Public relations & outreach

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Marketing a European in-service training IST course differs from national marketing strategies, because on the one hand people abroad, who are operating in other networks, adult education (AE) structures and in-service training systems, have to be addressed and on the other hand in this context the funding procedures and requirements have to be considered in communication.

The new Erasmus+ programme brings with it a host of new challenges concerning the marketing activities of course providers. European IST courses for AE staff can be funded through Erasmus+ in the frame of so-called ‘mobility projects’, in which the ‘sending’ and ‘receiving’ organisations cooperate with each other. Course providers have to know that the system is not ‘offer driven’ any more but ‘need-driven’. Moreover, there is a shift to an organizational approach to IST. That means it is not the individual anymore who applies for a specific course but the organisation has to create a ‘European Development Plan’ in which the organisation’s needs in terms of quality development and internationalisation involving further training of the staff are described. On this basis it can apply for a mobility project through its National Agency. Course providers themselves don’t need to be identified at the application stage, and course providers do not need to promote concrete courses, but are rather invited to present their course portfolio, their particular training areas and expertise, in order to attract European clients, after which they can collaboratively develop tailor-made training courses for ‘mobile staff’. 

Furthermore there will be no European course database for the time being, that means, that you as a course organiser have to think about how to raise the awareness of AE institutions to your offers. A crucial role in promoting and supporting your course offer(s) is played by multipliers abroad, including course organiser´s own partner organisations and their national and international networks. European course providers should think about what makes their offer unique and what benefit it brings to both potential course participants and the organisation they are working for. A sustainable competitive advantage can be a good marketing channel strategy. This is not easy to copy because the channel structure depends on relationships and people.

For the realisation of successful public relations and outreach regarding European IST offers the organisers need to possess specific competences.

Summarized in the table at the end we have collected a row of materials that address marketing issues for you:

To promote and advocate European courses means networking at all levels. Having in view that networks also play a prominent role in European lifelong learning policies the consortium of the LLP project ComNet - Competences for Networking in European Education has published The Art of Networking. European Networks in Adult Education (2007), (also available in DE and FR) that concerns European networks in the framework of EU funding programmes for education and training and deals with networking theory, European networks in education, establishing, setting up, managing, evaluating a network and making a network sustainable. You can also find more network literature and links as well as a related training pack on the ComNet website.

Widen your view on who are the key stakeholders and multipliers in the area of adult education. The recommended activity Stakeholder and Multiplier Mappingis about mapping and ranking stakeholders and multipliers according to their importance and potential usefulness.

Erasmus+ partner search tools are to be generated now, this Facebook partner finding tool  is available already.

Another option is to create your organisational e-portfolio in order to present your course activities and offers. The GINCO T&T offers the e-portfolio my VITA which has been developed for individuals and organisations that wish to set up their profiles, evidence their competences and skills etc. in a kind of market place setting. The idea is to create a growing network at European level.

The task of promoting and marketing courses for AE staff might practically be approached by the following activities:

At first you could reflect on the potential course participants you want to reach, as the activity The market of adult educators in Europe suggests. Secondly, you should be clear on what needs you are addressing with the course offer, having in mind both the potential development strategy of AE organisations and the personal training needs of trainers? What to promote to whom? guides you through the important preparatory questions to be answered in this context. In the “European Development Plan”, that organisations have to create for the grant application they must proof that the proposed IST not only meets the needs of the professional development of the organization, but also that it contributes towards the European added value of the organisation’s strategy and operation meeting European objectives and priorities. Course provision therefore should also be based on these requirements. In Annex 5 the Erasmus+ programme guide offers an overview of reference documents on policy priorities.

The core of communication activities in terms of promotion and marketing are key messages, as they open the door to meaningful communications with the audience. A well-crafted message highlights the unique benefits, targets the audience precisely, supports the mission and often includes a call to action. Try it out and formulate key messages for your course promotion. If you want to establish as a European course provider it is also worth to think about branding.

Having defined your European course portfolio is about, to whom it is targeted and what you want to communicate, sort out which ways of promotion are reasonable and, respecting the budget, expected to be the most effective ones. Many marketing and promotion activities can be done in the internet. We have compiled a list of Online promotion channels. Finally you need to plan the timing of your marketing and promotion activities. The result of all these activities will be your Marketing and promotion strategy.

Hubspot. Free marketing resources offers a range of useful readings, tools and references for marketing purposes. 




Recommended activities 

Ginco documents 

European documents and links 

Facebook partner finding tool

Marketing_strategy, principles, Grundtvig course aspects

C-E.N.T.E.R. Toolkit

The market of adult educators in Europe

e-portfolio my Vita course market place

Online promotion channels

The Art of Networking. European Networks in Adult Education.

EN   DE   FR



What to promote to whom?



Hubspot. Free marketing resources




Erasmus+ programme guide

Stakeholder and multiplier mapping




Formulate key messages








Marketing and promotion strategy

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