Posts tagged ‘online activism’

What do you mean you don’t have a website?

This morning, on my way back to the office, a marching brass band, 10 three-meter tall cardboard smokestacks and a few dozen people in black t-shirts carrying black balloons that read ‘NO MORE COAL’ headed the other direction towards the European Parliament building. I asked a girl for the group’s website address, hoping to learn more.

“We don’t have a website”, but she handed me a flyer.

What do you mean you don’t have a website?! She explained “We’re a coalition of groups, so you can get information on any of our websites”.

The groups involved, according to the black and white flyer, are WWF, CAN Europe, Greenpeace, Friends of Earth Europe, die klima-allianz, Christian aid, and the World Development Movement. Clearly this coalition invested a lot of time and money into the event, and I can’t help but think that they made a massive oversight by not having a website or a microsite for the event.

The cynic may point out that since Fleishman-Hillard offers a full-service digital group that builds anything from fancy emails to websites of all shapes and sizes, then of course we would argue that every event needs its own website. But in this day and age, with the low costs of websites, I can’t see any reason to not have at least a one page microsite or a dedicated page on an existing website, no matter how short-lived the event.

Just on the other side of Place du Luxembourg, one can see a digitally-driven campaign. Vattenfall has placed a massive digital screen asking people to go online and ‘Sign the climate manifesto’. The engaging website has a live webcam of the screen on Place du Luxembourg and a video of what happens when you ‘sign’ the online manifesto.

October 7, 2008 at 4:17 pm 1 comment

From one seat to one president – a new digital dawn in Brussels?

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Hats off to Brussels bloggers Jon Worth and Jan Seifert as they embark on a new Brussels digital campaign called “Who do I call?“.  Their aim is simple. They think that the Commission President and newly created President of the European Council should be the one and same person.

While we still remain to be convinced about the merits of the case,  we do admire the team’s online efforts. (Admittedly as some of us have yet to really think about it – this thinking usual happens when we should be relaxing).  You can support in a number of ways from a simple signing of their petition, signing up on Facebook, putting the banner on your site to translating their copy into another language. The choice is yours. For the first time we have seen in an EU based campaign, the guys are using many of the tools out there to take visitors through all of the stages of online activist engagement, with the exception of getting people to take their activity offline…

Online activism

As Jon readily admits, the challenge will be to see whether their own (formidable) online and offline networks will draw enough support to the campaign centre. Unlike the one seat campaign and the 1million4disability, they do not currently have the kind of ready made organisational support of traditional NGO grassroots campaigns. It’s an interestingly experiment to see whether a European campaign can start online and migrate offline as attention builds. Clearly however, the team is already using its online contacts to spread the word and is actively looking at networks they are already part of to join the cause (hence this blog post). More posts in Facebook groups and a guest appearance on Blogactiv’s ideas page are perhaps in order in the coming days.

BTW – it’s great to see best practice blogger relations techniques being used here in Brussels. It’s just a pity that this time around we are the subject of the blogger relations, rather than the ones undertaking it!

March 3, 2008 at 8:01 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 www.fleishman-hillard.eu

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