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SWP4.2 | Development of communication and promotion strategy


Inland waterway transport has proven to be a cost-efficient, reliable, safe and environmentally responsible way of transporting goods. However, the general public, potential customers and political decision makers do not always recognise these benefits properly. Targeted communication efforts are needed where perceptions do not seem to correspond with reality. A clear and pro-active communication strategy directed at logistics and political decision makers is therefore urgently needed.


Raise awareness among the general public and shippers on the opportunities and benefits of inland navigation by:

  • creating a coordinated and sustainable communication strategy;
  • creating a knowledge basis for national and EU-wide promotion and communication actions;
  • raising efficiency and effectiveness of communication and promotion efforts.

Description of work

PLATINA sets up a communication and promotion strategy to achieve well-defined objectives towards the target groups (e.g. manufacturing and logistics industry, politics, newsmen, general public). It provides guidance on how strategic communication works and how to change attitudes of target groups.

Based on the choice of the communication strategy, priorities and strategic communication issues are defined that are decisive for reputation-building. This is summarised in a strategic communication agenda which provides guidance for a national implementation.

Based on the strategic communication agenda and the guidelines for implementation a first set of basic tools is developed, such as IWT picture gallery, maps, visuals, etc. The strategic communication agenda together with a start-up box with communication tools provides a solid basis for start-up promotion and development centres as well as the existing network of promotion agencies. It raises the efficiency and effectiveness of communication initiatives.

Achievements January-May 2011

The following materials have been developed for the toolbox:

  • Standard slide presentation on IWT in Europe with main arteries and facts & figures as well as the framework where national organizers can integrate their national slides – Stock pictures or visual materials (free of rights) on IWT for use in press relations / communications. These will be available in the following themes: Infrastructure, Cargo, People, Vessels, Innovation, Charts, Technology, Environment, Transhipment.
  • A handbook for communicators about inland navigation
  • Useful case studies of companies using inland navigation
  • European statistics about inland navigation
  • A map for communication purposes that demonstrates the waterway network
  • A selection of posters that make the case for waterways

The press kit for barge to business and the promo video and screens European network at river dating was prepared already.

Sub-Work Package leader biography

Karin De Schepper (General Secretary): master's degree in maritime sciences as well as in translation from the University of Antwerp (Belgium), master's degree in international and European Community law from the Free University of Brussels (Belgium); strategic, operational and communication management of INE, cross-border contacts and networking, EU policy advice and coordination; member of drafting group for the NAIADES action programme; native speaker of Dutch, other languages: French, English, Portuguese, Spanish, Modern Greek and German.


3 questions to Karin De Schepper

  • What do you like most about your work?
    I enjoy the chance to do cross-border brainstorming on future-oriented logistics with colleagues from all kind of horizons
  • If you could have one wish for inland navigation, what would it be?
    I would like to see sustainable inland waterway transport as part of innovative freight solutions in every city with navigable waterways
  • What does PLATINA do for you?
    PLATINA is building a strategic network