MEPs may not always be tweeting, but they ARE listening. Every day.

Brett Kobie

61% of Members of European Parliament surveyed say they follow social media conversations every day.

For me, that’s the headline of FleishmanHillard’s 3rd European Parliament Digital Trends Survey. Between April and June 2015 we coupled publicly available information with a survey of 100 Members of European Parliament to find out not only how MEPs use digital tools, but more broadly, how they consume information and prefer to interact act with stakeholders like industry, NGOs and academics.

Did we know MEPs were on social media? Yes we did and that’s why that’s not news. What we know now though, is that MEPs aren’t just “checking the social media box” to “keep up with the Johnsons.”

Instead, they’re actively monitoring social conversations every day and acting on the information they absorb —the digital equivalent of keeping your ear to the ground to see what’s coming at you.

What else did we learn? 4 more takeaways

  • Twitter (76%) and Facebook (88%) adoption lead the pack in terms of MEP adoption, but LinkedIn (28%) has quietly emerged as a social channel not to be ignored.
  • MEPs value traditional approaches to stakeholder communications like meetings, events and position papers, but expect to find useful information across a mix of off- and online channels including infographics, video, Wikipedia, as well as stakeholder websites and social channels.
  • MEPs are largely aware of search engine and social advertising, but advertisers will have to craft attention-grabbing content to reach them, as most (63%) say they only “sometimes click” on these ads.
  • Traditional pan-European and national media (67%) as well as EU-focused media (58%) (e.g. EurActiv, EUobserver) are consulted by MEPs on a daily basis, often via Twitter where 30% of MEPs look for breaking news.

Get the full results here, but also watch this space as well as #MEPDigital on Twitter for a steady stream of insights on what this means for public affairs professionals.


I’ll be making the rounds, presenting this in Brussels over the next month and throughout early Fall. If you’d like me to stop by your organisation, just say so.