Posts filed under ‘Event’

Join us at the Personal Democracy Forum, 2012!

On Thursday, May 31 we’ll be in the European Parliament, taking part in a captivating brainstorm on how tech – and tech-savvy citizens – are transforming governance, politics and civil society.

Why don’t you join us?

Now in its ninth year in the United States and its third year in Europe, the Personal Democracy Forum brings together top opinion leaders, politicians, technologists, and journalists from across the ideological spectrum to network and exchange ideas.

Next week’s event – Finding Europe’s Public Place – is set to put the impact of technology in Brussels under the spotlight, evaluating its role in the European institutions, diplomacy, lobbying and journalism.

Speakers will examine how interactive communications technologies are now being regularly deployed to address critical civic problems, and make governments more efficient, transparent, and accountable. They’ll also discuss whether these technologies are bringing Europe any closer to the as yet elusive public sphere.

Also on the agenda: the invaluable role social media has played in supporting democracy movements all over the world.

The Personal Democracy Forum invariably attracts highly distinguished guests – and this event is no exception. Ambassador William E. Kennard of the US Mission to the EU,  Facebook Europe’s Erika Mann and Peter Spiegel of the Financial Times are just a few of the speakers who’ll be sharing their insights on the day.

Register now to secure your place for this thought-provoking and invaluable event.

See you there!


May 22, 2012 at 2:01 pm 1 comment

A Social Media Butterfly: an event for your calendars

Dear readers,

Before you head home for Christmas take a moment to put this date in your diaries. On 12th January at 1530 in the European Parliament the pleasantly named Butterfly Europe is holding an event. The Italian web magazine turned ‘social think-tank’, Lo Spazio Della Politica and GliEuros are joining together to invite EU decision makers, functionaires and consultants for a roundtable discussion on social networks and social media.

What distinguishes this event is the calibre of speakers: not only do they have some of the most digitally savvy MEPs around; Alexander Alvaro, Gianni Pittella, Maritje Schaake and Marie-Christine Vergiat, they also have the people involved in getting the institutions online and active in the social media sphere on board. For the European Parliament this is Stephen Clark and from the Commission Antonia Mochan. The consultancy world is also given a voice, with representatives from multiple agencies; not least FH Brussels’ own Steffen Thejll-Moller .

There will be two main roundtables followed by open debate. The first roundtable will centre on social networks; and the second on online media. It should be an interesting look at the characteristics of ‘a new journalism style’ that is, online and participative, something which you will be hearing more from us in the future. As the final session is on EU public opinion it is appropriately going to be open debate.

In preparation for the event, Butterfly Europe has interviewed Steffen on ‘Making digital tools your comms strategy’. He addresses the reasoning behind our blog, becoming an online resource for decision makers and journalists, as well as our upcoming study on EP digital trends which will be released at the event.

So that’s it for now and remember: 12th January. Register here.


December 20, 2010 at 10:00 am Leave a comment

The Highlights – “Social media: what works & and what doesn’t?” from the European Public Affairs Action Day

So Thursday was the long awaited European Public Affairs Action Day, organised by the Parliament Magazine, and of course it was every bit as good as it promised to be. We hosted a workshop entitled ‘Social Media: what works what doesn’t’? We aimed at having a range of perspectives in our panel to get a good picture of how social media is being developed in different areas, from industry to national and then European politics.

Michael Adolph from FH started off with some of the inspiring work they do in Washington and highlighted that good quality content which shows real personal enthusiasm for the subject matter is most likely to resonate with audiences. He showcased a video for Johns Hopkins University’s Malaria Free Future campaign, which demonstrates how a fresh approach to traditional funding applications with creative visuals and a proactive online outreach can make a practical difference to malaria sufferers.

He was then followed by Samuel Coates from the UK Conservative Party. He gave very straightforward advice: don’t just believe the hype but find out who your audience is and reach out to them. Try to build a relationship rather than just following the latest social media trend and using those media channels like you would a foghorn.

Finally, we rounded off with another perspective, that of Ryan Heath who, as a member of Neelie Kroes’ social media team, has the opportunity to experience firsthand the way social media is shaping the government/citizen conversation.  Definitely the most eye opening quote of the day comes from our dynamic Australian who said that on Neelie Kroes’ website ‘a single average blog post gets as many views as all of her 2010 press releases combined’ – a clear sign that the more immediate and personal nature of a blog post resonates with audiences.

Yes a good time was had and it was great to see so many industry leaders there. We videoed the panel and have a few snippets from the audience coming soon so watch this space…


December 13, 2010 at 7:33 pm Leave a comment

“Social media: what works & what doesn’t?” – FH workshop at the Public Affairs Action Day

We’re hosting a workshop as part of the Parliament Magazine’s Public Affairs Action Day (9 December at 11.45 in Brussels). It’s simply entitled “Social media – what works and what doesn’t?” and will look at addressing some of the following concerns:

  • Am I not exposing myself to needless criticism?
  • How can I really measure its effectiveness?
  • Will I be able to control the discussion on line?
  • Brussels is a tiny community. Can’t I just pick up the phone or meet people
    face to face?

We prefer to look at social media as an opportunity rather than a threat, so plenty of onus will be on the opportunities on offer to politicians, businesses, civil society and citizens to engage as equals, and how this is being reflected in the “real world” with examples from Brussels, the US and UK.  Our panel will feature a political communicator from FH in Washington DC, Head of Social Media for the Conservatives in the UK, and a Commission Official responsible for social media.

If you fancy coming, you can still register here for our session as well as the rest of the day’s festivities. If not, watch this space, as we’ll be posting some video footage from the event including highlights from the panel discussion and some snippets from attendees willing to speak up!

