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Promoting a national event with no advertising dollars and a limited public relations budget was the challenge facing organisers of Sustainable House Day (SHD) 2009. Held on Sunday 13 September 2009, the day gave thousands of people the chance to visit private and display homes across Australia to learn from homeowners, architects, builders, designers and energy auditors about sustainable living practices. While the event had been relatively successful in its eight year history, support was beginning to wane pointing to the need for a major shakeup of the event itself as well as a rejuvenated communications strategy. Through strategic targeting of media, event changes (such as the introduction of free entry to homes) and the establishment of dynamic, online community forums that encouraged people to exchange sustainable ideas, stories and experiences, SHD 2009 can only be described as an outstanding success. More than 31,000 people visited 183 homes across six states – a record in the event’s eight-year history – with nine out of 10 saying it had increased their likelihood of using sustainable practices in their own homes. Eight years ago SHD was created to encourage people to embrace renewable energy, recycling and other practices designed to lessen the impact on the environment. Deventer Public Relations and Communications was commissioned to implement an extensive communications campaign for the 2009 event including print, radio, television and online media.
However, a limited budget would have curtailed activities significantly so an Internship in conjunction with the University of SA was established to allow better outcomes, with Deventer PR charging for its work but not for activities completed by the student.
In addition, while environmental issues garner a decent amount of media attention, the fact that the event was in its eighth year and that there was nothing "new" to convey presented challenges. For the event to succeed, it was clear that strong, newsworthy angles and new communication channels to reach audiences needed to be developed. SHD organisers had access to extensive information on who attends the event, why and whether the event increases their likelihood of implementing sustainable activities at home through exit surveys of participants conducted over previous years.
Analysis of website chatrooms and other forms of media also showed confusion on Government rebates and incentives. Desktop analysis of academic and media reports found that there were numerous people keen to "do their bit" for the environment but too busy to change habits.
Feedback from those at the coalface – SHD home owner participants – was also critical, informing both the product offering and messaging. Specific strategies were also developed for the media, considered in this instance to be more a vehicle for communicating rather than a target public in its own right. Key messages were developed for each primary public and from this, a communication plan was tailored to determine the most effective channels for distribution in order to achieve SHD 2009 communication objectives. An extensive PR calendar (APPENDIX A1) was developed that outlined all the activities that needed to be completed, and timelines for completion. Planning commenced in May 2009 and regular meetings were held with SHD organisers, sponsors, industry personnel and community groups in the lead up to the event to keep stakeholders up to date across several issues.
A comprehensive database comprising home owners, community groups industry and media involved with SHD was also developed along with an extensive media kit which provided inspiring and detailed information about the event, copyright photos and film footage, fact sheets and media releases. SHD 2009 was a resounding success with more than 31,000 people visiting 183 sustainable homes across the country, exceeding all expectations and setting records for the number of participating homes and visitors to the event.
Feedback has been excellent with homeowners praising the high levels of publicity generated about the event resulting in increased visitation while visitors were impressed with the quality of advice received as well as the range of homes and sustainable living elements on show.
The overarching goal to encourage more Australians to adopt sustainable living practices in their own homes through the provision of free, unbiased advice was also exceeded. Of the one in 10 who responded that the event would not impact on their activities, the vast majority indicated they were already committed to sustainability principles and therefore unable to learn anything "new". The findings also showed that 40% of SHD survey respondents found out about the event through local newspapers or major daily papers.
Media Monitors recorded 310 media items relating to SHD from 5 June to 30 September 2009 - a 42% increase from 2008. A significant number (78) of radio reports and interviews were aired across the country, particularly on ABC radio and community stations. With an event spanning the entire continent and limited resources available, Sustainable House Day 2009 surpassed all expectations. Headline Targets The Commission proposes the following EU headline targets: 75 % of the population aged 20-64 should be employed. Seven Flagship Initiatives Smart growth "Innovation Union" to improve framework conditions and access to finance for research and innovation so as to ensure that innovative ideas can be turned into products and services that create growth and jobs.

