NEWS12 August 2011

Echo to measure media perceptions of EU

Europe New business

EUROPE— Media and reputation analysis firm Echo Research has been named as the lead contractor to the European Commission for analysing perceptions of the EU in traditional and social media.

The new framework agreement, worth up to €7m over four years, also includes two other agencies (which the Commission has not yet named) chosen from nine who bid.

The appointment of the three agencies follows a year-long tender process, with work set to begin in September. The Commission said the research will contribute to the development of “a coherent, well targeted long-term communication and media relations strategy”.

Echo, which has offices in the UK, France, US and Singapore, was bought earlier this year by Ebiquity in a deal worth up to £10m.

Group CEO Sandra Macleod said that tracking people’s understanding, feelings and expectations regarding the EU will be “critical to supporting the challenges of ensuring an open debate, respectful dialogue and healthy democracy”.

Reports and dashboards will be produced for members of the European Commission and its divisions focusing on different policy areas.

The agencies will look at how the EU’s institutions, policies and activities are perceived by audiences in Europe and beyond, with a view to supporting the Commission’s communications. They will seek to identify the journalists and media outlets that are most influential, and to spot coverage that could have an effect on the Union’s activities or reputation.

The Commission said the work will be part of a system of “continuous feedback and learning”.