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Communicating effectively with the local community

FLAG communication activities can be an important catalyst for innovation and change, and are a transversal element in the local development strategy. Through effective communication, the Adriatico Salentino FLAG in Puglia, Italy, has helped to empower local fishermen to become drivers of change in their communities.

This CLLD example is also available in:

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Objectives of the Adriatico Salentino FLAG communication strategy:

  • To raise the profile of fishing activities in the FLAG area and encourage fishermen to become more active along the entire value chain;

  • To raise awareness among the local population about sustainable seafood consumption and the rou

    te to market of “fresh, good and local” fisheries products;

  • To reach out to all the actors in the territory and establish an information flow with a wide range of stakeholders in the production and distribution chain. 

Key activities:

  • The collective development of a logo for the FLAG through a school competition: promoting awareness of

    the fishing community to schools and children of different ages;

  • The use of the mascot, “Paul Po” in classrooms to educate pupils about sustainable consumption and local fish species. This initiative targeted younger children (e.g. 1500 children from all the primary schools

    in the area) but also aimed to raise awareness of local consumption habits among their families;

  • Involving fishermen and schools as actors in a theatre play about fishing;

  • Sharing fishermen’s knowledge of traditional recipes and traditional fishing techniques; such as the “érgate” (a fishing method that allows for the catching of small pelagic fish from the coast, without the need for a boat), a key aspect of the local cultural heritage;

  • Active information dissemination through social media on the possibilities and achievements of CLLD;

  • The development of the Fishdirect App, which brings together fishermen and consumers by providing information on locations for the direct sale of local fish;

  • A new online radio station to promote the activities and programme of the Apulian FLAGs.

Main achievements: good communication by the FLAG has helped fishermen in the area to initiate new activities, in addition to their traditional jobs, and to adopt the use of new technologies in their daily work (around 40-50% of fishermen in the area are active on social media and follow the FLAG on Facebook and Twitter).

Transferability: communication is an important FLAG activity. Even though communication tools and messages have to be adapted to local circumstances, FLAGs can draw on the ideas presented here to develop their own communication activities. More specifically, FLAGs can be at the forefront of digital inclusion in fisheries communities by supporting their use of social media and new communication technologies.

Lessons: FLAGs are uniquely placed to help fishermen communicate about their work and their knowledge, and raise awareness of local fisheries products. Communication is a vital element of the animation task of FLAGs, but a sufficient budget and appropriate expertise are needed. FLAGs should consider new skill requirements in areas such as web management and the animation of social media and blogs.


Resources

  • Skills: Enhanced interpersonal skills, ability to reach different target audiences (from direct contact to social media), strong written and verbal communication skills (drafting articles for social media, the web, blog animation).

  • Staff resources: Communication activities are covered by the animation and running costs of the FLAGs. They are also largely dependent on the personal engagement and communication skills of the FLAG staff.

  • Financial resources: Approximately €40 000 per year for communication activities (2015).                                     


Summary information and contact details

Time frame: April 2014 – December 2015.

Case study date: November 2015.

Type of organisation promoting the method: FLAG

Giuseppe Scordella
info (at) gacadriaticosalentino.it
Phone +39.0836 948457
Mobile +39.320.7673766
http://gacadriaticosalentino.it/

FLAG factsheet


Key words: Efficient communication, social media in fisheries communities, animation of the territory.