In an era where digital communication is of most importance, the European Digital Diplomacy Exchange (EDDE) Training held at the Jable Castle in Slovenia aimed to bolster the capabilities of government communicators in the digital realm. Hosted by the Centre for European Perspective (CEP), the two-day intensive training underscored the critical need for strategic digital messaging in combating disinformation and enhancing social cohesion. The event, titled “Improving Digital Strategic Messaging,” brought together almost thirty key stakeholders from Slovenian state institutions – from 10 ministries and 4 other state institutions, offering a robust agenda filled with expert-led sessions and practical exercises. The training’s objective was to equip participants with the tools and strategies necessary to navigate the complexities of digital communication effectively.

The training began with opening remarks from Michael Marble, the U.S. Embassy in Slovenia, Petra Bezjak Cirman, the Slovenian Government Communication Office, and Nina Čepon, the (CEP), highlighting the importance of strategic communication in the digital era. The first day of the training featured lectures on the theoretical aspects of strategic communication, including its role in fostering social unity, digital technologies driving social change, development of a strategic communication plan and components of a digital communication ecosystem. We also hosted a panel discussion providing comparative insights into strategic communication centralisation models from the U.S., North Macedonia, and Slovenia. On the second day, we touched upon the essential elements of designing a digital communication campaign, techniques for identifying and understanding the target audience, crafting policy messages and using digital media analytics. We also discussed ways to improve social media presence with concrete examples of Slovenian State Institutions. Lastly, we talked about countering disinformation with the use of strategic communication. 

Participants had quite a few practical activities going on as well. They had to develop strategic communication centralisation assessment and improvement, build a digital strategic communication strategy and design a digital strategic communication campaign.

The EDDE Training provided a learning experience for all attendees. The combination of experts’ insights, practical activities, and collaborative discussions ensured that participants left with a comprehensive understanding of digital strategic messaging. The training underscored the crucial role that strategic communication plays in fostering social cohesion, countering disinformation, and enhancing the overall effectiveness of government messaging.

The project is a result of cooperation between the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Embassy in Ljubljana, and the Centre for European Perspective.