The prize recognizes Port of Dover’s successful strategy to reach out to the local community and to directly communicate with the port citizens including innovative use of social media.
"Transparen-SEA (Socially Engaged Accountability)", as the project is known, aims to create a comprehensive and meaningful programme of consultative and social community engagement events alongside the cultivation of an internal network of port ambassadors whose advocacy ultimately permeates back into the local community where many live. This was all supported with a social media overlay that connects directly with the community and reinforces the goals of the initiative.
Social media wasn't employed simply as an extension of oftentimes dry and faceless corporate communication. It has been used to drive face to face engagement allowing members of both the port's and city's communities to learn about their respective goals and shared aspects of each group's vision.
Looking back at the selection process of the 11th edition of the ESPO Award, Dimitrios Theologitis, Chairman of the Jury, said, "The Jury was impressed by Port of Dover's strategy which is centred around campaigns on all media, electronic and others, leaflets, consultations, forums, workshops, sports events. But the most important ingredient of this successful strategy is giving back to the community, be it financial participation in charities and community groups, making the installations available to the public for events, or foreseeing spaces and buildings open to the public".
Richard Christian, Head of Policy and Communications, Port of Dover, added, "Having gone through such a rigorous selection process alongside many other great ports, to have been chosen as the winner is a fantastic achievement for the whole team at Dover. Our comprehensive and continuing programme of societal engagement is something of which we can be proud in setting the standard across Europe. Our thanks to ESPO and the judges for this great honour."
The award was handed out by the Director-General of DG Move, Henrik Hololei, during a ceremony at the Albert Hall in Brussels. This year's edition of the ESPO Award saw four projects from Port of Dover, Dublin Port Company, Ports of Stockholm and Union des Ports de France (UPF) compete for the prize.