Interview with Daniel Matilla, Communications Manager at Sustainable Innovations

How do you measure the success of your communication strategies for the NEXTCELL project?

We do it through various metrics, such as website traffic, social media engagement, newsletters’ open rate, and the number of attendees at our events and webinars. We also look at media coverage and the feedback we receive from our stakeholders. By analysing these metrics, we can be aware of the reach and impact of our communications and adjust our strategies as needed to ensure we are effectively conveying our messages.


Can you explain a particular challenge you faced in communicating the goals of NEXTCELL and how you overcame it?

One challenge we faced was making the technical aspects of our project accessible to a broader audience for the main communication materials, such as the website or printable materials (brochure, poster, project presentation, etc.). We tried to understand the technical part of the project’s Grant Agreement (the contract specifying all the work planned for the project). We then wrote some drafts that we sent to the technical team to check in terms of accuracy, and also, for example, to see if the highlighted information (for example, headings or texts in bold) was the key one. This is the main challenge when it comes to communicating scientific projects: translating complex information into simple, engaging (as much as possible) content. We used visuals like the infographic of the cell in the brochure, which I think is quite self-explanatory.


How do you ensure that the communication about NEXTCELL remains consistent across all partners and platforms?

This is a very important point, as because of the intercultural nature of the project (with partners from many different countries and many kinds of organisations, from universities to large companies) it is a challenge to achieve consistency in our communication. Consistency is crucial to creating a solid brand image that leads to more effective communication: if someone is capable of identifying that is your project the one who is talking, they will probably remember the previous messages that were sent, so then will be easier to relate complex information for that person instead of, for example, researching it again and again on google.

To achieve this, we maintain a shared communication plan (that indeed, is public and available on our website), that we update, and set at the beginning of the projects some guidelines that all partners follow. Regular coordination meetings and updates on the project’s advancements in terms of communication and dissemination ensure also that everyone is on the same page. We also use templates and almost every action is shared with the communication manager (that is, me) to ensure that the strategies followed are the right ones.