The first draft of the Arctic Council communication strategy will soon be sent to a contact group for evaluation.The draft of the communication strategy is based on groundwork done by the Arctic Council Communication and Outreach group which was active during the period 2010-2011. The group was lead by Giles Norman from Canada who did extensive surveys with representatives from the member states, permanent participants, and working groups to evaluate the communication needs of the Arctic Council. This work resulted in the Arctic Council Communications and Outreach Guidelines which were approved in 2011.
As a follow-up to this work, the Swedish Chairmanship took the initiative to draft a communication strategy in autumn 2011. Communications staff from The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Sweden have worked on the draft together with a Swedish communications firm and the Arctic Council Secretariat. The Chairmanship has also done further surveys with the Senior Arctic Officials, permanent participants, and working groups.
Sara Modin, Communication Officer at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Sweden, has been involved in drafting the communication strategy. According to Modin this is a first move towards prioritizing communication within the Arctic Council.
"In our surveys, as well as in previous analysis, we found that the Arctic Council's communication has been considered somewhat unfocused in the past. Many of the people we interviewed expressed a need to improve recognition of what the Arctic Council is and does. We discovered that improvement was desired and that the communication strategy was a step in the right direction."
The communication strategy addresses long-term communication objectives, different types of communication channels, various target groups and overarching messages for the Arctic Council. It focuses on both internal and external communication.
"We hope for feedback and engagement from all Arctic Council actors in drafting and adopting the communication strategy. This will be a good base for the development of Arctic Council communication work" says Modin.