent a video describing their learning experience and feelings of being part of the S.T.R.E.E.T. Project and taking part of the four Study Visits. All videos were combined in a new one that was shown to the audience.
After one hour of project description, three other presentations dedicated to Sustainable Transport and Tourism followed. One dealt with the “Mobility as a Service (MaaS) and Tourism” providing information on the MaaS concept, how this relates with Tourism and how this is being studied in another European project, MaaS4EU, funded within Horizon 2020 where UCL is one of the partners. The speaker was Melinda Matyas, Demand Modeller at the UCL MaasLab.
Giles Bailey, Director of the London-based Stratageeb consulting firm, talked about the “The Innovation of the travel and transport industry as a result of improved data sources” (Part1, Part2 and Part3) to understand changes and challenges of recent times.
Finally, Colin Rees, one of the EPN Consulting Associates, provided an overview of the “Evolution of the Bike Sharing scheme introduced in the UNESCO Heritage city of Bath” during the FP7 CIVITAS RENAISSANCE Project. Once again, the benefits of an EU-funded project were described where a soft mobility solution started as a project trial then became a regular service still currently available, years after the end of the project.
The afternoon session was all in charge of EPN Consulting and focused on “The opportunities of EU funding for Smart Transport for Sustainable Tourism“. It was opened by Stefano Mainero with the Description of the EU funding schemes” available to citizens, companies and universities to achieve the Europe2020 objectives. Among them the “Focus Erasmus+”, which allowed the development, execution and achievement of the S.T.R.E.E.T. goals, and for this reason received a dedicated focus. The final presentation was on “Focus Horizon 2020” – the largest and, probably, the most known EU funding scheme – and on the several rules that must be followed to ensure the preparation and submission of robust project proposals.
The final presentation was on Focus Horizon 2020 – the largest and, probably, the most known EU funding scheme – and on the several rules that must be followed to ensure the preparation and submission of robust project proposals.
The audience proved to be very interested and engage with this description and many asked more detailed information regarding the possibility, eligibility and calendars available to prepare and submit project proposals.