On 9 December, the Baltic Sea Region identity, branding and communications were discussed at a one-day networking conference and kick-off-event of HA Promo* in Helsinki, Finland.
The countries and regions around the Baltic Sea Region have come closer during recent years. Is it only due to a community of interests or do we share more than that – values, norms and a “we-feeling”? If so, is it possible to boost joint promotion and regional identity building in the Baltic Sea Region?
The event marked the Kick-Off of HA Promo and brought together regional stakeholders and organisations as well as actors in the branding, promotion and communication areas to discuss “horizontal” aspects of regional cooperation. The many different events happening during the Turku Baltic Sea Days in June 2014 were presented by City of Turku, Finnish CBSS Presidency and Baltic Development Forum.
New Publication on Identity
During the seminar on Identity of the Baltic Sea Region, a new report “Facets of Identity?” was unveiled and served as the basis for discussion on the topic of identity by a panel consisting of representatives from the fields of branding, culture and communication as well as authors of the report. “The collection of articles in “Facets of Identity – the Baltic Sea Region and beyond” focuses on the scientifically re-searched facets of identity in different fields of knowledge”, says Prof. Bernd Henningsen, editor of the report. “They address very different experiences in dealing with identity materials: how does one live as a Russian person in a formerly German territory? What can a Lithuanian tell us about Baltic consciousness? What angle does a Finnish historian have, living as they do between Russia and Sweden? And again and again, the question arises of what meaning this has for a person who is an immigrant to strange land, in another ethnic and cultural community.”
The report is second of its kind. In 2011, BDF, together with Prof. Bernd Henningsen, published the first ever report on Baltic Sea Region identity issues titled “On Identity – No Identity: An Essay on the Constructions, Possibilities and Necessities for Understanding a European Macro Region: The Baltic Sea”.
Experts and strategists from cross-media, blogosphere, media and corporate communication fields gave input and recommendations to the Communication Expert meeting with NewsWave. Among the various topics discussed the most prominent were new channels/methods to disseminate project stories and to promote the EUSBSR as well as how to improve NewsWave and make it sustainable in the future.
Moreover, Helsinki gathered the first Steering Group for HA Promo where stakeholders of the EU Strategy were represented by PA Innovation, HA Neighbor, HA Sustainability, HA Promo, Swedish Focal Point HA Promo and DG Regio. Among topics discussed were how to work with regional branding and promotion across the Strategy. Attracting talents and investments were emphasized as joint keywords.
The event was organised by BDF and BaltMet, in cooperation with the Finnish CBSS Presidency and City of Turku.
*HA Promo is one of the so-called horizontal action areas in the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. It is led by BDF and BaltMet. Our tasks are to coordinate and support activities across the Strategy to boost joint promotion and regional identity building.