An important part of your EIT Food project is promoting your work - DisseminationExploitation and Communication activities are a must under Horizon Europe.  


What do these three terms mean in the context of an EIT Food project?  

Dissemination means sharing knowledge and making research results available to those who can make use of it within or outside the EIT Food Community, such as peers in the research field, industry experts, commercial organisations or policymakers. 


Exploitation means effectively using the project results for standardisation, commercial purposes (development of a new product/service) or in public policymaking.  

Communication means providing targeted information to multiple audiences (including the media and the public), in a strategic and effective manner to show the impact and benefits of the EU-funded activity to society as a whole, possibly engaging in a two-way exchange.  


This article focuses on Communication but you may also be interested in the related Comms Hub article 'Guidelines on dissemination of EIT Food-funded projects'. 



Where should I start? 

Good communication starts with a strategic plan. We recommend creating your communication plan at the start of your project, to help guide you throughout the process. Here are some questions to answer in the planning phase: 

  • Who is your communication target audience?  
  • Why communicate?  
  • What is your objective?

  • What impact is intended?  

  • What reaction or change is expected from the target audience?

At the core, all objectives should fundamentally support EIT Food’s overarching mission: to build a future-fit food system that produces healthy and sustainable food for all. This is the “Big Picture”. You may be organising an event or running a digital campaign, but what is EIT Food hoping this will contribute to?  
Understanding EIT Food’s Digital Communication Strategy is a good starting point for your communication plan.

Define your target audiences   

All your communications should be created with a specific audience in mind – the more targeted the better. If you try to speak to everyone, you will reach no-one. To understand your specific target audiences, ask the following questions:  

  • What roles do they play?
  • What are their interests?
  • What are their behaviours?
  • What channels do they use? And what media would they consume?
  • What food-related health, sustainability, or transparency challenges concern them?
  • What is their age range?
  • What is their location?
  • What is their existing knowledge of the topic?
  • What other brands/organisations would they ordinarily interact with?

What messages do I want to get across to my target audience? 

For each of your defined target audiences, determine the key message or information that you want to get across to them throughout the project. EIT Food has a set of key messages around our Strategic Agenda and our three core Missions areas that you may want to adapt to fit your project and target audiences. 

It is important to remember that EIT Food is working to make the food system more sustainable, healthy and trusted, and any messaging surrounding an EIT Food project or activity should reflect this.  


Once you have defined the key messages for your target audience(s), read through the rest of this article to learn how best to communicate and measure the impact of your messaging.  


What channels should I use? 

Good communication should go beyond the project’s own community and needs to be adapted for your target audience. It is important to reach people where they already are. Therefore, before choosing the channels for your communication you should research which channels and networks your target audience is already using. 


As an EIT Food project partner, you are expected to use your own network, contacts and channels to reach your audience, including the media, the general public and their professional audiences. We recommend using existing channels where possible, especially for one-year or single-activity projects. Most EIT Food project partner organisations come with a lot of credibility and you will have a bigger impact with an established audience and existing strategy to build on. 


There are many different channels available for communication activities, ranging from channels for one-way exchange (reports, articles, emails, press releases, brochures, videos) to those relevant for more two-way conversation (exhibitions, school visits, events, debates, social media). We recommend focusing on a small number of channels so you can focus on targeted, high-quality initiatives.  


Here are some ideas and approaches to help promote your EIT Food project: 

Cross-channel approach 

Wherever possible, consider a cross-channel approach to promoting your project.  

A cross-channel approach means you’re activating a range of channels with content tailored to each one, to help you reach your target audiences at the right time, in the right place. For example, if you want to promote your project results, you might engage in the following:  


  • a branded report to summarise your findings; 
  • a cross-channel campaign to promote the report via the media with a press release; 
  • content updates on your project page on the EIT Food website; 
  • posts on your existing social media channels; 
  • outreach to a few relevant Changemakers (relevant people, organisations and platforms who have the influence and credibility to get our message across to a wider audience); 
  • a blog post on a partner’s website. 


Below, you can find more tips to help you activate different channels and a best practice example of project communication at the bottom of this article.  


