Secretariat of the Latvian Presidency: Media Communications Consultancy for Cabinet of Ministers

Latvian presidency logo

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

Programme: Media Communications Consultancy for Cabinet of Ministers

(Delivered in Riga, Latvia, Autumn, 2014)

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

The communications consultancy for the cabinet of ministers was the second part of a wider media training programme delivered earlier in the year for senior government officials within the communications team of the Secretariat of the Latvian Presidency.

Before assuming the Presidency, senior ministers were keen to polish their media handling and interview skills as well as get a better feel for the policy and media landscape in Brussels. In addition, the Presidency, particularly in the run-up to and during the Eastern Partnership Summit 2015, would attract increased media attention from the international community, Brussels and domestic outlets and ministers wanted to be sufficiently prepared for this.

Our actions

Our extensive network of training consultants meant we were able to call on experts with real experience in dealing with the international media, advising ministers of former EU Presidencies and working with high-profile individuals and delegations.

The consultancy sessions were designed and developed based on the individual ministers attending. Our expert consultants devised tailored surgery-style meetings which could be adapted to suit each individual’s learning style and focus on any challenging areas or particular topics of interest. Where suitable and applicable, participants were given the opportunity to practice their interview skills on camera and given the opportunity for individual analysis and feedback.

At the heart of our consultancy sessions was the desire to create an encouraging and safe learning environment to generate fruitful dialogue and ensure participants felt at ease, regardless of their experience levels.

Conclusion

The feedback from the ministers and senior aides who attended the sessions was extremely positive. Delegates said they had been thoroughly impressed by the high professional standards and wealth of knowledge and experience demonstrated by the trainers. They also highlighted how the personalised and empathic approach and ability to create an atmosphere of trust and encouragement had made them feel very comfortable and able to ask questions and engage fully in the sessions.