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Promoting the value proposition of the global R&E community: SIG-Marcomms meets in Tirana

Picture taken at the SIG-Marcomms meeting on June 9 2023 at TNC23

After a full TNC week of activities and social events, marketing and communications experts from national and regional research and education networks met on Friday June 9, 2023 in Tirana, Albania.

The meeting saw the participation of colleagues from all corners of the world, from Brazil to Canada, from Malawi to the UK and all the way to Australia!

Jane Gifford from AARNet

The first session revolved around existing tools and assets that the global R&E community has at its disposal to promote the added value of its work. Jane Gifford from AARNet and Ela Yadzani from CANARIE  – also members of the SIG-Marcomms Steering Committee – chaired the session and, together with Silvia Fiore and Tom Fryer from GÉANT, presented an overview of the available resources: In The Field, IMPACT websites, The Case for NRENs, GNA-G and the GREN map. The audience was faced with the questions: how do we best collaborate to produce and share content? How can we best use all of these resources?
A very engaging conversation followed and participants discussed how to extend our community’s value proposition beyond connectivity to showcase the various layers of NRENs’ work. It was concluded that a follow up online meeting is needed to agree on a next way forward.

After the coffee break in the beautiful and sunny garden of the Rogner Hotel, the meeting continued with two presentations on new social media practices and tools. Elis Bertazzon from the Italian NREN, GARR, presented an overview of their social media strategies with a special focus on Telegram. GARR uses this platform to create discussion groups for a more technical audience and share updates on networks and services. Second up was Wladimir Mufty from the Dutch NREN, SURF, who presented their Mastodon pilot, why they started it and some recent key results.

The afternoon session included two updates. Jennifer Ross from GÉANT Partners Relations showed a preview of the new COMPENDIUM website and welcomed inputs and tips from the group on how to improve some search and design features. While the COMPENDIUM Report gives a view of the state of the NREN landscape, the upcoming website will also allow users to drill down to look at a single NREN or the responses to a single question to improve their search and reading experience. She also welcomed any expression of interest from the community to follow the website creation more closely!

Stela Tsirakis from RNP

The last presentation by Stela Tsirakis from the Brazilian NREN, RNP, showcased their latest rebranding process. An inspiring talk that highlighted the meaning of rebranding to be much more than just a logo change. The rebranding was led by the need to make the NREN identity more human and known to the public as “ambassadors of the new”. Stela said

“Changing a brand is not breaking a story. It is improving it, it is taking it into the next 30 years.”


Thank you to all the participants that joined the meeting in person and online! Slides and recordings can be found on the wiki page.

The group will meet again in Yerevan, Armenia in October 4 (afternoon) – 5 (full day) and will be hosted by Asnet-am. More information to register and the agenda will follow shortly!

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