Posts tagged ‘Fleishman-Hillard Blogs’

Ordinary mortals are more than welcome

Skyscraper
The new AER superhero is not required to be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound – Image by Garu_ via Flickr
Whilst checking that our own advert for a new intern* was on the EuroBrussels website I noted that the Assembly of European Regions is currently advertising for applications to become their new Subsidiarity Superhero.
[Full disclosure – I was an intern with the AER in Strasbourg about 10 years ago. At that time Subsidiarity Man had not yet arrived on planet earth.]
The task of this particular superhero is to gain recognition for the word “subsidiarity“. It’s not quite saving Gotham City from the Joker or catching Lois as she falls off yet another skyscraper but all the same it’s a pretty tall order. “Ok, it’s a word I admit it. Now please take me back down to earth Subsidiarity Man!”
The new superhero would not appear to need to come with the ability to fly – see the current Subsidiarity Man’s attempt to fly off Mostar’s famous bridge. The AER are however keen that aspiring applicants have a range of other abilities, most of which are related to being a proven internet savvy campaigner. Applications consisting of a home-made YouTube video are encouraged.
We can laugh but I think it’s great that an association of regions like the AER is (1) harnessing the internet (2) doing in a fun way that attracts attention.
Over here at FH we sometimes get carried away with our own abilities but more often than not accept that we are but mere mortals.
James
*You’ll note that our internship in our Chemicals, Energy and Transport team is a renumerated one. We’re also currently looking for Account Executives for our Financial Services and ICT practices.

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June 17, 2009 at 10:02 am Leave a comment

A look back at turn of the century Brussels

Horse and Cart
Image by Jungle_Boy via Flickr

Thanks to Aart van Iterson, a former colleague now at Cambre Associates, who points out by email that our current survey of the use of the internet by Members of the European Parliament is not the first time we have undertaken to research how digital tools are being used in Brussels.

Back in 2000 the then GPC (even then an Omnicom company, but at that stage still to become part of Fleishman-Hillard) teamed up once again with Simon Leysen of Morris & Chapman to conduct “a first of its kind survey investigating primarily how the Brussels based international community use email and internet in their work.”

The highlights of the 2000 survey included the following:

  • The Brussels based international (EU political) community generally prefer first contact to be established via e-mail rather than by letter.
    Over 90% of respondents directly receive and process their own e-mails.
  • For almost half of those surveyed, the Internet has become their main source of information.
  • Before dealing with an organisation, over 70% of respondents say they will visit the organisations’ web-site first to obtain background information.
  • Close to 50% of survey participants prefer to download large amounts of data as opposed to receiving it in its original format.

Despite being less than ten years old, our findings from 2000 have an air of a different era about them. Almost like finding that more than half of us prefer the car to the horse to get to work.

In looking at the online communication activities of our MEPs, we should therefore not be too harsh. Much has changed in the tools we all use to communicate  in a very short time. At the last European elections the likes of YouTube and Twitter did not exist, google was not a verb and Facebook was only accessible to students at Ivy League schools. With this in mind, the use of any of these tools by MEPs, even just a third of them, is truly impressive. What’s more, I am sure that in another nine years our findings from 2009 will seem so beginning of the century.

James

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May 22, 2009 at 2:21 pm 1 comment

Do MEPs tweet, blog and Facebook? We find out.

  * Description: Strasbourg, European par...
Image via Wikipedia

Today we launch the results of our European Parliament Digital Trends Survey – www.epdigitaltrends.eu It examines how Members of the European Parliament are using the internet to communicate with their voters as well as how the same MEPs use the internet to inform their daily legislative work. As such, we hope that the results are interesting both for MEPs and for Brussels public affairs practitioners.

In summary MEPs are using the internet to communicate to voters but are not yet for the most part using all the tools available. No doubt MEPs have come a long way since the last elections, but there is still a road to travel.

For public affairs practitioners we believe that our results support the view we espoused when we started this blog 2 years ago. Like all of us MEPs are going online for information to inform their decisions. To be effective, our public affairs strategies need to integrate digital communications into their toolbox of tactics. Digital can not replace traditional tools such as contact programmes and media relations it complements them, rendering our activities more effective.

On the microsite  www.epdigitaltrends.eu you will find the following:

  • Our main results with supporting statistics
  • An e-brochure
  • A full report
  • A library of downloads, including graphs and the raw data for you to make your own analysis and graphs
  • Commentary from MEPs
  • An opportunity for you to post your own thoughts
  • The charities we supported in conducting the research
  • The methodology we used – sample size etc.

In the coming days we shall be taking time to reflect on what the different parts of our results mean for public affairs practitioners in Brussels on this blog.

Thanks to all MEPs who participated and to the hardworking FH team who made it all possible (everyone in the office played some role but in particular I’d like to thank Mike, Reg, Veronique, Liliana, Julie, Carey, Aurelie, Tim, Michele, Jay, Clara and Rosie)

We look forward to your reactions to the results on the microsite and to having a debate on this blog about what our survey says about digital public affairs.

James

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May 18, 2009 at 1:03 pm 2 comments

To Twitter or not to Twitter?

Can Twitter be used for advocacy? Well Pat Cleary, our resident digital public affairs guru at Fleishman-Hillard Washington D.C. has been converted to the cause following a recent legislative campaign for one of his clients. In the article attached he speaks to the National  Journal about his experience of how the tool can help in advocacy towards legislatures.

James

National Journal Twitter Story

May 14, 2009 at 5:03 pm 1 comment

What did Pottering really say?

Pottering’s calm voice may be able to hide his emotions, but we found a nifty digital tool to unmask his true sentiments.

Wordle creates “beautiful word clouds” (their words, not ours) based on a text or website that one inputs. It identifies the most often-used words and makes them larger to show their repetition.

What did Pottering talk to the European Parliament about?

Parliamentarians favourite conversation topic

Parliamentarian's favourite conversation topic.

Public Affairs 2.0 should also face up to it’s own obsession. We clearly like the European Parliament as much as Mr Pottering, but the words ‘European’, ‘digital’, ‘public affairs’ are about the same size as Fleishman-Hillard.

FH talks about MEPs, European, Parliament and FH

FH talks about MEPs, European, Parliament and FH

European Parliament, digital and public affairs will get another tick in the word count next week when we publish a report on the use of digital tools by MEPs.

May 7, 2009 at 7:21 pm 1 comment

EP survey fever hits us (and may be you)

For those who have missed it, we’re conducting a survey of MEPs and their digital behaviour. We shall be launching the results on a dedicated micro-site in mid-May. Lots of interesting data (we are currently swimming in pivot tables) from the responses we’ve collated in recent weeks for both MEPs and their staff and the PA community in Brussels and elsewhere.

In case you are feeling that you just can’t wait another couple of weeks and you need a EU survey fix today check out EU Profiler

The survey seeks to tell you where you fit on the political group spectrum -for this former MEP staffer it underlined some of the voting tensions I have experienced in all the elections I have voted in. For my colleagues, there was something of shock that I was still where I started out on the political spectrum.

James

April 29, 2009 at 2:12 pm Leave a comment

Understanding the digital lives of MEPs

Eagle-eyed colleagues have spotted that French daily Le Monde cited this blog as a source in its profile of MEPs and what they do.

Well, some good news for those of you who want to know more about the digital lives of our European Parliamentarians. Fleishman-Hillard Brussels is currently engaged in surveying the digital lives of Members of the European Parliament. The audit is seeking to establish how far, and to what effect, MEPs in this Parliament are using the internet in communicating to the outside world in the run up to the elections and in informing their own views on policy issues in their daily working lives.

We shall be looking at everything from how many of them intend to use Twitter to reach out to voters, to how often their offices say they use Wikipedia to look stuff up. We are hoping that the results will be of interest both to MEPs themselves and to all those who are interested by MEPs – like us.

We hope to have the results of our research ready for public consumption in mid-May, at which stage they shall be made available on a dedicated micro-site.

If you are interested in learning more in advance of the official launch, drop us a line at the address below:

epdigitaltrends at fleishmaneurope dot com

We shall be keeping everyone informed through this blog and our twitter feed over the next couple of weeks.

James

April 24, 2009 at 11:03 am 1 comment

Public affairs in a global world – a new internet resource

English: Illuminatable Earth globe, Columbus, ...
Image via Wikipedia

Over recent years, our work here at FH Brussels has become increasingly international in nature. The internet has of course contributed to this. In this globally connected age, the issues and policies that our clients care about often transcend both national and regional borders.

Internally, this has meant that our Global Public Affairs Practice has seen annual get togethers in the last three years in our global public affairs hubs of Beijing, Washington and Brussels to discuss how global public affairs plays out at a local level. Happily, we now have a solid global network in public affairs supported by strong local capabilities in key cities across Europe, North America and Asia.

As such, it is great to see an new initiative with a truly global public affairs perspective in the shape of publicaffairsworld.com The website, created by Ben Atfield of London based public affairs recruitment specialists Ellwood and Atfield, brings together news and views from the global public affairs community. Its editorial board has members of the public affairs community from three regions of the world, including Andrew Johnson of Euro RSCG and Tom Spencer of the European Centre for Public Affairs from Brussels.

We’re looking to seeing this platform develop as the public affairs sector (both inhouse and agency) increasingly professionalises across the globe. One small suggestion for the platform’s own development; RSS feeds of the three news columns would be useful for all of us using our own aggregation tools.

James

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April 3, 2009 at 4:48 pm 1 comment

Obama Web 2.0 campaign webinar

We’ve been a bit quiet recently, in part due to a mad year end, but one internal event I had time to attend was an internal FH webinar on the use of digital in the Obama campaign.

I know, we’ve heard this all before you say. In fact, we’re going to kill the next person who mentions Obama’s use of the internet in his campaign.

Nevertheless the webinar, which you can view here, sees some of most practiced practitioners from election campaigning and digital public affairs talk about the challenges and successes of the campaign.

On the call are Robert Hoopes Jr. President of our Vox brand and a former staffer for Biden, Jim Margolis of our GMMB brand, a campaign strategist for Obama, as well as the head of our formidably large digital operations in D.C. Dan Horowitz.

As such, it’s worth a watch over the Christmas period.

Merry Christmas.

James

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December 20, 2008 at 11:03 am 1 comment

Digital Tools in Public Affairs – presentation and links

European Flags in front of the Berlaymont - Li...
Image by TPCOM via Flickr

Last week I presented at the inaugural European Public Affairs Summit on digital public affairs. What was billed as a workshop quickly became an empassioned plea for more consideration of the use of digital tools in Brussels based public affairs.

Thanks in any case to all those souls who attended, engaged in questions and answers and gave feedback to me or other FHers. All much appreciated. Any questions that have arisen since, please feel free to post in the comments section and we shall do our best to answer.

In the session, I promised that I would upload the presentation on the blog, instead I put it on SlideShare. You can find it at this link:Digital Tools in Public Affairs Presentation

For those not at the event, I apologise that reading the presentation makes little sense without me speaking to it. It is also not the most beautiful presentation ever created. This said, please check out the article I wrote that sums up in prose some of what I said in person. Alternatively, pass by for a coffee if you are in the area.

The links to the sites referred to during the discussions.

US introductory bit:

Statistics on internet usage:

European Union references:

Tools for tracking:

EU campaigns:

James

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December 8, 2008 at 3:01 pm Leave a comment

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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 www.fleishman-hillard.eu

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