EurActiv, everyone’s favourite news source, interviewed Helen Dunnett, eCommunications Manager at the European Crop Protection Association, blogger and former interviewee on this blog. She continues to proselytize for digital communications, saying that “Communications in Brussels still tends to be one-directional, with a stoic resistance to using online tools to enrich press conferences, releases and events.” She has many other wise comments, and you should read the full interview.
Helen discusses the hesitancy to move towards digital communications, and says that “The key is to take small steps, be willing to experiment and educate, listen to your community and learn from them, and not worry if things aren’t perfect first time around.”
Our experience with a number of companies in Brussels validates what she said. One small step is the use of HTML emails. Everyone is comfortable with email, and may forget that email is a form of digital communication. Using an HTML email newsletter and online management system is a small step from regular emails, but greatly increases readability and design, and encourages people to hit reply or click on a link to your website. Next steps: a blog, Twitter, a YouTube channel, a Facebook group, et cetera. Not all of these tools are useful or appropriate for every company, but each has its own benefits.
Finally, Helen notes about her own blog that , “…the feared backlash has never occurred!”
This may because of her good writing and common sense! A warning sounded for Twitterers around the world when a PR consultant insulted the headquarters city of his client. Read and cringe here, there and all over.