Over lunch in Paris yesterday, I chatted with Beatrice Ouin (French EESC member/Employees’ Group). She is a trained journalist and communicator and has for many years given communication courses to trades unionists. Recently, she started teaching younger people, around 18-20 years old. As an ice-breaking exercise, she asked her students to list the most important events of the past six months (she then intended to ask them what ‘important’ meant). They all listed the Chinese Olympics, naturally, but not a single student mentioned the Irish referendum result. In the past, we might have said that it’s because of the newspapers; because they don’t cover ‘Europe’ sufficiently. But these young people almost certainly don’t read newspapers on a daily basis. They probably get their information on the hoof, from the web. The internet is a wondrous thing but it raises fresh challenges for communicators. Beatrice recently authored a Committee opinion on the EU’s communication challenge (reconciling the European and the national levels). You can read it here. It’s well worth a read.
My extensive response to this article:
Thank you, Martin!