Smart communication with citizens is the ultimate green source. And yes, it’s renewable

DISCLAIMER: All opinions in this column reflect the views of the author(s), not of EURACTIV Media network.

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Pomilio Blumm is a communication company working for international institutions. The President Franco Pomilio explains why to have a “working” green deal, even in times of COVID, we need to involve citizens using new technologies and EU shared values, starting from the european cultural heritage

The EU plans for the future are focused on environment and economics, the Green Deal can be an epochal moment for the european history, the backbone of a new development, vital in difficult times EU is facing due to COVID-19. While most of the debate is now focusing on the rules, the real testing ground of the EU green policies will be whether citizens will “join the game”, so the dialogue with citizens will be essential. We spoke about citizens involvement with Franco Pomilio, president of Pomilio Blumm and author of books on the topic. Pomilio Blumm represents one of the fastest-growing players within the public institutions communication niche, recently ranked among the “Top 5 Most-contracted Companies” by the international platform Assortis in its report on EU companies. Pomilio Blumm’s has offices in every EU country, but also in extra EU post-Soviet states, in the Balkans area, in Africa and Oceania, giving to the agency a rich “cultural portfolio”, and as founder of the UEN Network, over 103 offices in the world.  Among Pomilio’s customers ECB, the EU Commission, the EU Parliament and the UN/WHO.

Why there is no real green deal without communication with citizens?

Citizens are the engine of every revolution, if we want Europe to lead globally the green change, we can’t risk to leave them behind. The era when in the EU bureaucracy took precedence over dialogue with citizens has reached its end, making room for the development of a more virtuous informational environment – aligning perfectly with Pomilio Blumm’s mission. The European Union needs to engage cultures and values, to make all the population part of the change, and to do that the messages must be deep rooted into european culture, while the methodology must be up-to-date with the evolution of societies and media.

It sounds like an impossible mission

Not impossible, just in need of a proper strategy. For this reason Pomilio Blumm created a series of innovative tools: for example the “Moral Mapping” helps making a content more suited for the population, coherent to their moral values, thus more credible. Pomilio Blumm also created the “Resilience Compass”, allowing a message to maintain effectiveness in a mutating communicative ecosystem. There are also tools to understand if things worked well and why, as the Blumm Event Evaluator. This is how we create a chain of values, necessary to involve citizens even during epochal matters: in these days we are helping governments, the EU Parliament and the EU Commission to face the COVID emergency, making essential messages comprehensible in every member country.

Why is a chain of values necessary for the communication with citizens?

Given the importance of media and their digital evolution, the focus must be on culture, heritage, psychology, love. The EU needs a ‘storifying’ process to reflect its unique blend of cultures and priorities. Our tools and methods come from the investigation of Europe’s ‘genetic map’, by engaging humanist sensibilities and technological capabilities – ranging from semiotics to neuromarketing, from resilience sciences to charismatic robots and from visual languages to an innovative approach of ‘sonification’. To authore a reliable EU institutional narrative, our labs asked to the world’s brightest minds to help us to design the pillars of our approach.

Can you tell us any names?

Biz Stone (founder of Twitter), Umberto Eco (founder of modern semiotics), Daniel Libeskind (the master planner of the new ‘Ground Zero’), Baruch Lev (theorist of intangibles) and dozens of other brilliant visionaries, contributed to the development of 73 innovative and fully-patented  tools, tailored and applicable to a changing Europe.  To the risks the citizens feel cut out, we answer with a demonstrable ‘still-in-progress’ citizen-oriented information flow, designed through the expertise of legendary university departments  worldwide – including the University of Bologna (the ‘alma mater’ of all universities), the Heriot-Watt University, the Ud’A, Humana Analytics and the University of Oregon. Our communication projects  stem from a chain of multiple labs, brains, cultures, curriculums, distributed all over Europe.

A sort of intercultural “assembly line”?

That’s actually what Pomilio Blumm did by founding years ago the Ultra European Network (UEN). An active professional ecosystem consisting of agencies and organisations from 27 EU nations, it has since expanded to 103 offices and 7200 professionals located across the world, wherever EU values ‘beat.’ UEN-Pomilio Blumm was ranked the world’s leading institutional communication group, occupying third place within the PR+advertising+institutional ‘macrosector,’ with up to €740 million in income, according to a recent research conducted by the ‘Business Planning’ Chair of UdA University.

To create institutions/citizen communication, how important is the cultural heritage?

It’s the key to understanding social sentiments and interactions with large citizen communities. Pomilio Blumm studies it from the fundamentals, thanks to art, our “secret lab”. Artists can foresee the shape of a society yet to come, before any researcher. Take the vibrant Sixties: the United States’ Advertising, marketing and PR practices were perfectly embodied by Andy Warhol’s Pop Art, celebrating the ‘golden couple’, product and consumer. Conversely, the Arte Povera (‘Poor Art’) movement within the ‘old continent,’ viewed art as a social response, an environmental project, and an alphabet of civic values – predicting today’s global challenges.

How do you “question” artists?

We invest in avant-garde artistic processes – powered by Sky Arte and several ‘giants’ from the Arte Povera movement. Art can give us so much and reminds us that institutions do not sell anything, nor do citizens buy anything – they work together for values and social progress. This is the wholesome vocation that the EU has actualised… and it is Pomilio’s vocation as well.

Talking about culture, how important is to be european to create a EU narrative?

It is very important where you start from, on what basis you build your method. Despite the EU being a value-based union, the EU’s consultancy scene is crowded with companies from the USA, the United Kingdom, and East Asia – a majority of which focuses on ‘producer to consumer’ philosophies, and thus interpret and manage the EU’s crucial tasks with rather inappropriate, ‘commercial’ methods and strictly corporate vertical specialisation schemes. In requesting for “recovery funds”and green deals the EU is asking for dialogue, integrated flows, the sharing of market risks and opportunities. We strongly believe that verticality does not serve Europe’s changing needs. Effective solutions to Europe’s ‘communicative future’ can only result from analyses that are deep-rooted within EU culture, coupled with a Europe-centred approach.

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