Local EIT Food teams   

Projects that have a regional focus and want to attract participants from certain locations can work with local EIT Food teams to get support through their local channels – such as regional Facebook accounts (for example, EIT Food Poland) or regional directors’ Twitter accounts (for example, our South Director).  

Some regions (South and North-East) have agreements with EIT Food hubs, which are supporting teams with project communication. These are highly effective when targeting local stakeholders with the right regional messaging in the local languages.  

To activate these channels, contact the relevant regional colleagues from the editorial team for support.  

Your EIT Food project page   

If you are an EIT Food project partner, you have a dedicated project page on the EIT Food website that you can update. You can use this to publish any content you develop throughout the year via your project page updates. Find out more in the article How do I edit content on the EIT Food website? 

For more information about how to promote your project on EIT Food’s channels, go to: How can I promote something on EIT Food’s channels?  

Media and press activity 

Engaging with the media about project results or important announcements will generate cut-through across target audiences as well as new audiences. For example, issuing a press release about new findings on sustainable agriculture will be of interest to farming trade publications, environmental publications as well as national and regional titles.  


Not everything is newsworthy however. Press releases should be used to announce new developments that are newsworthy to a significantly large external audience. Most commonly, this will be when something new has been launched – such as a new product or key piece of research – or when a project reaches a significant milestone, that your wider community should take note of. It is important to remember that not everything that is significant is newsworthy; there may be better ways to share that development.  


Reasons to write a press release include:     

  • Breaking or emerging news
  • Ground-breaking novel and innovative product launches e.g. the first product to market
  • Key events
  • Influential partnership announcements
  • Sharing new and insightful research, completed with a credible research partner and a strong sample size    

A press release will be used to communicate to media and external audiences, so the tone should be factual and balanced. It can communicate why new achievements or milestones of an EIT Food partner organisation or project are significant or noteworthy, but should not be excessively celebratory or exaggerated. It should include quotes from relevant project members and engaging visuals. For more information, see the article ‘How do I write a good press release? 


If available, we recommend liaising with your organisation’s press office to get support on writing the press release. And before engaging in a communication activity expected to have a major media impact, you need to let EIT Food’s Brand & Digital team ( know via email at least 4 weeks prior to the proposed publication date. Go to: What is the process for submitting an EIT Food press release? for more information.  

Changemaker approach 

Word-of-mouth and credibility-building can help you reach new audiences and broaden your network. Encourage people who have participated in your activity or been involved with your project to write about their experience on their own channels and to tag EIT Food. This raises awareness of the opportunity among their network in a much more targeted way. For example, a student that has taken part in an EIT Food course sharing their experiences provides excellent social proof.  

Providing ready-made images and some social media copy can help with this. An example of the EIT Food Accelerator Network’s recruitment toolkit can be found here. 

If you tag EIT Food, the core communications team will be able to pick this up, interact and re-share where relevant. Our social media handles and an example of best practice are below:   




To find out more about Changemakers, see the article ‘What is EIT Food's digital communications strategy? 


EIT Food-owned channels 

If you are trying to reach the EIT Food community, there may be opportunities for your content to be featured on EIT Food’s existing channels. For instance, if you’re targeting consumers or the general public, there may be a chance to collaborate with EIT Food’s public-facing media platform For details, please contact FoodUnfolded’s Programme Manager, Marieke van Schoonhoven. 

Have a look at EIT Food’s Digital Strategy and the type of content we are looking for. Go to: How can I promote something on EIT Food's channels? 

It is important to note that any content shared or campaigns run on EIT Food’s core channels do not count towards project deliverables and KPIs. This would be double counting.  

Note: Please do not create any new websites or social media channels for your project. You can read all about this via the following articles:   


How should I brand my communication activities? 

A brand identity is the consistent, integrated vision of how a brand should be identified and perceived by its stakeholders. Common branding elements are logos, fonts, colours and key messages. When those elements follow the direction set by the brand identity’s vision, they lead to a strong brand image, ultimately helping our stakeholders to differentiate EIT Food from the competition. 

All EIT Food project communication activities run by partners must follow the EIT Food brand guidelines 

Not adhering to these guidelines might negatively affect competitive funding, so please be sure to check the guidelines before running your communications activity.   


An online EIT Food branding training is available every year to support partners. If you are interested, get in touch 

How should I measure my communication activities?  

