Tag Archives: Twitter

Westminster Media Forum on press regulation

I went to a very interesting event today, and as there was quite a bit of tweeting going in, I had a go at Storifying it. I can’t publish the story here directly, but do follow the link, if you’re interested. It was my first go, so don’t be too harsh on me, constructive criticism welcome.

Leave a comment

Filed under Digital/social media, Media, UK politics

My take on social media in the Commission

I was asked to write an article for our intranet about the use of social media in London. Thought I would reprint it here, as I would be grateful for comments.

There’s no doubt that social media is the latest thing in communication terms. If I had an extra 10 minutes in the day for every unsolicited email I get marketing new ways to “optimise my social media presence” or “enhance my social media ROI” I’d be able to get a lot more done. But it’s not clear to everyone what social media is and how it can be used effectively. The London rep has built up some experience in the field that Well’Comm has asked me to share with you.

 1. What makes media social?

 The predominant principle of social media is that it’s two way. If you post on your Facebook page, people will comment, and will expect a response. If you have a Twitter account, you will get the most out of it if you follow and interact with other people. If you write a blog, you will need to respond to (sensible…) comments. Your success in these media will depend on how much you do so – broadcast only is not an option. This direct contact is why we in London started working with social media in the first place – it allows people to hear our side of the story, to question us about it and to get replies to their own questions, all of which helps breakdown our remote “ivory tower” image in this country.

 2. Who uses social media?

 Effective communication relies on getting the right medium for a particular message and audience. With social media, this is not only true, it is easy to measure. Platforms such as Hootsuite have integrated analytical tools that let you see how your tweets are being viewed and from where. New Twitter analysis tools such as Tweetreach and Twitalyzer are being developed all the time. Facebook insights give a demographic breakdown and show your most popular posts. Different groups use social media in different ways and on different platforms, so it’s really worth doing your research. Know who your audience are, choose the best tools to reach them and be clear about what you trying to say or do. Calls to action (“register here for…”, “send us your…” “tell us your…”) usually work better than general information messages Check out what your target community is doing and where they are talking to each other. Use the site analytics for your existing digital work to find out where they come from and what information they consume and use this to choose the best social media channel. Find examples in your field that you would like to emulate and work out what makes them successful and how you can translate that to your activity. 31 million people in the UK have internet, 89% have a mobile phone and 42% of those are smartphones. Therefore digital communication has to be a core element of our communication here at the London rep. Our Facebook insights show that our major demographic (65% of our users) is the 18-34 age-group, so we tend to orient what we do to this group. Our most popular items tend to be those focussing on careers and specific issues for students and young people.

 3. There’s more to social media than Twitter and Facebook

 All the talk at the moment is of Twitter and Facebook, but there’s more to social media than those two platforms, important though they are. Social media is at its heart about connecting people and this can be done in many ways. Having a Flickr account for your photos (preferably with a Creative Commons license so people can actually use them!) and YouTube/DailyMotion for your videos is one thing. You can make collaborative maps using Google Maps. You can highlight your expertise on a particular issue in Quora. You can make your presentations public and invite people to comment on them. You can use LinkedIn to find professionals interested in your issue. Of course all of these feed into and off each other – you can tweet your answers to Quora questions, repost your blog entry on Facebook and so on.

 So, if you want to stick your toe in the social media pond, you could do worse than consider Jim Benson’s 10 principles of social media. I’m off to tweet the link to his blogpost…!

1 Comment

Filed under Digital/social media, EC in UK

European Commission early adopters on Twitter

Someone – who shall remain nameless – claimed last week to be among the first in the European Commission to use Twitter. That got me thinking about those of us who were there early on (pre-2010) and who and what we are. This is a list I have drawn-up using the fabulous howlonghaveyoubeentweeting.com website (thanks to @simonblackley). I’d love to have updates about errors, omissions etc. Please comment, or email me.

@euonymblog (started as @EUlondonrep) 14 January 2009

@dicknieuwenhuis 16 March 2009

@ecfin 1 April 2009

@EUinNL 25 May 2009

@Eurireland 5 June 2009

@ECSpokesKoen 5 July 2009

@TonyLBxl 11 July 2009

@EC_AVservice 13 July 2009

@EU_EEAS (started as @EU_Relex) 8 October 2009

@EU_careers 9 October 2009

@ECDevelopment 13 October 2009

Update 2 February 4.30

@KevinCoates 26 March 2007

@sandracavallo 26 August 2008

@sclopit 30 November 2008

@joehennon 26 January 2009

@piotr_ec 8 April 2009

@EU_Consumer 12 May 2009

7 Comments

Filed under Digital/social media

Onward and upward in 2011

First off, a Happy New Year to all my readers (both of you…)

I was looking back through the blog today looking for a specific post, and it’s obvious that I write much less than I did when I first arrived. Some of that might be personal – less enthusiasm, more of other stuff that gets in the way. But I think to some extent it’s because we’ve developed other digital media channels which do (much better) what this blog was trying to do. The “in the press” section of our Rep website addresses the Euromyths that were a lot of what I did at the beginning. The Facebook page does the more fun stories. The EU and me site has the info about what’s going on, and links to practical sources of information. And I can interact with people via Twitter. So that doesn’t leave me a lot to talk about  here 🙂 I will of course keep writing, and certainly will try to keep up with the Coming Week information about events of specific UK interest. And I will take a particular interest in the European Year of Volunteering and hope to write quite a bit about that.

Have a great 2011!

Update, 17.15 Nice irony that today’s WordPress announcement was about their challenge to blog more often in 2011

1 Comment

Filed under Coming Week, Digital/social media, EC in UK, European Year of Volunteering

Digital manners

I found the following tweet on my timeline this morning:

@euonymblog can you twitt a bit less on ordinary things ? – we’re following you bc of the eu-part, txs

I have to admit, I was (and remain) quite annoyed about it, and I’ve been trying to work out why. I think it comes down to a point I make quite often when talking about social media and made when writing about this for the Waltzing Matilda blog:

One should think of social media as a reception rather than a meeting. It’s worth going to, you make some good contacts, you often get a lot done, but sometimes you talk about tennis or where you are going for your holidays.

And so for me, someone saying what I saw this morning was like talking to a group of people at a reception and one of them saying “Actually, I’m not interested in what you’re saying, could you please say something more related to my particular interests”. In the reception scenario, if you weren’t interested, wouldn’t you just drift away and talk to someone else?

I have a lot of EU-related followers, and that of course is a major element. But I also interact with UK political commentators, a lot of science writers, people from local government, knitting bloggers and many other random, weird and totally wonderful people. This is my personal tweeting account, and my personal blog and I am someone who has interests wider than my work. If you’re only interested in my work, you can go elsewhere (including our office’s official Twitter account @eulondonrep).

So I was annoyed, and I feel I have a right to be so. Just because we’re in a digital medium, we don’t have to forget our manners.

1 Comment

Filed under Digital/social media

Talking it over

There’s been a lot of discussion about how this hasn’t been the “social media” election everyone thought it was. But, like some others, I believe that those writing about it are viewing it the wrong way down the telescope. No, social media may not have replaced the role of newpapers, or even TV. But as I tweeted “#ukvote SE7” this morning to help log turnout and clicked “Yes I voted” on the Democracy UK page on Facebook, it seemed very clear to me that things were different to how they had ever been before. Social media aren’t about replacing the old media, thaty’re about doing things differently and doing different things. The New Statesman yesterday said more or less the same thing, highlighting the role of Twitter and Facebook in creating cohesion among supporters and activists. Not to mention the mydavidcameron poster site (other poster sites exist…!). Maybe it won’t be Twitter wot won it this time, or maybe ever, but I believe that the advent of tools making it easier for people who focus on a particular issue to find each other and talk about it is a complete game-changer. As a psephology junkie, it’ll be really interesting to see whether there is any evidence that first-time voter turn-out is up on past elections. If it is that will be a vindication of social media’s role, I believe. Either way, if we *are* on the brink of a new era in British politics, our new leaders will have to take all of this into account.

[Update 12.12] And as if to prove my point, The Sun front page parodies have started…

Leave a comment

Filed under Media

Who’s the twit?

So, I’ve made a decision to change the approach to Twitter. As you may have noticed, I’m a big fan. I love the interaction with people, the information and intelligence and having a lovely helpful network at your fingertips (literally) to help you out, whether it’s with a treaty article or a good restaurant in Rome.

On the other hand, I’ve been blogging under the reps name, but with a lot of my own interests in there (London life, web 2.0). So I think I’ve decided to change the name of my account to match this blog. That way it’ll be clear that it’s me tweeting, albeit retaining the link with my professional capacity. And then I will leave EUlondonrep for the original purpose, which was a resource for all the office to use, whether from the media section, schools, regions, networks, political etc.

