Let me tell you the shortest horror story: 2020.
I think we all agree that Halloween doesn't look so terrifying compared to this year. After all, what is scarier than a horror story based on a true event?
Welcome to H2020 Chills and Thrills, the real horror stories from managing EU-funded projects.
Before we dive in, I would like to share with you how I came up with this idea. My colleagues and I recently held a Communication and Dissemination webinar. My favorite part of the webinar was when we gave the floor to our participants. I loved to hear their stories, and this time there were some jaw-dropping experiences. It took one participant to share a terrifying tale for an avalanche of scary experiences to start.
This is how a spooktacular week was born. This week, we are going to share every day one horror story from a different part of an EU project, leading to crème de la crème and our winner of the Halloween competition.
My idea was not to scare you but to use this as a sort of bonding activity. Come again, a bonding activity? Yes, bear with me.
A horror story is not only there to scare us but to remind us that we've faced our fears and have made it through. Another point is that we want to show you that you are not alone in this. Look at us, we have been managing EU projects for 20 years, and we still get surprised and scared. Finally, the beauty of a horror story is that it can be easily transformed into lessons learned.
Leo Tolstoy said at the beginning of Anna Karenina: "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." It is the same with EU projects, every unhappy project is unhappy in its own way, and every horror story is unique in its one way. So, before this introduction becomes as long as Karenina, let's begin with our stories.
We are opening a spooktacular week with horror stories from Communication and Dissemination.
Raise your hands if you ever (this can easily be transformed into a drinking game, just saying) tagged a wrong partner or published a visual with a spelling mistake. Sounds familiar, right? Let's raise stakes. How about printed a bunch of promotional flyers with a spelling mistake? Still don't remember what the actual mistake was, but I clearly remember the project manager's face. These are typical horror stories we are facing on an everyday basis. But today, I want to share my favorite terrifying experience.
It was late February, and a new colleague had joined our amazing team. You probably know Evi by now from our C&D webinars or different blog posts. It was her first week at work when this spine-chilling event occurred. She logged into a LinkedIn account of a project, and there it was, simple yet hair-raising message: Your account is deleted.
Naturally, we thought this was some sort of LinkedIn bug, and we just needed to log in again after a couple of minutes, and everything would be fine. Well, after a couple of minutes the situation got worse. The message spread like wildfire, and all our LinkedIn project accounts were deleted. We naturally lost all the data and to make it scarier some of the projects were in a finishing phase.
It turns out, making a project account a personal profile and not a company page, not the best idea. So why did you make it in the first place, you might ask? When you create a personal profile, you can connect with anyone on LinkedIn, and by anyone, I mean your target audience. Company pages back then did not have this option. Your only hope for connection is that someone would type your project name into the LinkedIn search bar, and let's be honest, what are the odds for that? Now luckily, you have an option to invite your connections to like the page.
Let me tell you a scary secret, you can still find some projects using a personal profile. If you or your project manager think this is a good idea, just remember this horror story. And no, your project is not a special snowflake and somehow, LinkedIn control will skip it. If your project name is not John Smith and you don’t have a picture of a person instead of the logo, just don’t do it. Plus, with a company page, you have some amazing insights such as Updates analytics (you can evaluate your updates' effectiveness, including posted videos) and Followers & Visitors analytics (a deeper understanding of your followers and visitors).
Did you have a similar or even scarier horror story? Let's hear it!
Share your scary experience with us and win a free webinar recording such as this one: From consortium building to an effective communication strategy where we shared many examples and lessons learned.
The floor is yours. You just need to fill out this survey https://bit.ly/EMHalloween
Stay with us for Spooktacular week. More horror stories are coming!