Posts tagged ‘fleishman-hillard’

Posts I’ve enjoyed on this blog

After nearly eight years in our Brussels office and coming up to three years posting on this blog I’m off to our Washington D.C. office for a couple of years at the end of the month.

Before I leave I thought it not a bad idea to indulge myself just a tad, forgive me folks, and point to some of the blog posts I’ve enjoyed writing or reading on this blog. I say enjoyed because, as my wife (sorry, my luv) will testify, relaxation of an evening has become me on the laptop tinkering with this blog, the twitter feed or various other websites that are in some way work related.

Which MEPs use Twitter?

Part of our hypothesis when we started the blog was that digital communications was changing how policy-makers were interacting with voters and stakeholders. To support our view we created a long list of MEPs, the good folks at Europatweets aggregated them a couple of months later on their nice website, Digimahti had another go at listing them and finally we’ve now created our own Twitter lists to categorise them by Committee on our twitterfeed in recent weeks.

65% of MEPs use Wikipedia at  least twice a week

Spotting MEPs that tweet was one thing, but we wanted to go a little deeper in understanding how they use the internet and how we may be able to use it to communicate to them. Our EP Digital Trends study sought to do this in 2009. The results led to three conclusions on how our results influence our thinking on public affairs here. It also turned out that MEPs aren’t the only ones who rely on Wikipedia – seemingly the Commission services have a penchant for it too

Grayling’s EU office starts it’s own blog

We are known to say that to be a thoughtleader one has to have thoughts and they have to be leading ones. Well one measure of thoughtleadership may well be that others follow where you have gone. Grayling’s team has a super blog. We wish more agencies in town would join them (and us).

Helen Dunnett explains the value of blogging for trade associations

Helen’s views on how ECPA was using its blog in Brussels was enlightening and uplifting. It underlined that there are organisations out there who do recognise the value of using digital tools in Brussels.

Scoop: European Parliament talks about European Parliament

Wordle is a great tool. Never more so than when reminding us of the fact that the Bubble likes to talk about the Bubble. The outgoing EP President’s speech was a classic.

Parallels between a Mel Gibson film and the President of the European Council

Sometimes it’s just been fun writing. No more so than one Sunday morning over coffee when I delighted in the fact that the nomination of the President of the European Council was like a seen from a 1980s US action film.

James

April 9, 2010 at 1:06 pm 3 comments

They just don’t understand me!

As a consultant in the public affairs sector here in Brussels I am beginning to sound a lot like many representatives of other industries I meet. The recent furor in the UK over ex-ministers allegedly seeking lobbying jobs with journalists posing as fake companies made me let out a cry of desperation and exclaim “they just don’t understand what we do!”

Before I start don’t get me wrong, the ministers concerned may or may not have broken any rules but I think you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t believe that they were just a little bit naive. Rather unhappily, they are not alone. I can’t speak for Westminster (having only ever worked here), but I would venture that any organisation that seeks to employ a public affairs professional in Brussels on the basis of their “access” is as misguided as our retiring former ministers. Alas, experience suggests that such organisations do exist.

Most policymakers in this town are reasonable people, who understand that they need input from the outside world on what they are discussing if they are to make good policy. Given the correct approach, most people of all levels will take the time to meet with you and give you a fair hearing. It is after all in their interests to hear your views. They are also intelligent people who will weigh what you say up with what they’ve heard from representatives of five other organisations that day, their own political stance and the people they represent. Securing a meeting with policymakers is as much about knowing who is working on a dossier, having something that is of interest to them to talk about and ensuring that you pick the right time to go speak to them as anything else. A good public affairs person in Brussels is going to be able to guide you on this through their knowledge of political  process and their expertise in political communication.

Existing relationships are of course useful and if you’ve been doing this any time you shall have them, but experience of working on some of the most bizarre dossiers in our legislative process suggests that they can be built relatively easily as long as you are giving useful insights. Indeed, sometimes having relationships work the other way round. As a former staffer of an MEP who I regarded as a friend, I have to admit on being harder on clients wanting to go see him than I would be on the same clients wanting to go see other MEPs. After all my friendship was at stake. Come along with people who wasted his time and our friendship may not have lasted very long.