I’d really appreciate some input from the Twitter crew – is this a good idea?

1 Comment

Filed under Personal

What’s going on

The member of the team here that deals with regional issues has just come back from a couple of days in Northern England, talking to regional press and other media actors about what they need from us and what is of interest to them. One interesting point that came up was that journalists wanted to know what was being written about elsewhere in Europe. Since I moved back from Brussels, I haven’t had the overview of Europe’s press that I had there, but there are a couple of useful websites for those that would like a more Europe-wide perspective on the media.

The first is Presseurop. Their approach seems to be briefs on a particular issue, pulling together the approach from across Europe, and highlighting the main trends of comment. They link to the principal articles quoted. Certainly worth checking out. And if you’re on Twitter, they are worth a follow (@presseurop) – it’s a real person tweeting, complete with cheeky comments, rather than a feed.

The second, recommended to me by the excellent Jon Worth, is Eurotopics. They do a daily press review drawing on sources from across Europe. Rather than a precis by topic, they do English- (and other-) language summaries of articles, which opens up sources of comment and analysis that would otherwise be closed off for linguistic reasons.

Are there others? It would be good to hear about them if there are.

1 Comment

Filed under European news, Media

Ben

Was at a great event last night – a debate between Science Minister Lord Drayson and Ben Goldacre, of Bad Science fame, at the Royal Institution. The Times Higher carried it as a webcast and it should be online for a while. It was great for several reasons:

Firstly, it was about  the quality of science reporting, an issues I’ve had an interest in since 2004 and which was an important part of my Eisenhower Fellowship. I think both made some good valid points and both didn’t. The problem was that they were talking about apples and oranges. The debate came about as a result of comments that Lord Drayson made about British science reporting being the best in the world, which Ben Goldacre challenged him on. But when the minister starts by saying “I’m of course talking about specialist science reporting” that does kind of change the remit of the debate, because Ben’s point about the problems of reporting science issues is that it isn’t always the science people doing it. There was a very (ahem) spirited defence from Fiona Fox of the Science Media Centre at the Royal Institution, and the audience certainly had some distinguished science writers there (I spotted Clive Cookson of the FT and Simon Singh was pointed out at one point). But that isn’t really where the problem (such as it is) lies.

The second fascinating issue was that this was the first truly social media event I have ever been at. The challenge to hold the debate was issued over Twitter. I, like others, heard about it through Ben’s twitter feed, and tickets sold out in 90 minutes (“the science equivalent of a Take That concert” according to Simon Mayo who was really good in the chair). So many people were tweeting about it that it (#scidebate) trended as a twitter topic (leading to a deluge of spammy tweets!).

The third issue for me was for most of the debate, you could have taken the word science, replaced it with Europe and the arguments would have been the same. But would we ever sell the tickets in 90 minutes?!

Anyway, if you are in anyway interested in science reporting, or social media as a communication tool, I recommend looking more closely at the event.

3 Comments

Filed under Media, science

The Tweety Song

I’m a big fan of Twitter. As you’ll have seen from the feed alongside, while I wasn’t writing the blog very often, I was still Tweeting. There’s been a lot of introspection about it recently, with blogposts like this one.

My gut feeling is that asking if the Commission should Twitter is as daft as asking whether it should use the phone or write. Twitter is a means of communication, not an end in itself. What the Commission, like any organisation, has to consider is HOW it uses it. One of the basic rules about communication is identifying who you want to talk to and how do you best talk to them. Twitter is just part of that. Here’s some advice I gave to one of my colleagues in the Commission who is considering using Twitter.

With Twitter you a) talk to  a self-selecting audience and b) have to be pithy. For those reasons it’s got an edge over a website. Plus you can, maybe even have to, be a bit more personal – if you look at even the very official ones (Parliament, Conservatives, Lib Dems) there’s a personal tone. So I would say it’s best to have  just one or two people who are really up for doing it. It’s the most interactive of all the social media and it needs upkeep and someone who finds it useful and sees the value in it.

I find it good more for what I learn (breaking news, good EU gossip) than what people get from me. It has helped me find quite a lot of people interested in EU issues. Reading Jon Bernstein, that’s true for people at the other end of the news telescope. I’d be interested to know what you think.

2 Comments

Filed under Media