Page tree
Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

The most recent opportunity to get together to share ideas, experiences and best practices was on 27-29 September 2016, when SIG-Marcomms was hosted by EENet of HITSA in Tallinn, Estonia.

Venue address: Tallinn University, Uus-Sadama 5, Tallinn

Registration is closed: to see the participant list, visit the EventR registration page




27 Sep
13:45-14:00Welcome, introductions and agendaLonneke Walk (SURFnet - Chair)
& Laura Durnford (GÉANT -
14:00-14:05Welcome by host organisationErki Urva (HITSA CEO) 

HITSA formed by merger of EENet (oldest part nearly 25 yrs), Estonian IT foundation for colleges, and an institution to bring internet into schools. Around 100 emplyees, in 2 towns, 50 million euro budget per year. IT in education HITSA's focus, so supports and finances IT in education projects, and systems, e.g. university admissions systems, training. Want IT support infrastucture for all ministries of education and research, so provide customer support for users. EENet will see lots of positive devpts in futre. In coming 5 years will invest 15 million euros in rebuilding school networks, financed by EU structural funds. There are 1.3 million people spread over country size of NL, so are many small schools spread across countryside, but now consolidating many so by 2020 around 100 fewer. A challenge is that according to EU rules can only put into schools that will still be open for 5+ years. HITSA is mostly governmentt funded but a little also from fees from IT colleges. EENet provides some services for money, and there’s some sponsorship – IT academy is sponsored by Skype. Balance of revenue unlikely to change. After 2020 will see end to EC structural funds.

14:05-14:25HITSA organisation & marcomms
Egert Anslan (HITSA)Egert's slides as pdf,
and as pptx

HITSA founding parties include ministry of education, universities that are teaching these fields, Estonian Telecoms. Daily work includes representing various interest groups, communicating to different audiences, variety of messages etc. Specialists are always somewhere else, you get your timeframe from others, how to make everybody happy? Can influence one group by influencing another. Have forums where ask questions we need ansers to, don’t rely on what technical colleagues think is needed. Many departments bring tasks all at the same time so timing is crucial. Have created processes to organise the timing as best as possible, so give ‘rules’ for how project people can get to you – e.g. fill in a form requesting a press release at least 2 days in advance of publications – have communicated those rules – e.g. if want giveways. Ability to say no / not now to projects clamouring for last minute attention. Key is to know what are the biggest and most important projects for the coming year and to be involved even earlier in their planning so can explain the marketing viewpoint. Have projects that are less technical, so e.g. technology day for kids, with exhibition space, workshops, dealers to sell technical stuff, universities there etc. Planning to do a YouTuber contest – we want to create YouTubers to cooperate with as technology reporters. Biggest robotics competition in Europe, we are organising and supporting. These fields give plenty of opportunities to be creative.

*Jisc is going though a phase where the marcomms team is taking control of the planning process based on evidence of what users need, rather than driven by any project. SURFnet marcomms also try to be in a new project immediately, asking what’s the benefit, is it suitable for our audience, and if it’s not then maybe we shouldn’t do it / do it differently. Marcomms team has audience feedback so should act as a representative of the audience.

*Sometimes projects evolve to produce services / products. In Finland NREN marcomms have tried to convey that if the minister of education wants to develop services within a project, but there ’s no finance to sustain it afterwards as a service, that's no good. It’s a way of undermining your reputation for reliability if everything made in a project dies after a few years.

14:25:14:35EENet organisation & marcomms
Maria Ristkok (EENet of HITSA)Maria's slides as pdf,
and as pptx

EENet's 10 gig optical backbone work will continue with state research infrastructure roadmap project. Now have connectivity to Funet, Helsinki and via there to NORDUnet and Russia. Offer web hosting, emails, mailing lists, domain registration, collection of free software instructions, virtual private server cloud, have 72 terabyte storage. Lot of work going on in AAI development – have developed TAAT infrastructure for research, identity management solution for education will be taken up in the schools project that Erki mentioned. Customer support is part of what they do. User surveys since 1988, now only every few years. Projects a big area. Past 2 years been active in GN4-2 covering a large area not just the networking, but also platform innovation, trust and identity development, Compendium, project communications. Grid and E-IRG activities too. What has ‘sold’ well – annual computer drawing competition. ‘Time path’ is this year’s theme. Has become so popular we no longer have to market it. Nature webcameras have also become so popular that people see them all over the world. Anniversary a few years ago was also a good opportunity for marketing. Not enough time to do social media regularly so computer drawing competition has a Facebook page and during the anniversary started Twitter – but intermittent. Challenge – lack of resource and the profile of EENet is different from HITSA's, so there's a need for messages that are not covered in HITSA overall.

14:35-15:15NREN UPDATES
 Update on CSC marcomms activitiesTiina Leiponen (CSC)Tiina's slides as pdf,
as pptx

CSC runs the Funet network, but is so much more than a research network - a one-stop-shop for r&e, with 280 people. CSC service portfolio - Funet network services are only part of it. Computing services, research information management services. Over 100 training days per year on HPC, research networks etc. Do a lot of consultation and servces tailored for ministries. Undergoing a strategy change, biggest in our history – parliament debating how much we can deal to companies – previously 10% of our turnover but may cap it at significantly less. If not allowed to sell to them (cloud computing, software devlopment code optimisation, training) in future need to figure out another way to do business with them. Mission – more international and digital services. Preservation services to keep digital content e.g. libraries, museums, galleries is a speciality. Try to get recognition for data analytics hub and train the public sector in this. Have been solely offering services for universities and higher education institutions, but now entering into the general schools area – new partnerships, new services, new needs - strategy there is to be an enabler. Funet network services: eduroam, certificates via GÉANT, Haka federation, lightpaths, some are included in membership fee, some are extra cost.

