Be prepared to be unprepared - LYMEC4EU Communications Meeting

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Be prepared to be unprepared. 

Though it was cited on the very first day by Didrik de Schaetzen, this is easily the most suitable aphorism to describe political communication and political campaigning. Communication is not an exact science but a combination of speeches, actions, and verbal and non-verbal cues with the sole purpose of influencing. 

This October 2023 Communications Meeting held in Sofia tackled the hefty questions around how to find your audience and effectively adapt your message to them while staying true and authentic. Occurring at the party headquarters of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF), it united talented young liberals from LYMEC's communications and Libertas editorial team - a testament to our commitment to excellence in political communication. The event's purpose was twofold - to shape LYMEC's Communication Strategy ahead of the 2024 EU elections and to provide comprehensive training in various aspects of political communications. 

One of the most remarkable aspects of the programme was the emphasis on cooperation among young liberals. By fostering an environment of knowledge sharing and professional and political development, the organizers and the speakers empowered the participants, equipping them with new skills and a clear roadmap for effective communication in the complex world of politics. 


Day 1 - icebreakers and digital strategies

The event's first day set the tone for a weekend of intense learning. We received a warm welcome from ALDE Party co-president Ilhan Kyuchyuk, LIF's Executive Director Birshen Ibryamova, and LYMEC's Communications Officer Ellinor Juth. An icebreaker session conducted by Tanzer Yuseinov facilitated a more energetic and engaging setting, forming connections among participants from Bulgaria, Romania, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, Spain, and Ukraine. 

We swiftly moved on to the session on building a political communication strategy, led by Didrik, and the discussion on digital strategies and techniques for EU elections campaigning was exceptionally insightful. Our last session for the day was with Quentin Deschandelliers (also known as Mepassistant for his Instagram followers), who joined us online. His perspective on the use of memes as a form of political expression was eye-opening and highlighted the importance of innovative communication methods. 

LYMEC's Project Officer Chiara Liguori's concluding remarks brought the first day to a thoughtful close, setting the stage for a lovely dinner where participants could relax and continue their discussions.


Day 2 - political campaigning, storytelling, and fact-checking

The second day was equally enriching, with sessions on Communications for political campaigns with Stanimir Ilchev (former MEP and journalist) and The Power of Storytelling with Tsvetelina Panchelieva (PhD in Psychology). These sessions were engaging, providing practical tips and strategies for understanding our audience and crafting authentic and genuine stories that resonate. 

The afternoon delved into journalistic and highly interactive sessions on reporting political events on social media with Slavka Bozukova (President of the Cultural Heritage Society - Europa Nostra Bulgaria), and the role of the editor in news production with Lyubomira Budakova (BF Communications). These sessions were particularly valuable for the Libertas Editorial team, highlighting the interconnectedness of traditional and online media in today's political landscape.

We continued with a workshop on verifying and fact-checking information conducted by Taner Kabilov, who underscored the importance of accuracy in political communication. The event concluded with takeaways and feedback overseen by Ellinor and Chiara, ensuring that all participants had a moment to reflect on the programme, and have the space to give feedback on what future sessions could look like. 

The weekend was brought to a perfect close with a delightful dinner and social gathering near the St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, providing an opportunity for further networking and camaraderie.


Looking toward future events

Overall, this Communications Meeting was an outstanding and insightful training event. 

The collaboration with organizations like YMRF, MRF Bulgaria, LIF, LIPA, and the ALDE Party added immense value to the meeting, broadening our horizons and network. It not only equipped us with valuable practical skills in political communication and editorial content creation but also allowed us to connect with fellow young liberals. Heartfelt thanks go to the LYMEC bureau for organising this remarkable event and to MRF, LIF, and the ALDE Party for their cooperation. 

Lastly, a massive applause to the speakers and participants who made this weekend unforgettable and truly inspiring. The knowledge and connections forged during these days will undoubtedly propel our liberal movement forward in a meaningful way.

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Silvia Fernandez
Silvia Fernandez

Silvia Fernandez is a dedicated and active member of the ALDE Party and LYMEC for many years; and part of the Alliance of Her Alumni. With a background in Political Sciences and Law, she specializes in International Relations.

posted on

October 13 2023

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