ETRO – Department of Engineering in ICT & Electronics at VUB (Vrije Universiteit Brussels)

Setting

In 2017, Utopia celebrated the 500th anniversary of the book Utopia by Thomas More, first published in Leuven. YOUtopia was the socio-cultural sisterproject to bring Leuvenaars together.

The next few years the city of Leuven installed People’s Canopies – moveable art installations – in different locations around the city that have been neglected or lack cultural space. They will house various functions including workshops, events, and art performances.

Challenge

Changing the public space to involve all Leuvenaars with YOUtopia, and start a dialogue on the future of Leuven through participative actions broadcasted by communication and PR.

Tijdens het stadsfestival droomde Leuven van positieve verandering. Iedereen werd uitgedaagd om op zijn eigen manier na te denken over een betere, mooiere en rechtvaardigere stad en wereld. Het diverse programma sprak uiteenlopende doelgroepen en interesses aan.

Scope

  • Strategy
  • Web Design
  • Creative Direction
  • PR
  • Communication

Time

  • 2016 – 2017

Our approach: storytelling around the art-installation, and

Exploring the playfield: current and wanted position

The project started by doing market research: a competitor and target audience analysis gave us insight in the playing field, our target audiences and their desires, and competitor-communication that works.

Through brainstorming and cocreation sessions with professors, PhDs and often with Levuur (experts in participation), we investigated ETRO’s identity and story. The result: a new slogan, and a new company culture around science communication.

Strategy & Creation

The creation and launching phase, we codesigned a new website the engineers are building, and set up a content strategy and governance structure so the teaam itself can communicate technical matters. With young, talented, and tech savy PhDs in-house, ETRO aims to set up an influencer culture to inspire future generations.

1

Market Research

Competitor & Target Audience Analysis to understand the playing field, and ETRO's current position.
2

Brainstormings & Cocreation

Brainstormings & Cocreation Sessions to determine ETRO's identity and its position.
3

Strategy

The result: a marcom-strategy with a new position, identity and strategy.
4

Creation

Cocreation sessions to design the new website, and set up a content strategy in which the department members themselves create content.
5

Launching, Testing, Monitorring & Iterating

Coming soon.

Project Outcome

A mentality-shift: internal science communication team & PhDs as STEM-influencers

Every member of the department is now encouraged to promote their research in a compelling way. With the new website under development, each engineer will have their channel. An internal marcom-team is now in place: people have been assigned roles, so the department itself is engaged in science communication.

“The brainstorm sessions helped us knowing better how we are as individuals and as a group. They also helped understanding how ETROs wide expertise could/should be integrated as a whole.”

Participant SessionPhD at ETRO
43
PhDs & Professors collaborated actively in 6 sessions
13
Got an active role in the new communication team