The creation of the Rail Baltica business network highlighted the peculiarities in creating business networks in the Baltic region
I have always been interested in communication and government relations projects in the field of transit and logistics.
Such projects require strategic communication planning, and a good understanding of the government sector is an obvious precondition.
In almost 15 years in the PR business I have advised various companies in the field of transit and logistics. In the late 1990s, when oil transit was one of the engines of the Estonian economy, I had the opportunity to start my work as a PR manager for companies such as N-Terminal and Pakterminal. Over the years I have also advised Eesti Raudtee, Nordica and several other interesting transit and logistics companies in Estonia.
One of the most interesting projects recently in this field is related to the activities of the Rail Baltica Business Network. In 2019, I completed a two-year project with the aim of establishing Rail Baltica Business Networks in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, as well as in Poland and Finland. This project was financed by the European Commission, and the project partners, in addition to META, were the law firm Triniti and the project consulting company Innopolis.
A number of pan-European infrastructure mega-projects – like Rail Baltica – have been set up with the support of the European Commission. Unfortunately, the awareness of business communities about these projects is often not sufficient until these projects are completed. In many cases, this has meant that operators with a potential interest in using the infrastructure will discover new opportunities too late, which essentially means wasted resources and unused opportunities.
The creation of the Rail Baltica Business Network was a two-year project, where META’s task was to manage communication in the target countries and to organize events for the right target groups as a prerequisite for the emergence of the business network.
The project taught us that countries in our region have different perceptions about setting up such informal business networks. For example, in Estonia the Rail Baltica Business Network is a very lively organization including more than 25 leading Estonian companies in the fields of transit, logistics and construction. At the same time, in Lithuania the traditions of society are much more corporate and the preconditions for creating non-governmental business networks are quite different.
Therefore, in order to bring together the business communities and introduce Rail Baltica’s future business opportunities, completely different methods had to be used.
The European Commission considered the project successful, and we hope to continue cooperation with the Estonian Rail Baltica Business Network in the future.