Better public perception of Baltic Sea cooperation – a stakeholder discussion in Schwerin

The Baltic Sea Forum of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Forum Ostsee) gathered more than 50 guests including Baltic Sea experts and media representatives around the topic of communication and public perception of Baltic Sea cooperation. The forum discussed ways for better anchoring Baltic Sea issues in the regional media landscape. Organised by the State Chancellery of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the gathering took place on 7 June in Schwerin.

With the introduction of the Programme’s new communication strategy, Alexander Schwock from South Baltic’s Contact Point for Mecklenburg-Vorpommern set course for an intensive discussion revolving around the Baltic Sea PR. The forum concluded that

  1. different media channels should be considered incl. broadcast, print, social media but need to be better adjusted to the target groups;
  2. Bundling of activities shall gain in importance;
  3. the general public is not interested in general topics, therefore, it is necessary to demonstrate personal benefits from international cooperation;
  4. personal stories shall be pleasing enough to be published or covered free of charge;
  5. personal stories shall use strong visuals;
  6. a regional joint access point for media and journalists would be helpful to find interesting stories from the Baltic Sea.

As for the joint access point, the forum concluded that such platform should inform about relevant events and stories but also feature a press distribution list as well as a contact database for media agencies and journalists interested in Baltic Sea cooperation. The access point could be launched and maintained under the umbrella of the Baltic Sea Forum of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, an effort which requires additional resources. A meaningful maintenance of such platform requires the involvement of Baltic Sea cooperation structures including Interreg (BSR, South Baltic, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern/ Brandenburg / Poland) but also EUSBSR and BONUS.

The Baltic Sea Forum of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is an initiative of the State Chancellery of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, launched in 2014. It gathers authorities, universities, research facilities, associations and other organisations based in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, which are active in the Baltic Sea cooperation.  The forum stimulates a regular exchange among members but is also an instrument for a collaborative promotion of the Baltic Sea cooperation.  Find out more (in German) here