A number of channels are used to raise awareness about the fi-compass advisory services and online communication continues to expand. This is helping fi-compass to connect with more people who are interested in financial instruments under the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF). The fi-compass website remains the central knowledge hub for online advice and Bruno Robino, fi-compass team leader at the European Investment Bank, highlights that “The fi-compass hub has been visited more than 61 000 times since its launch in April 2015. We know that some 34 000 different copies of our advisory products like publications and event presentations have already been downloaded. This is a strong indication of the relevance of fi-compass advisory materials and it shows that these advisory services are reaching their intended target audience.”
Social media channels are also used to raise awareness about the advice and knowhow on ESIF financial instruments that is available through the hub. Mr Robino draws attention to the fact that “fi-compass now uses LinkedIn and YouTube as well as Twitter. Together, these three sites provide useful coverage and we would encourage the readers of our Beacon newsletter to follow us on these sites, which provide regular updates on new information about ESIF financial instruments.”
More new uses of the fi-compass social media channels will occur soon. In order to extend the online outreach even further the fi-compass team has carried out a screening of the social media channels that are most frequently used by fi-compass stakeholders. Findings have shown that the most popular social media channels (Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Facebook) are all used by authorities involved with ESIF, including managing authorities and financial intermediaries like banks. A high proportion of stakeholders use personal LinkedIn accounts and corporate LinkedIn pages are also used by organisations working with ESIF financial instruments.
LinkedIn’s potential for promoting dialogue between fi-compass stakeholders is being further tested. This has so far involved a pilot LinkedIn group that focused on the recent European Social Fund (ESF) events and helped the events’ presenters to network before each event.
The fi-compass Twitter service continues to relay news about ESIF financial instruments and this is often also used during fi-compass events. Quotations and conclusions from speakers as well as from the audience’s for instance were posted with the hashtag #ficompass during the recent ESF events. Mr Robino is keen to promote fi-compass comments on Twitter saying, “We invite fi-compass stakeholders to use this hashtag when referring to anything related to fi-compass on Twitter.”
New social media content is also available on the fi-compass YouTube channel. Subscribing to the channel alerts you when new content has been uploaded, and Mr Robino explains the type of information fi-compass subscribers can expect. “The YouTube playlists include video tutorials from fi-compass explaining practical information about ESIF financial instruments as well as awareness-raising on technical issues, such as seven steps to carry out an ex-ante assessment. The YouTube playlists also host short video interviews from fi-compass stakeholders who talk about their experiences with ESIF instruments. Other films offer impressions of what to expect from fi-compass events.”