International cooperation is not common knowledge to most local citizens, politicians and municipal employees. It is therefore so important to communicate why we are doing international cooperation and what the benefits are for the citizens.
Why and how to
There are three main target groups: the general public and local citizens, the municipal politicians and the municipal employees.
Communication such as newspaper articles, radio, video clips, brochures and posters are well suited to meet the first target group. The municipal website, or a project website, and the new social media should also be prioritised as they provide many options and reach a large audience at a low cost. Events like concerts and exhibitions are suitable tools to make international cooperation known among the public and easily attract media attention.
The other target groups, local politicians and municipal employees, can also be reached through intranet, newsletters or corporate newspapers. Information meetings or even study visits may also be useful as communication tools.
Likewise, presenting the international cooperation to the political decision process and providing regular reporting to the municipal council or committees, can be seen as communication tools to involve politicians in international cooperation.
It is beneficial to establish a separate communication plan for international cooperation, clarifying who is responsible for the communication, who are the target groups and which the main communication tools are.