New at CSC: 30% of shares will be given to higher education institution ownership. Then they can buy our services in house. So will get 2 new board members from universities. Account management system was started in 2013. Started a sales function – atypical in NRENs. New CRM  is Microsoft – produce newsletters with it too – not allowed to send marketing information to people you don’t know and who don’t want it so need a solution. Brand journey started this year – so e.g. quality managing photos. Have been promoting datacentre faciltities.

15:15-15:30COFFEE / TEA / EMAILS   
15:30-17:00 African PR Network follow up   
 Key points from the pre-TNC16 panel
discussion - what can we learn?
Manuella Abram (GÉANT)Manu's slides as pdf,
and as pptx

The TNC16 discussion was good for the African NRENs to share experience and see what can learn from each other, challenges etc. A lot of them are at the stage of lobbying government and possible funders etc, so a lot of their comms is to get their input. The regional organisation had more resources and could do more outreach, organise a regional conference. Some of the learning in the session was that comms is not just the role of one person but everyone in the organisation can play a role. It created momentum – have been lots of discussions in the AfricaConnect project mailing list, how we define what we do, bring value etc. On the Case for NRENs portal – how does your NREN present itself to its stakeholders, CEOs now more involved in comms, discuss messaging etc. All these discussions pan-African now, not just kept within 1 partner. Now also including Chad, Sierra Leone, and Guinea – they’re a driving force because they’re new, hungry and they want to make things happen. Since Prague they have shared contacts and stories. AfriGeos will be a tactical project for comms. Uganda Ubuntunet conference will include a comms workshop for NREN CEOs, comms, IT people whoever . The SIG-Marcomms work and experience can feed into that. If anyone wants to particpate remotely or in the design / content, let Manu know. Won’t be a GÉANT workshop but an African one so they will produce the content.

 Practical progress - review of group
hands-on session
in smaller groups
 The group reviewed the old TF-CPR toolkit of 'How to...' documents on the (old) TERENA website at They agreed that there is still value in materials of this kind being available and concluded that the documents about how to make Annual Reports, corporate brochures and how to promote PeaR should be scrapped. The ones about selling NREN services, designing websites and reaching end users should be re-focused and updated, and the ones about live streaming, writing press releases, organising a press conference, presenting effectively, drafting a PR strategy, and planning a usability test should all be updated. Three documents were chosen and some short time was given to commenting on specific updates that should be made. These will be collected for work to be followed up. 
17:00-17:15Day summaryLonneke  
Evening - 19:30DINNER details TBC   
28 Sep
09:00-09:15ARRIVAL, EMAILS   
09:15-10:45GÉANT Project updates - part 1   
 Clouds services workshop - update
on the IaaS tender and how to
promote uptake
Lars Fuglevaag (UNINETT)Lars's slides as pdf,
and as pptx
10:45-11:15COFFEE / TEA   
11:15-11:45GÉANT restructure & activities
Cathrin StöverCathrin's slides as pdf,
and as pptx
11:45-12:45Challenge us to your challenges -
OpenSpace session
12:45-13:45LUNCH AND EMAILSLunch kindly provided
by EENet
13:45-14:30GÉANT Project updates - part 2
 overview (15 mins)Manuella Abram (GÉANT)Manu's slides as pdf,
and as pptx
 partner representations of the project
(30 mins including discussion)
Audrey Gerber (IUCC) via VCAudrey's slides as pdf,
and as pptx
14:30-14:55NREN UPDATES
A case of crisis communications and
lessons learned

Laetitia Lagneau (Belnet)

Laetitia's slides as pdf,
and as pptx

14:55-15:15Introduction to the AARC projectLaura Durnford (GÉANT)Laura's slides as pdf,
and as pptx
15:15-15:45COFFEE / TEA / EMAILS   

 The GÉANT Community Programme   
15:45-16:30Introducing the GCP and the GCC +
SIGs and TFs overview and
opportunities - discussion
Valter Nordh (SUNET -
chair of the GCC)
Valter's slides as pdf,
and as pptx
16:30-17:00How does the proposed new task
force on research engagement
potentially fit alongside
SIG-Marcomms? (30 mins)
Sylvia Kuijpers (SURFnet)
& Jakob Tendel (DFN)
Sylvia & Jakob's slides
as pdf
and as pptx
17:00-17:15day wrap upLonneke  
EveningDinnerKindly provided by the
GÉANT Project
29 Sep
09:00-09:10ARRIVALS, EMAILS   
09:10-10:20Towards better blogging - part 1   
 How blogging fits in the overall
communications stratgey - Jisc's
experience (20 mins)
Tom Mitchell (Jisc)Tom's slides as pdf,
and as pptx
 Community blogging challenges -
the GÉANT experience (5 mins)
Laura Durnford (GÉANT)  
 Community blogging training - the
SURFnet experience (10 mins)
Jan Michielsen (SURFnet)  
 Discussion (20 mins)   
10:10-10:25COFFEE & EMAIL TIME   
10:25-12:25Towards better blogging - part 2   

Blogging training & feedback (1 hour)

Jan Michielsen (SURFnet)

Jan's slides as pdf,
and as pptx
 Discussion about the training & how to
follow up in the wider community
(25 mins)
 Disseminating blogs - the Jisc
experience (20 mins)
Tom Mitchell (Jisc)Tom's slides as pdf,
and as pptx
 Discussion - blog dissemination and
tying it into your communications
strategy (15 mins)
12:25-12:35Meeting survey   
12:35-12:40Meeting review, next meeting, wrap upLonneke  

Lunch kindly provided
by EENet


If you have ideas for topics for future meetings, please contact or add them into the agenda suggestions page.

  • No labels