Posts tagged ‘Google Adwords’

Google ads for politicians

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Expanding our reading beyond our traditional EN sources, we note that the use of Google Adwords for political campaigns has caught the attention of our Italian friends at left leaning daily la Repubblica. Surely our MEPs, Italian or otherwise, should be looking into this tactic with elections in mind to reach out to voters interested in the issues they deal with here in Brussels? With this in mind, perhaps that’s why we hear rumour of an e-campaigning event being hosted by Google here in Brussels (p.s. we’d love an invite if Google people are listening/reading). Not sure MEPs have Obama’s budget but still, every click counts (both for MEP and Google I expect).

For those MEPs thinking about it, this article from much earlier in the US primary season contains some hints from experts from Google and elsewhere on what to do and not to do. Tips iinclude advertising on your opponents name and advertising around those issues that poll top of voters concerns.

In any case, we’ve also been noticing a veritable increase in interest in using the tool to reach out to get  messages out here in Brussels. Can you spot any of our current ads I wonder?

Jimmy (still searching for suitable word beginning with J for new trend of signing posts on this blog)

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September 24, 2008 at 9:23 pm 5 comments

Why Brussels public affairs practitioners should be helping Google

There has been a number of articles in the press recently about concerns about potentials falls in revenue for search engine giant Google, contradicted somewhat by other reports that companies’ ad spend is continuing to move online. Whatever the truth, it strikes us that public affairs people in Brussels should consider using Google Adwords as standard part of their advocacy programmes towards the EU institutions.

For those not au fait with Google Adwords, they are the “sponsored links” that appear on the right and top of the search results every time you enter a search term. You pay a very small sum (cents rather than Euro) everytime someone clicks on your ad and gets to your website. Where you come in the sponsored links is based on how much you say you are willing to pay for the click through and how often people searching actually click thru’.

It may seem strange for a PR agency to promote the use of advertising, especially in the context of EU public affairs, but there are a number of things about “search engine marketing” that we think suit our needs in a Brussels context.

1. It’s extremely targeted, you can reach out to people who are actually looking for information that you are providing. An added bonus is that you can choose to advertise to internet searches coming from only certain countries. BTW – the EP’s IP address is located in Luxembourg…so if you are trying to reach EP researchers, advertising there alone should do the trick…

2, It’s cheap. At the most we can be talking a few hundred Euro.

3. Like all of us, where do you think policymakers and their staff turn when they need info? Google…

4. It can drive your message to a wide range of people interested in your issue at little cost, even if only a small (but really important) bunch of people click thru. 100,000 people may search for your term and see your message in the ad, even if only 20 click thru.

As an example, think of a situation where an MEP asks his/her assistant to do some basic research on an issue raised in Committee or to provide some background for an amendment that they are going to write. Now hopefully, as is our standard practice, you’ve met and briefed the rapporteur, shadows, political advisors etc. But what about the 30 other members of the committee who you’d rather not alert to your issue if you don’t have to, but all of whom could table amendments on take a position on the basis of a brief chat with one of your opponents? Chances are you don’t know everyone well enough that they will pick up the phone and ring you to ask that question.

In an ideal world, your trade association or corporate website would be optimised to get to the top of the rankings on all key issues for your industry. But let’s face it, this is not always going to be possible given the array of topics for any one company and is perhaps a longer term project (with which we can help too…)

As a test, on your current issue, think of the search terms someone might use in the Parliament to find out more about the issue and type it in to Google. See what comes up… This is the information your target audience is looking at. It might be worth investing a few hundred Euro on Adwords, not only to help Google but to help your own efforts.

BTW – to show we are putting our money where our mouth is, we are currently running our own AdWords campaign for FH Brussels.

May 15, 2008 at 1:56 pm 4 comments

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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

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