Steffen and Rosalyn

December 2, 2010 at 12:55 pm Leave a comment

From fighting corruption, to reuniting refugees, to keeping councils accountable – Personal Democracy Forum Europe 2010

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Personal Democracy Conference (PdF), which Fleishman-Hillard co-sponsored, took place last week in Barcelona. PdF is the biggest conference of its kind, leading the way in providing a forum for analysis of how technology is changing politics.

We had a great time hearing passionate and inspiring people from all walks of government, business and civil society speak and debate about how the Internet can make Europe safer, fairer, more transparent and open, and in particular, how citizens themselves increasingly play a role in the process.

It’s hard to choose amongst the plethora of great speakers (see all here) but I’d first highlight the following amongst speakers representing government. Alec Ross, advisor to Hillary Clinton, who spoke about the struggle for open society; Constantijn van Oranje-Nassau, Cabinet-member of Commissioner Neelie Kroes, who spoke about the potential the web has to improve public participation (and the fact that the Commissioner has become hooked on Twitter!) and Jimmy Leach, whose engaging talk described the advancements made by the UK Foreign Commonwealth Office in communicating through social media, addressing the challenges of bringing a bureaucracy only five years younger than the USA into the modern age! On the company/entrepreneur side, we had a range of speakers, from Randi Zuckerberg on Facebook’s peace initiative to our new friend Jens Steensma’s smartphone app Buitenbeter, which can be used in the Netherlands to report problems to councils. It is the first initiative of this kind to gain nationwide agreement with every council agreeing to follow up on problem reports.

Other highlights of the conference included the announcement of a $2.6m donation to Refugees United from the Omidyar Network to help them improve their technological platform, a powerful search tool to help refugees find families torn apart by conflict; Birgitta Jonsdottir, Member of the Icelandic Parliament, outlining the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative which aims to use transparency legislation to make Iceland a ‘haven for freedom of information, speech and expression’; and Purpose, an organization that helps start and coordinate campaigns for social or political change, also took the opportunity to announce the future launch of their new venture ‘All Out’ which aims to establish a global movement to improve LGBT rights around the world.

Particular mention goes to our fabulous panel, Julius van de Laar, Marietje Schaake MEP, David Lowey and Jon Worth. They helped to facilitate excellent debate on the European Citizen’s initiative.  Their insights were invaluable and we appreciate them having taking the time out to join us. If you were unlucky enough to have missed it you can listen again here (the video will be available soon.)

Overall thoughts? It seems the conversation has moved on from the particular tools to the bigger picture: issues brought up by the proliferation of web tools, issues of freedom and openness, and perhaps most importantly, what we are doing with the tools and how they can be used to empower citizens across the globe.

Credit to the organizers Andrew Rasiej and Micah Sifry for all their hard work in running the conference and leading the PdF community on to great things: rumour has it they can next be found in Santiago, Chile for Pdf Latin America!

So all in all, I finish as I started, it was excellent. Oh and Barcelona wasn’t bad either…


October 11, 2010 at 1:39 pm 3 comments

FH Podcast: Personal Democracy Forum – Interview with founder, Andrew Rasiej

The Personal Democracy Forum, which Fleishman is co-sponsoring in Europe this year, is the world’s largest conference on how technology is changing politics. This year’s event is taking place in Barcelona on October 4th and 5th, with a great set of speakers, panelists and delegates from the worlds of politics, governance, civil society and business (read more about the programme here.) As part of our involvement, we will be hosting a break-out session in which we will explore the issues of pan-European petitions – in particular the European Citizen’s Initiative, how the web can play a role in expanding its reach and impact, and its potential for altering the balance of power between EU institutions, business and NGOs.

In this month’s podcast, we interview Andrew Rasiej, founder of PdF, who provides some insight into his thinking on the transformative role of technology on politics and governance, the potential for citizen engagement and empowerment, as well as some views on the European perspective, and where business fits in the picture.

Click here to listen to this episode of the podcast.

Click here to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.


September 13, 2010 at 10:01 am 1 comment

Giving hope light – Special Olympics Torch Run in Brussels, 14 September

For once we will not talk about the latest EU regulatory developments…but about a very special initiative that will ‘arrive’ in Brussels next week. To herald the opening of 2010 Special Olympics European Games, which will take place in Warsaw staring on 18 September, athletes and partners are carrying the Flame of Hope in a series of relays through eight European countries. On Tuesday 14 September the torch will be in Brussels for the Belgian leg of its tour and, as supporter of this initiative,  Fleishman-Hillard would like to invite you in participating to the Special Olympics Torch Run.

Founded by Eunice Kennedy Shriver in 1968, the Special Olympics aims at empowering individuals with intellectual disabilities to enjoy a series of sports training and competition around the world. There are approximately 26.5 million people with an intellectual disability living in the Europe/Eurasia region and the association is very active in promoting the cause with events like the European Games, the Torch Run and the Special Olympics Youth United Football Development Project.

The European Institutions have showed their support and President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, European Commissioner of Education, Culture and Youth Androulla Vassiliou and President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek will welcome the Special Olympics torch during a short ceremony, which will take place next Tuesday from 13h15 on the Esplanade in front of the European Parliament. Speeches will be followed by a buffet with music and animation on the Esplanade.

If you want to have a chance to run with Belgian sport celebrities, the celebration will start on Tuesday morning with a symbolic mini relay at  Mini-Europe (Bruparck) at 10h00 before the run throughout Brussels kicks off.

See you next Tuesday!


September 10, 2010 at 1:24 pm Leave a comment

About this blog

A blog on politics, policy, public affairs and communications in Brussels and the European Union. The blog is written by the team at Fleishman-Hillard in Brussels. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect those of the company or its clients. You will find the contact details of our team at

Subscribe to this blog

FH Brussels tweets

FH corporate reputation

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.


%d bloggers like this: