The slogan of the winning students’ campaign “Start Yourself Up!” best illustrates BiH students’ views on socio economic reforms. In their messages, students showed that they have the vision, the energy and the will to help their country on its path to the European Union.
Through the project, symbolically titled ‘EU for You – #E4U’, the Office of the EU Special Representative (EUSR) wanted to encourage students to talk about socioeconomic reforms, the challenges young people are facing, as well as to describe the problems they have needed to overcome in starting their professional careers, giving their proposals on how these problems can be solved. By participating in the project, they were tasked to devise and implement public campaigns, by January this year, in which they would represent their views on these matters, primarily to their student peers, young people in BiH and the wider public.
When in November last year 56 students from 14 public universities in BiH applied for participation within the EUSR Outreach project, they barely could have imagined how strong an impact that their work would achieve within a short period of time. Students organised in seven teams – within less than a month – organised 25 conferences and promotional events, produced 25 spots and video clips, organised 80 TV and radio shows and features, produced and generated 145 PR articles, achieved 456,600 views of their video material on social networks and almost 150,000 clicks and 10,000 likes on their profiles, reached half a million of internet banner impressions and placed their content on 57 ‘out-of-home’ locations.
“BiH students came up with new ideas and they have proven to us, not just to the European Union but to this country, to their peers, their friends, and parents that they have ideas, they want change and they don’t want to see things staying the same. Students realized that this country have to move forward, it needs to move forward and that change can only come within. That change is this generation”, said Ambassador Lars – Gunnar Wigemark, Head of EU Delegation to BiH/ EU Special Representative in BiH.
Working as the Red, Pink, Yellow, Blue, Orange, Green and Purple team with their professors and creative mentors, students in their campaigns proposed many ways of encouraging young people to become involved in the kind of change that can put Bosnia and Herzegovina back on the path to Europe.
“The E4U Project widened our horizons and helped us to become aware of the current state of play. We felt enthusiastic and eager to change the situation and we considered some realistic ways in which we can make this happen”, said students from Mostar.
In some of their creative messages, they highlighted the crucial role of volunteering in a society where there is often a cynical view that everyone must have an ulterior motive. Also, some teams came up with pragmatic proposals to improve the university curriculum so that graduates can acquire skills that will equip them to compete in the job market. Some teams appealed on youth to get new skills that can help them to improve the performance of the companies they join, or – in many cases – the companies they start up.
But there was one thing in common for all seven communication campaigns that could be seen in media in these days: the compelling need for young people to make their voice heard, to become involved in the public discourse. That need was sublimated in general light motives of the campaigns: “Let’s Make BiH Better”; “Let’s Work Together”; “Let’s make decisions that will shape our future” and so on.
An excellence of the performance was recognised in each team by a- five member jury. The Final Award Ceremony took place in Sarajevo on 17 February, 2017.
Award for the best slogan: For others because of yourself, went to the Red Team (University of Zenica – Faculty of Law and University of Banja Luka – Academy of Arts). The slogan presented their view of socio-economic reforms: Volunteering and providing support for others is a priority
The Purple Team (University of Sarajevo – Faculty of Political Sciences and University of Zenica – Faculty of Economics) won the award for the best video: Connect Yourself that illustrates their position that education reform in BiH and connection with labour market represents the most important part of the reforms.
Strong, engaged, they appeared everywhere; made interviews with citizens, generate public attention and placed different messages. The University Džemal Bijedić – Faculty of Economics, Mostar and University of Mostar – Faculty of Economics, gathered in the Pink Team, sent a strong message from the Old Bridge- a symbol of Mostar and the symbol of their new friendship: “Through hardships to stars” stood for good quality education and better jobs in BiH. The Pink Team won award for the best Guerrilla marketing solutions.
The University of Tuzla – Faculty of Economics and University of East Sarajevo – Faculty of Economics, Bijeljina, joined in the “Orange Team” who shared their view on socio-economic reforms: the priority is to reduce youth unemployment and the brain drain. Their logo illustrating slogan “Give your knowledge and your intellect to your own country “, was awarded for the best logo design.
Two teams were awarded with Special recognitions: Blue Team from University of Sarajevo – Faculty of Economics and University of East Sarajevo – Faculty of Economics, Pale for their creative approach to the campaign and Green Team from University of Tuzla – Faculty of Philosophy and University of East Sarajevo – Faculty of Economics, Brčko for the best topic approach vs targeted audience.
With their slogan Start Yourself UP!, winners of the E4U- Competition for the Best Communication Campaign, the Yellow team (University of Banja Luka – Faculty of Economics and University of Bihać – Faculty of Economics), launched very strong campaign that was created to encourage, motivate and educate young people to start their own business. They Yellow Team had excellent performance in local media, in event organisation in creative segment. As they said, they lived the Self UP campaign:
„We realised that we had finally been given a chance to express our opinion clearly and loudly, and that for the first time we are the creators of our own future. We are the ones who live the lives of young people in Bosnia and Herzegovina – lives filled with difficulties and obstacles. We are the ones who know best what it is that we lack, what our needs are, our wishes and dreams. The EUSR has recognised the problem that young people in Bosnia and Herzegovina face, and has given us a chance to overcome it by giving us the opportunity to express our ambitions and ideas through media campaigns“, said members of the Yellow Team.
As the winning team enjoys its reward – a study trip to Brussels, it is worth mentioning that the E4U has been a crucial communication project. It has created a forum in which they as young future BiH professionals have been able to speak, and a forum in which their opinions have been heard. It has allowed them to send their message right across the country. Working on their ideas and placing them to the wide BiH audience, the youngsters show that they have the vision, the energy and the will to help Bosnia and Herzegovina on its path towards the EU.
Video from the winning campaign “Self UP“: