Posts tagged ‘Uncategorized’

Big Friday: surfing the eutube

It has been a while since we looked at the YouTube activities of our elected and non-elected officials here in Brussels. As its Friday, we thought we do a round robin of the EU actors we have come across with audiovisual content on YouTube. If you know of more, please do let us know.

EU Institutions

  • European Commission – sweaty from the sex sells success, they still lead the way in populating the web with EU content (nearly a million channel views and over 4,000 subscribers).
  • European Parliament – one video and about as many regular visitors as this blog.
  • Council – does anyone else see the irony in “Council Live“? In any case we couldn’t find the Council on YouTube but the Portuguese Presidency does have a library of press conferences available to download.

European Parliament Political Groups

  • UKIP – A small national party rather than a European parliamentary group, we grant you. Despite holding none too popular views in Brussels some of their videos make us chuckle.

Members of the European Parliament

There is of course the question of how successful these efforts are in reaching out to potential voters, or even supporters, both on their own and relative to each other.

Happily, we have started to come across tools that will help us map the progress made such as TubeMogul. Once you register, for free, not only can you upload your video to multiple platforms at the click of a button but you can also compile and contrast visitor data over time for your video and that of others.

A visit to the US based Viral Video charts, who offer a tracking and analysis service for a fee to professionals as well as a chart of political videos, reminds us however that the online world can hinder as well as help our politicians.

Our top three European political video bloopers in reverse order:

3. Commission President Barroso comparing Europe to an empire

2. French President Sarkozy appearing to have had a little too much to drink (BTW – he had not)

1. Belgian politician and potential Prime Minister Yves Leterme singing the Marseillaise instead of the Belgian national anthem (BTW – clearly he was joking)

September 14, 2007 at 3:50 pm Leave a comment

How will MEPs use the internet in 2009?

It is of course with interest that we follow developments in the current US Presidential election primaries. We love gun toting YouTube questioners and rejoice at the plethora of blogs, websites and social media that our US friends use to build their databases, motivate supporters and of course harvest small individual donations for campaign coffers. The question we keep asking ourselves is will our MEPs follow suit and adopt some of these tactics in 2009? Signs are looking good, even at this early stage.

It is a matter of some rejoicing (and pride) that one of our FH colleagues and potential UK ALDE (Lib Dem) candidate, Rebecca Taylor, has taken up the digital political challenge and this week launched her own website in her bid for selection on the party’s list for 2009 in the UK’s Yorkshire region. A sentiment shared, amongst others, by Socialist MEP blogger Mary Honeyball who recently praised the internet as a potential campaign tool and calls on the age of the internet election to “roll on”. Some of us who in past lives have leafleted in god-forsaken parts of middle England on rainy summer days would tend to agree.

Interestingly, the use of social media sites such as Facebook is gathering pace here too. The PES are preparing well in advance and have set up an open Facebook group to disseminate campaign material to supporters and exchange best practice. However, unlike Hillary, Obama et al we are yet to find an MEP with an open Facebook profile set up to gather supporters and motivate them to action online. Perhaps it is just a matter of time.

We’d agree with those who argue that the likes of Facebook and MySpace are only one tool in internet election campaigns, where a focus on fund raising and building a great supporters database still plays a key role. However, where European elections are not exactly top of the media agenda and even the most election-hardened local constituency party can be difficult to motivate, we have to believe that such tools could be a cheap and effective method for gathering supporters together, keeping them up to speed on the campaign diary and motivating them to act online and offline.

September 5, 2007 at 7:21 pm

Google News – make your own case

A constant challenge in public affairs is ensuring a fair case for our clients in the media.

The influence of the most prominent newspapers is enormous. The nature of newspapers – the quest for brevity – can occasionally overly simplify complex arguments and overlook essential ambiguities.

If you or your issue is misrepresented in the news, in the past the traditional response has been to pen a letter to the editor, hope that the editor publishes the letter, hope that the reporter considers your rebuttal, and hope that readers see your response in addition to the original article.

This might change, if another Google experiment succeeds. Google News now plans to let the subjects of articles comment on the article in a dedicated space.

We all hope that the news media is objective and balanced. However, when it misses this target, it is important that some means of redress exits. We think that Google’s new idea is excellent – let us hope that it works in implementation.

August 14, 2007 at 5:11 pm Leave a comment

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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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