Sustainable Cities Bulletin 1/2019

Communication is a vital component of any organization. Whether the purpose is to share knowledge, update each other of what is happening or why it is worth being a member to the leading network of cities in the Baltic Sea Region, effective communication is an integral issue.

As we know, good communication increases not only the visibility but also the impact of the organization. It activates members and makes new members interested in our action. Open and continuous communication increases our role and relevance as a noteworthy actor in the Baltic Sea Region and locally in our cities.

As the world is overwhelmed by the flood of information, but at the same time starving for accurate information, the established and ever developing interaction within our UBC network is a golden key to create good communication and excellent collaboration. The UBC family provides us with rich expertise in various fields and knowledge of local cultures, which according to research is one of the biggest challenges of international communication.

Ideally, communication is open, timely and as comprehensive as possible. To achieve all this, communication should not be seen as a separate island where only those assigned to communications tasks are employed. After all, communication is happening all the time as it is a multifaceted and proactive activity. Messages are exchanged in all directions: verbally at meetings & conferences, in webinars, in coffee tables, in our personal social media accounts... And that makes us all communicators, ambassadors of our network.

In addition, professionals know that timely Tweets by experts are much more interesting than those sent from an organization account, and that communicative influence is not necessarily made with big money, but with good ideas.

This also requires understanding the change and breaking some traditional organizational boundaries or hierarchies. Stakeholders and citizens require transparency and the opportunity to interact, and open and active interaction and culture have become an essential success factor for many organizations.

To be successful, organizations should also have comprehensive policies and strategies for communicating. Here at the UBC Sustainable Cities Commission Secretariat we are now updating our communication strategy and clarifying our work with everyday guidelines to make communicating more efficient.

Also, new know-how and ways of working can be found all the time. As an example, this spring our secretariat is switching off to Office 360 solution, which provides us with more flexible and social tools to chat, hold meetings and share files – all of which hopefully ease out project management and internal communication.

However, no technology can replace social contact that arises in a face-to-face encounter. Therefore I am looking forward to meeting you at our various events and conferences during this year!

And as the importance of communication in the operation of organizations is greater than ever before, I am encouraging you all to communicate actively! Now is the time to raise the results of our work. In order to separate ourselves in today's ocean of information and earn the trust of our target audiences, we need communication which brings out the results of our projects boldly.

Communicating the results shows that the work we do has positive effects in the BSR region and beyond. At the same time, successes and good practices can spread.

So take a look at our upcoming webinars and events, let us know what is going on and throw us with your ideas. As an example, in this newsletter we have the City Sounds Section dedicated to topical sustainability-related solutions and challenges from the UBC cities. We are looking forward to hearing more, don't hesitate to contact us!

Nuppu Ervasti
Communication and Network Manager
Union of the Baltic Cities - Sustainable Cities Commission