Before you implement your communication plan, make sure that you can monitor progress to ensure your planned activities are having an impact; and the audiences you identified are beginning to respond to your message. Agreeing upfront ways of measuring success will help you signal your progress internally and externally. 

It can be helpful to contact your EIT Food Programme Manager to discuss your communication plan and the key performance indicators (KPIs) you will use to monitor the activity.  

Here are some suggestions: 

Sample objectives  

Example KPIs  

Raising awareness on a specific EIT Food topic (download strategic agenda) in a set amount of time 

  • Page views/time on page of articles published on partner channels covering the topic
  • Event sign-ups 
  • Project hashtag reach 
  • Project mentions linked to the topic 


Increase engagement to create a conversation around a project by x% in set amount of time 

  • Hashtag engagement 
  • Likes, Comments, Shares 
  • Video views 
  • Number of changemakers sharing your project content/using your hashtag 

Securing media coverage in high quality media titles  

  • Media coverage 
  • Number of media mentions 
  • Social reshares/engagement with media articles 
  • Key message penetration 
  • Media titles covering the story 
  • Spokespeople quotes 

Increasing project interest and visibility: 

Increase website traffic to a specific project page such as Your EIT Food Project page by x% in set amount of time 

  • Page views  
  • Social traffic  
  • Referrals  

Driving registrations/sign-ups to a specific activity (paid advertising) 

  • Link Clicks 
  • Conversions 
  • Sign-ups 
  • Form completions 


More information on digital advertising here. 


Best practice example 

A best practice example of an EIT Food project promoting its work effectively can be found in the cross-channel campaign run by the team behind the EIT Food project “How the corona crisis affects consumer behaviour and consumer demand for food products and services”.  

This 2020 project, led by Aarhus University, Denmark, published a report titled, ‘COVID-19 impact on consumer food behaviours in Europe. The team developed a cross-channel plan to launch the consumer report and its findings to EU policymakers, EIT Food partners and other stakeholders across Europe. 


Target audiences  

  • EU food industry stakeholders (retail, HoReCa sector, trade organisations) 
  • EU policymakers in the agrifood sector. 

Channels activated 

The project partners tied the launch of the report in with an EIT Food event (The Future of Food Conference) and ran a cross-channel communications campaign, covering media, website, social media, paid-social media and Changemaker engagement activity.  

To reach the media, Aarhus University drafted a pan-European press release that was translated for each local language and adapted for each market to include the relevant local market statistics. This was pitched to the media with accompanying images, an infographic and the report itself, which led to extensive media coverage across multiple companies and markets: Full coverage book. 


Aarhus University also developed a ‘digital toolkit’ for the consortium of university and industry partners. The toolkit was made available so project partners and Changemakers involved in the research could promote the report on their own social channels and websites. The digital toolkit included draft social media posts, quote cards, the press release, facts and statistics and an infographic from the report. It also included branding guidelines and partner logos. 


Using the toolkit, partners and Changemakers created engaging content on their own channels. For example: 



The project partners ran the campaign in collaboration with the EIT Food editorial team and the report results were promoted on EIT Food channels as part of an end of year campaign on the impact of COVID-19. Several university partners retweeted EIT Food’s social posts about the report content, driving awareness of the project results among target audiences.  

Impact measurement 

Aarhus University and their partners measured the success and impact of the report launch using a mixture of qualitative and quantitative KPIs.  


These included: 

  • The number of pieces of online media coverage the report launch secured
  • The quality and relevance of the media coverage, measured by media titles that covered the report - for example, whether the report was written about in target European food trade titles, such as Food Navigator and in outlets with international reach, such as The Guardian and the Washington Post
  • Success was also measured by whether the report was covered by media outlets in all target markets. For example, coverage in the Spanish publication EFE was seen as a highlight
  • Coverage was also considered successful if it quoted one of the two leading spokespeople for the report - Saskia Nuijten, EIT Food or Professor Klaus Grunert, Aarhus University
  • Social media impact was measured by the number of engagements and link clinks on the paid social media post
  • The impact of the digital toolkit was measured by how many partners used the content across their own social and digital channels. 

For more information see the project’s full evaluation report. 

This article was last reviewed in March 2021 and will be reviewed again in July 2021.

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