Reinforcing strategic programming: thematic concentration on Europe 2020 Strategic programming process, which involves the introduction of the Common Strategic Framework, Partnership Contracts, and a menu of thematic objectives in line with the Europe 2020 strategy and its integrated guidelines. Increase performance and conditionalities Ex ante conditionality for the funds ensure that the conditions necessary for their effective support are in place.
Integrated approach and strategic programming geared towards results The Commission proposes a more integrated approach to EU investment, including common eligibility and financial rules, and the introduction of multi-fund programs for the ERDF, ESF and Cohesion Fund, as an option. ESF The European Social Fund (ESF) is the European Union’s main financial instrument for investing in people.
ESF II Strengthening thematic concentration: In line with the EU’s commitment to inclusive growth, at least 20 % of the ESF should be allocated to promoting social inclusion and combating poverty. Cohesion Fund The Cohesion Fund helps Member States with a GNI per inhabitant of less than 90 % of the EU-27 average to invest in TEN-T transport networks and the environment. ERDF The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) aims to strengthen economic, social and territorial cohesion in the European Union by correcting imbalances between regions. ERDF II Strengthening Thematic Concentration: Minimum allocations are set for a number of priority areas. Territorial cooperation European Territorial Cooperation is a goal of cohesion policy and provides a framework for the exchanges of experience between national, regional and local actors from different Member States, as well as joint action to find common solutions to shared problems. Criticism Reduction of funds compared to previous programming period – changes in allocation What funds for Greece? 1 European Union Regional Policy – Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion EU Cohesion Policy 2014-2020 Proposals from the European Commission. Europe 2020 Slovenia 2014-2020 DANILO CEH Scientific Research Centre BISTRA PTUJ Workshop -- project REG-NET 18. Regional Policy European Cohesion Policy 2014- 2020 closely linked with EU2020 13th Insuleur Forum - Malta 8 November 2013 M Haapakka DG Regional and Urban. The new European Regional Development Fund: principles and priorities Jose Luis Tato Head of the Unit of coordination of european policies DG economic. Engage and empower communities to collaboratively plan natural resource management (NRM) to meet community needs over the long-term.
Collaborate with tribes and native organizations on projects that engage native peoples in promoting the Tongass as a native place and integrate the restoration of traditional and cultural rights and activities in public land management. Work on community, agency and NGO capacity development by providing access to various forms of capital in order to implement people and place projects, such as, connecting people to money, community organizing skills, job-training, communication skills, resource management knowledge, political power, etc. Use demonstration projects to promote changes in agency budgets, policies and institutional norms that can enable communities to develop sustainable, prosperous and resilient ways of life in the Tongass National Forest. Promote and participate in ecological restoration by providing funding or in-kind resources, engaging communities in identifying priorities and planning for outcomes, increasing local capacity for conducting restoration work, engaging volunteers and youth populations, etc.
This strategy includes activities that provide research results and analytical tools that can fill critical information gaps and be integrated into social, economic and cultural development projects. This strategy includes activities that promote policies and changes to institutional norms that can serve to create an enabling environment for sustainable community-based natural resource management.
Develop activities that report on People and Place projects in such a way that cultural norms and identities are actively transformed to embrace the balance of social and ecological sustainability, prosperity and resilience. In addition, the offering itself needed to be reviewed to ensure it resonated with the public’s needs. This led to initiatives in 2009 such as opening homes for free (in previous years entry fees were charged).
Similarly, this finding was used to ensure such information was made available at participating homes during the 2009 event. Television coverage also increased dramatically from just two reports in 2008 to 16 in 2009. Not only did it raise awareness about sustainable living, it helped more Australians to adopt sustainable living practices in their own homes. The proposals also set out an integrated approach to community-led local development, which facilitates the implementation of local development strategies by community groups including local authorities, NGOs, and economic and social partners, based on the LEADER approach used for rural development. It increases the employment opportunities of European citizens, promotes better education, and improves the situation of the most vulnerable people at risk of poverty.

In addition, programs should concentrate funding on a limited number of ‘investment priorities’ that set out the details of each thematic objective. Supporting thematic concentration: In the field of environment, the Cohesion Fund will support investment in climate change adaptation and risk prevention as well as investment in the water and waste sectors, and the urban environment. For example, in more developed and transition regions, at least 80 % of ERDF resources at national level should be allocated to energy efficiency and renewables, innovation and SME support, of which at least 20 % should be allocated to energy efficiency and renewables.
A separate regulation is proposed for European Territorial Cooperation to take better account of the multi country context of the programs.
Design activities to serve as a useful rallying points for broad-based collaboration, provide useful information to adaptive management and recognize the importance of the non-material and “healing” elements of restoration work.
Lynsey Hughes wrote an article titled "Green homes open day" (APPENDIX A4) which was syndicated to 27 suburban news publications across Australia. Partnership Contracts, agreed at the outset between the Commission and Member States will set out the overall contribution, at national level, to the thematic objectives and the commitments to concrete actions to deliver Europe 2020 objectives. Ex post conditionality will strengthen the focus on performance and the attainment of Europe 2020 goals. The Commission proposes a more results-oriented programming process to improve the effectiveness of cohesion policy programs. Investment in energy would also be eligible for support, provided it has positive environmental benefits. Less developed regions will have a broader range of investment priorities to choose from, reflecting their wider development needs. Create projects and implement activities that foster sustainable business and market development. Adaptive management and education activities should increase the capacity of social, economic and environmental systems to adapt to change by institutionalizing a process of continued learning that is transparent, credible, communicable and relevant. Attempt to contribute to a holistic narrative on demonstrating a transition to a sustainable and vital society. The share of early school leavers should be under 10% and at least 40% of the younger generation should have a tertiary degree. Sustainable growth "Resource efficient Europe" to help decouple economic growth from the use of resources, support the shift towards a low carbon economy, increase the use of renewable energy sources, modernize our transport sector and promote energy efficiency. It will be based on the achievement of milestones related to targets linked to Europe 2020, set for programs covered by the Partnership Contract. But they will have to devote at least 50 % of ERDF resources to energy efficiency and renewables, innovation and SME support. This includes the continuation of the mechanism for the transfer of resources for cooperation activities (ENPI) and the instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance.
A total of 5 % of the national allocation of each fund will be set aside and allocated, during a mid-term review, to the Member States for the programs that have fully met their milestones.
The Joint Action Plan will be defined and managed in relation to the outputs and results, which will contribute to the objectives of a program. In the field of transport, in addition to the TEN-T network, the Cohesion Fund will contribute to investments in low-carbon transport systems and urban transport.
Reinforcing Territorial Cohesion: The proposed regulation provides for an increased focus on sustainable urban development. Inclusive growth "An agenda for new skills and jobs" to modernize labor markets and empower people by developing their of skills throughout the lifecycle with a view to increase labor participation and better match labor supply and demand, including through labor mobility. Macroeconomic conditionalities: Establishing a closer link between cohesion policy and the economic governance of the Union will ensure that the effectiveness of expenditure under the Common Strategic Framework (CSF) Funds is underpinned by sound economic policies. This should be achieved through the earmarking of a minimum of 5 % of ERDF resources for sustainable urban development, the establishment of an urban development platform to promote capacity building and exchanges of experience, and the adoption of a list of cities where integrated actions for sustainable urban development will be implemented. Where a Member State fails to take effective action in the context of the economic governance process, the Commission should have the right to suspend all or part of the payments and commitments.

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