Secretariat of the Latvian Presidency: Centralised training for the communication specialists involved in ensuring the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union

Latvian presidency logo

Client: Secretariat of the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, Latvia:

Programme: Centralised training for the communication specialists involved in ensuring the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union

(Delivered in Riga, Latvia, 2014)

  • Public written communication
  • Public communication over the Internet
  • Crisis communication

The client

The Secretariat of the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union (the Secretariat) was established in February 2012 and is responsible to the Foreign Minister. Its aim is to ensure that Latvia is adequately prepared for the Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2015 and to coordinate the work of the Presidency thereafter. http://www.am.gov.lv/en/news/press-releases/2012/may/secretariat/ Presidency official website http://www.es2015.lv/en/

The problem

Before assuming the Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2015, the Latvian Presidency’s Secretariat wanted to strengthen and hone their communications skills. Derived from different ministries within the Latvian government, Secretariat staff had varied prior knowledge and communications experience as well as differing levels of English.

Our actions

Dods Training won this prestigious contract in January 2014. It comprised three modules; Public written communication (16 hours), Public communication over the Internet (16 hours) and Crisis Communication (8 hours).

For all three modules, we worked directly with Secretariat staff to devise situations and case studies that would resonate with participants and enhance the benefits of the training. Where necessary, we conducted additional research, utilising recent and relevant examples from regional EU level to local Latvian level to make the sessions applicable to course delegates.

We worked closely with Secretariat staff and the Latvian School of Public Administration, the training venue, to coordinate logistics and ensure that we delivered the modules effectively and efficiently.

Whilst each course was standalone in terms of design and delivery, we specifically coordinated the modules to enhance and complement one another so participants built on prior learning as they progressed through the programme. The overall cumulative effect was to equip Secretariat communications professionals holistically with the skills and tools they needed to carry out their duties effectively in 2015.

Conclusions

The Public written communications module was delivered over a two-week period to approximately 40 professionals. It received outstanding feedback with 100% of participants agreeing that their objectives had been met. The second module, Public communication over the Internet, explored the importance of strategic online communication including social media and the third, Crisis communication, utilised a combination of theory and practical simulation to equip delegates with communication responses to emergencies and unforeseen circumstances during the Presidency. Again, both courses were very well received and have subsequently generated further projects in Latvia.