James

April 2, 2010 at 3:03 pm Leave a comment

Who said what last week on energy?

We’ve flagged our conference last week on financing Europe’s energy needs shamelessly on this blog in recent days and weeks. You’ll be happy to know, no more. This is the last reference to it we shall make. Just to note for the 150 souls that didn’t make it off the waiting list to gain entrance, many of the principal speakers agreed kindly to repeat some of their main points to camera post their conference interventions.

You can find everyone from Sharon Bowles MEP to Philip Lowe of DG Energy speaking on energy, climate and Europe here.

A highlight was hearing Dr. Fatih Birol from the IEA contrast the good that could come from Europe reasserting its leadership role on climate while warning Europe about the impact such leadership could have on European competitiveness. Jos Delbeke from the Commission perhaps unsurprisingly argued for a renewal of EU leadership in the field. Today’s Commission work programme suggests he may well win out.

James

March 31, 2010 at 5:54 pm Leave a comment

Combating climate change: it’s a marathon

At the Financing Europe’s Energy Needs conference on Wednesday, which, I might add (and completely impartially), was a huge success, speaker Russel Mills (Global Director of Energy & Climate Change Policy for Dow Chemicals) described the climate change mission as a ‘long marathon’ and profoundly questioned, ‘how do we win this marathon?’

In an attempt to inspire the pessimists and sceptics amongst you I wanted to take Mr. Mills’ incredibly apt metaphor and extend it somewhat.  I wanted to describe the efforts of those who have started us all thinking about this global problem and educating us on how to begin tackling it as the coaches training us all before the big race.  I wanted to talk about the need to invest in the proper equipment and the need to have strict rules because, after all, we can’t be taking shortcuts.  I even had ambitious plans for a pun on pre-race carb-loading/pre-Copenhagen carbon-loading.

However, whilst searching for a motivational picture to accompany such descriptions, I came across this rather interesting article which led me to a new train of thought: Thinner is better to curb global warming, study says.

The conference brought up a number of ideas on how to deal with and finance climate change and future energy needs, from Emissions Trading Schemes and Clean Development Mechanisms to EU FP7 funding for non-nuclear clean energy research, to name but a few.  But whilst these measures are of course essential to managing the big picture, it is still important to consider the role that we as individuals can play in combating this problem.

So, what a pleasure to now know that each of us can do our bit for the environment not just by turning off lights and keeping the heating on low, but by cutting out the chocolate, avoiding the chips or, say, by running a marathon.

Jess

March 26, 2010 at 3:44 pm Leave a comment

Insights from the home front

With an election by all accounts little more than a month or so away, yesterday’s UK budget is perhaps a key marker in a national election that will no doubt further define one of most reluctant member state’s relationship with the European project. True to form our UK colleagues led by Nick Williams and Julie Harris have turned out not only a blog post on the budget but also a Budget Insight Special 2010 briefing paper.

To paraphrase Churchill one has the feeling that this marks the beginning of the end of some UK political careers, while it may be the end of the beginning for others. My UK colleagues are betting on Conservative victory, as they’ve also launched Conservative Insight as a means to help us all understand what a Conservative government in the UK is likely to mean across a wide variety of policy areas.

James

March 25, 2010 at 5:56 pm Leave a comment

Follow ‘Financing Europe’s Energy Needs’ online

Tomorrow sees our conference on financing Europe’s energy needs at the Bibliotheque Solvay. Alas, we reached the 200 delegate limit some time ago and so there is around 100 of you that won’t get to attend in person due to Belgium’s pesky fire regulations.

Fear not. You can follow discussions on our Twitter feed http://www.twitter.com/eurotwittering or using the hashtag #euenergy If you are there in person, feel free to join in the conversation online.

We shall be tweeting the comments from speakers such as Jos Delbeke,  Philip Lowe, Sharon Bowles MEP and Lena Ek MEP throughout the event.

In addition, members of our team shall be posting on this blog in coming days with their own reflections on the discussions from the event.

James

March 23, 2010 at 6:04 pm Leave a comment

Newer Posts


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

Subscribe to this blog

FH Brussels tweets

FH corporate reputation

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

Archives


%d bloggers like this: