In the Brussels bubble we’ve got a unique, vibrant conversation about digital and social communications. It’s important to realise though that there are actually a few different conversations happening within that bigger one.
My take on the most obvious three:
- The “public communication” conversation, driven by the EU institutions with their need to reach huge numbers across the continent, usually with a message about the benefits of the EU or something that helps engage citizens, bringing them closer to the policy-making process.
- The “EU macro-political” conversation, driven by media, think tanks, independent activist/pundits and to some extent key members of the EU institutional elites, focused on the EU’s hot button issues. The kind of issues (Migration, Brexit etc) that resonate most easily beyond the bubble in contrast the nitty gritty obscurity that most of the bubble is occupied with day-to-day.
- The “EU policy advocacy/lobbying” conversation, driven by well, lobbyists (in the broadest sense of the word – yes NGOs and non-profits are lobbyists too:)) whose business it is to move niche policy audiences to take action on issues that for better or worse, often exist far removed from public discourse.
We’re a small village here in the bubble so it’s normal that we all mix and swap stories. It’s just worth noting that how and why we use digital and social can vary widely. Our objectives and strategies can be worlds apart, leaving us sometimes with little else in common than channels.
For those just entering the fray, I’d encourage you to find a good starting point to get introduced to these conversations, figure out which conversation makes the most sense to you and then dive deeper with a clear focus (the upcoming Public Affairs Council European Digital Advocacy Summit is one of those good intro moments).