Participants from EaPConnect project partner countries Armenia (ASNET-AM), Georgia (GRENA) and Moldova (RENAM) attended SIG-Marcomms for the first time (pictured), along with new representatives from France (RENATER), Greece (GRNET) and Hungary (KIFU).

Agreements to explore collaborations with other community groups was a key outcome of the meeting held by the GÉANT special interest group on marketing communications (SIG-Marcomms) in Finland on 13-15 March. With a varied and full agenda that covered big issues and new ideas, the event was given a 5-star rating by the more than 30 participants, almost a third of whom were attending SIG-Marcomms for the first time.

Kimmo Koski, CEO of the host organisation CSC, visited the meeting to welcome SIG-Marcomms to the Espoo venue. CSC marketing activities and the Funet 2020 project were the subject of presentations by Harri Kuusisto and Teemu Kiviniemi, which were well received by the group.

Kimmo Koski, CEO of CSC, welcomes SIG-Marcomms.

Crisis – what crisis?

A half-day workshop session on crisis management communications followed up on the ‘CLAW’ event that had been organised by GÉANT in November 2017. SIG-Marcomms people who had attended CLAW gave a short recap and shared what they had learned. The SIG gave feedback on a CLAW deliverable that will define terminology that should be used by all the different teams within an organisation when crisis hits. A mini crisis exercise was also held, with breakout groups considering how to react in two scenarios. The SIG-Marcomms participants were encouraged to attend the second ‘CLAW’ crisis management event which is scheduled for November 2018.

Opportunities to collaborate with other SIGs

Maria Ristkok (EENet of HITSA) and Lonneke Walk ((SURFnet) of the SIG-Marcomms steering committee enjoying the cold Finnish weather before a warm Finnish welcome at the SIG-Marcomms meeting.

SIG-Marcomms is always looking for opportunities to collaborate with other special interest groups and task forces. The Espoo meeting included an overview of all SIGs and TFs and their activities in the GÉANT Community Programme. Overlap areas of interest surfaced in discussions about how national research and education network organisations (NRENs) should position themselves in marketing terms and make the case for NRENs, and about activities to promote security awareness. The former included a review of a recent SIG-MSP (management of service portfolios) meeting discussion, and concluded that a joint meeting to go into this further together would be welcome. The security awareness topic included examples of campaigns by SURFnet (Netherlands) and ARNES (Slovenia) and a mention that SIG-ISM (information security management) and the WISE community are interested in promoting cyber security. A proposal to collaborate internationally with them in this area raised interest among several participants.

How about GDPR?

Following up on a March 2017 SIG-Marcomms discussion about the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and its implications for NREN marketing and communications activities, the Espoo meeting revisited the topic. Ana Alves and Pete Janusz of GÉANT explained their new roles in this area and helped to troubleshoot some specific questions.

Inspired by NREN and project updates

Interactive sessions gave participants the opportunity to work in small groups to give feedback on various topics, such as potential improvements to the ‘PeaR’ community newsletter and GÉANT Project clouds promotion activities. The group was also given insights into the GÉANT Project InAcademia initiative and the Up2U project.

One thing ARNES did to celebrate its 25th anniversary was to produce a comic strip about its achievements. Download the pdf

Recent structural changes to UNINETT, the Norwegian NREN, were explained by Mari Prestvik and Lars Fuglevaag, with a focus on the implications for marketing communications activities. A new focus on marketing within the French NREN, RENATER, was presented by Alice Thorel. Other updates about NREN conferences, anniversaries, branding, strategic communications planning and other activities were given by ARNES (Slovenia), CESNET (Czech Republic), DeiC (Denmark), FCCN (Portugal), GRNET (Greece) and LITNET (Lithuania).

A meeting feedback survey found that the agenda had contained something useful for everyone. The full agenda and slides for the Espoo SIG-Marcomms meeting are online.

Join us next time!

Join us next time for a joint meeting of SIG-Marcomms and the Global PR Network on Thursday 14th June at TNC18. Registration is open: register!