Posts tagged ‘United Kingdom’

One victory against a poor German side and suddenly we are world beaters

Bathing in the afterglow of beating a particularly poor Germany with our reserve team at football last night, the FT’s UK section continues the gloating with the headline “Internet Savvy Britons lead digital league“.

Apparently the UK regulator Ofcom has unveiled its latest piece of research into the UK communications landscape. Thankfully, it contrasts the UK not only with our poor German cousins but also with Italy and France as well as Canada, the US and Japan amongst others. It also gives a good compendium of graphs and tables on a wide range of questions affecting the communications landscape from the penetration of mobile TV (Italy wins) to how likely we are to be part of a social media network (UK wins in Europe).

I am still rather shocked at that internet advertising spend is so low in comparision with other media in some countries (3%  of total in Italy, 4% in Germany and 5% in France). Given that the same survey suggests the French spend 13 hours a week online, I presume we are in a similar situation to this US graphic from 2007 in Europe in terms of ad spend versus time spend in each medium.

The rather weighty report includes some interesting graphs and stats for anyone trying to prove the relative importance of the internet in the greater scheme of things from Ofcom original fieldwork as well as recent work by others such as Neilsen. Worth a look.

James

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November 20, 2008 at 6:27 pm Leave a comment

Annoyed Icelanders attack Gordon Brown via the Internet

Gord...

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

A group of Icelanders have got together and made a website www.indefence.is that criticises British PM Gordon Brown for having used (or abused…) anti-terror legislation to freeze Icelandic assets.

The website’s key message is the simple and not entirely unreasonable “Icelanders are not terrorists”. The title tag of the website is “Darling I’m not a terrorist”, which is a dig at British Chancellor of the Exchequer (Finance Minister) Alistair Darling.

In the first 12 hours of the website’s existence, 20,000 Icelanders had signed the on-line petition (that’s 7% of the population!). Bear in mind that Iceland has one of the highest rates of internet use in the world with around 84% of Icelanders using the web.

The website also contains a series of “postcards” which are in effect photos of ordinary Icelanders with signs saying things like “I am not a terrorist Mr Brown” and “Who are you calling a terrorist? Look what you’ve done!”.

Anyone who has been following the financial crisis will know that Mr Brown has justified his freezing of Icelandic assets on the grounds that the Icelandic government was not doing enough to prevent its struggling banks from collapsing and taking with them the deposits of thousands of British investors.

No-one would argue that Iceland had a problem with its banks; they had foreign liabilities of $100 billion in a country with a GDP of only $14 billion. But using anti-terror legislation against a peaceful Nordic country that doesn’t even have an army? It does sound a bit far-fetched and certainly not the purpose for which the legislation was created.

It will be interesting to see how far this web campaign gets, in particular:

  • How many Icelanders sign the petition
  • What media coverage the website gets outside of Iceland, particularly in the UK
  • Whether any NGOs/human rights activists or opposition politicians in the UK take up the case of the clearly mis-labelled Icelandic people
  • Whether any lawyers work out how Iceland can sue Gordon Brown for defamation of national character
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October 24, 2008 at 12:26 pm 2 comments

Interactive Medvedev

I’ve just watched President Medvedev’s first podcast. A picture speaks a thousand words and here’s a man who wants to demonstrate his importance. He has three computer screens, two mice (one for each hand?!) and more phones than I could count. Disappointingly there was no sign of the red telephone

Medvedev follows other leaders in bypassing mainstream media to talk directly to the nation and show their more cuddly side. Britain’s politicians have been running neck and neck in who’s more interactive. Tony Blair became the first PM to produce a podcast which he made with comedian Eddy Izzard and David Cameron, the leader of the UK Conservatives, grabbed attention with his webcameron in 2006.

Britain’s royals, could perhaps be credited with starting this tradition thanks to their annual King or Queen’s speech which has become a much commented-on institution.

Good luck to President Medvedev, in future posts and in answering all those phones whilst keeping an eye on three screens and navigating his two mice…

Tim

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October 8, 2008 at 5:03 pm 1 comment

Internet has 8 times the influence of newspapers on Europeans

Our digital practice in Europe has recently launched the results of a piece of research conducted in France, Germany and the UK with consumers on the impact of the use of the internet on their decisions. The Digital Influence Index that results uses both the time spent on different media and the influence consumers say it has on the decisions they take to come to an index that we shall be using to track the growing power of the internet over time. The study was undertaken by FH with Harris Interactive.

Unsurprisingly, the study comes to the conclusion that the internet trumps both print and broadcast media in terms of the influence it has on consumer decisions. Clearly, there is a lot more to the study than that, so click here for the social media release with lots of further info, pics, speeches, exec. summaries and media coverage.

While the study focuses for the most part on decisions consumers take, rather than political decisions, it does address the latter. Interestingly our bods come to the conclusion that political decisions by citizens are less likely to be influenced by the internet than other consumer related decisions.

Having said this, it is clear, at least for me, that the study underlines the potential impact of digital on public affairs and politics.

1. The influence of the internet scores highly (61%) in terms of citizen behaviour of campaigning on an issue. This compares favourably to campaiging for a political party (45%) and voting in an election and way above voting in an election (18%). Speculating wildly, one might argue that this confirms the issue driven nature of the internet rather than the party political. This underlines the fact that on our issues, Brussels public affairs people might find rich pickings in finding and mobilising people around issues online. It should be our natural hunting ground for third party advocates. (see p. 11 executive summary)

2. Political parties/candidates need to be on the net. While the influence of the net on votes in elections may be lower than on other forms of political activity (see point 1. above), in terms of influence different kinds of sites have content from “sponsored sites” (i.e. party/candidates) scores highest of all 61% and non-sponsored sites score second highest 42%. (see p.12 executive summary). This suggests that the politically interested are going online to get their information and that more candidates/parties should invest online to get their message out to their core support – more work for Jon perhaps?

We hope to have some more comments from the people behind the research on here soon, in the meantime your views on the findings are most welcome.

Zemanta Pixie

June 30, 2008 at 11:39 am 2 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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