Talking to Strangers: Uncovering the Institutional Communication of the ECtHR

During the last two decades, the ECtHR has opened up considerably towards the wider public. This does not only entail greater transparency of the judicial activities in Strasbourg, but also an increased focus on professional communication and improved outreach policies. This contribution seeks to explore how the ECtHR uses outreach and communication practices to engage with state parties and local communities. Based on semi-structured interviews with communication officials, this contribution traces the move from the traditional mode of one-way communication via press releases to the development of modern, multi-faceted, and interconnected two-way communication strategies. Ultimately, it argues that communication is an essential tool for the creation of loyalty in times of backlash.