A comprehensive benchmarking exercise on current best practices on communication tools and dissemination processes of EU Member State organisations plus Iceland and Norway, selected ENVI EU agencies (EFSA, EMA, ECHA, ECDC), and EU bodies (DG SANTE, JRC, EU COUN) was carried out via an online survey, remote qualitative interviews, and a desk analysis of documents and web content.These current practices have been compiled into a catalogue of communication tools and a guide to their effective dissemination. Both elements are designed to help inform the EC General Plan for Risk Communication (GPRC)andfacilitate a coordinated communication framework at the EU and national level on matters relating to the food chain. The reportsets out a broad overview of the current tools that are commonly used, their intended communication purposes and target audiences. It also describes dissemination channels andmethods to optimise outreach. This work provides a solid platform for EU and Member State bodies to build on going forward. The report should be viewed as a living document that will evolve to meet fast‐changing information needs and the requirements of the future GPRC.The catalogue highlights that multimedia tools show relatively high impact scores and high mention rates by the respondents participating in the online survey. Editorial tools are still very important, especially to reach the media. Both physical meetings and events and educational tools have very high impact scores but limited mention rates. All communication tools can be effective if properly designed (i.e. right content and tone of voice for the intended target audience(s) and disseminated through the right channels). Social media and the website are the most used dissemination channels. The reliance on campaigns is widespread as they help achieve a stronger impact on the target audience. Moreover, communication tools supported by best practices in dissemination perform much better and are used by a wider audience than tools that are merely published on an organisation's website. A systematic phased approach to dissemination (1. planning, 2. preparation, 3. publication and distribution, and 4. post‐publication and distribution) is, therefore, crucial for a successful communication strategy. Effective leverage of amplifiers (planned and prepared in the first two phases) substantially increases communication tools’ outreach in the publication and distribution phase. The usage of Key Performance Indicators, set during the planning phase, allows an organisation to improve both communication tools and their dissemination strategy. Post‐publication and distribution is a strategic phase to learn from the outcomes and fine‐tune subsequent communication practices.
This publication is linked to the following EFSA Journal articles: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.2903/j.efsa.2021.e190401/full and http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.2903/j.efsa.2021.6574/full