We’ve said time and again that communication is at the heart of the European Parliament Ambassador Schools (EPAS) programme, but it does bear repeating! The goal of the scheme is to raise awareness amongst your school/college community of:
- The opportunities available to them in the EU.
- How the EU affects their daily lives.
- How they can influence the EU – especially through the European Parliament.
- How they can influence policy in the UK.
Social media offers a way to spread all of these messages, easily, quickly and frequently. It has the added benefit of being a really useful way of keeping your Junior Ambassadors motivated and on track.
Create a plan for how often you will post, and then you will have a reason to hassle all the other Junior Ambassadors to give you something to post about. You’ll be putting some gentle pressure on the people organising events to make sure they are getting their jobs done!
Create a social media communication plan
The questions below will help you develop a simple social media plan. You can record it all in this document:
Who has responsibility?
This person doesn’t have to create all of the posts, but she is going to be the one responsible for making sure everyone else sticks to this communication plan!
You can give responsibility for individual channels to other people, but ultimate they should all report to one person.
What are your school/college policies?
Speak to your Senior Ambassador to find out what your school/colleges policies are on using social media.
- Are you able to set up separate EPAS social media accounts, or do you need to use the school/college’s main one?
- Do you need to check every post with someone before sharing it? If so, how can you make that process easy and efficient?
- Are there any restrictions on what you can say?
- Can you use students’ names?
- Can you use their images?
- Anything else you need to steer clear of?
- Are there any safeguarding issues you need to be aware of?
Add the answers to these questions, along with a list of all the social media accounts you have created for EPAS to the Simple EPAS Social Media Plan.
Who is your target audience?
You might have a few different groups here. For example:
- Younger students
- Older students
- School staff
- Parents/wider adult community
Once you’ve decided on your channels you will write which channel(s) are targeting which audience(s) in the second column of the Simple EPAS Social Media Plan.
Which apps or sites work best for them?
For each of your target audiences, speak to some people in that group and ask them which social media apps and sites they and their friends use. You may find that there is a lot of overlap, or it could be that posting messages on one site works well for parents, but would completely miss people aged 14-16.
Each different app or site (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, etc.) is a channel; write it in the left-hand column of the Simple EPAS Social Media Plan.
How often will you post and interact?
Nobody will pay attention to any of your channels if you are not regularly updating them and interacting with other people. For each channel, you need to set a MINIMUM number of:
- Posts per week
- Times you will comment on other people’s posts per week
- Times you will re-share other people’s posts per week.
Content for your channels
Record everything you are doing for EPAS: take photos at planning meetings and post them.
Do video vox pops of students and staff at your school/college answering a question or explaining what they are working on. [Not sure what ‘vox pops’ are? Here’s a good example]
Each time you update your InfoPoint add the information to your social media channels too.
Every time you add an EPAS news story to your school website, make sure you share it on social media as well.
Search your social media sites for topics that have come up in your EPAS sessions, re-post thought-provoking pictures, videos and comments.
Follow the various channels of the European Parliament, European Union and European Commission for lots of content worth sharing:
Set a topical question and ask people to write their answer on a little whiteboard, take a photo and post it on your channels.