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Digital Engagement: Leading-edge Ideas From Across the Atlantic

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Where is Europe going with digital media? Paul Mylrea, Communications Director for the UK's Department for International Development, and Thorsten Luetzler of Global Communications Community of Bayer …

Where is Europe going with digital media? Paul Mylrea, Communications Director for the UK's Department for International Development, and Thorsten Luetzler of Global Communications Community of Bayer AG, Germany, will provide insights into the techniques and theories making waves across the pond.

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  • 1. Using social media – what can Government do? Examples from our experience in the p p UK Paul Mylrea Director of Communications Department for International Development
  • 2. Communication revolution We W are living th li i through a communication revolution. Di it l channels – h i ti l ti Digital h l videos, blogs, social networks and search engines - are reaching more people than ever. Examples - In March this year, 6.3 billion videos were viewed on YouTube Facebook has grown from 100 million to 200 million users in less than 8 months. If it were a country, it would be bigger than Brazil. Twitter currently has 7 million unique monthly visitors. If it keeps growing at this rate, it’ll have nearly 100 million visitors same time next year.
  • 3. Context for the evolution of interest in social media “the ability to mix and ‘mash’ data is far more widely available.” “collect, re-use and distribute public sector information, creating new enterprises and new communities ” communities. …to explore the role of government in helping to maximise the benefits for citizens from this new pattern of information creation and use use.
  • 4. Context for the evolution of interest in social media Followed up with a Taskforce who collaborated widely using a bl and F ll d ith T kf h ll b t d id l i blog d wiki version of their draft report Their report has now become a blueprint for future activity p p y “15 months ago, Power of Information was yet another document lying in the middle of Whitehall in-trays Now I consider it the blueprint for the in trays. core business of government.” Tom Watson, Cabinet office minister
  • 5. The social media landscape – in government communication …increasing interest and increasing use, but a greater degree of uncertainty than in the th commercial sphere. i l h
  • 6. Recognised potential of social media in government communication Improve reach, accessibility and t I h ibilit d targeting ti Reflect channel preferences Meet expectations and enhance reputation Promote transparency P t t Support deeper relationships Be responsive Improve cost-effectiveness I t ff ti Sources of demand demand… Policy Comms Citizens Staff Ministers clients specialists
  • 7. Recognised potential of social media in government communication 1. Engagement with the public and stakeholders 1 E t ith th bli d t k h ld 2. Social marketing 3. Understanding public opinion … strategically applied and integrated with other activity
  • 8. Recognised potential of social media in government communication 1. Engagement with th public and stakeholders 1 E t ith the bli d t k h ld Ministry of Justice National discussion on a possible Bill of Rights
  • 9. Recognised potential of social media in government communication 1. Engagement with th public and stakeholders 1 E t ith the bli d t k h ld Department of Health Review of the NHS
  • 10. Recognised potential of social media in government communication 1. Engagement with th public and stakeholders 1 E t ith the bli d t k h ld Department for International Development Consultation around a new White Paper
  • 11. Recognised potential of social media in government communication 1. Engagement with th public and stakeholders 1 E t ith the bli d t k h ld Department for International Development DFID Bloggers – voices from the frontline
  • 12. Recognised potential of social media in government communication 1. Engagement with th public and stakeholders 1 E t ith the bli d t k h ld Foreign & Commonwealth Office London Summit
  • 13. Recognised potential of social media in government communication 1. Engagement with th public and stakeholders 1 E t ith the bli d t k h ld …including including youth reporters
  • 14. Recognised potential of social media in government communication 1. Engagement with th public and stakeholders 1 E t ith the bli d t k h ld Foreign & Commonwealth Office / DFID Supported G20 Voice – 50 bloggers accredited to attend the London Summit
  • 15. Recognised potential of social media in government communication 2. Social 2 S i l marketing k ti Number 10 Using Twitter – 693,662 followers – and growing
  • 16. Recognised potential of social media in government communication 2. Social 2 S i l marketing k ti Defra Climate change content on Dubit.com
  • 17. Recognised potential of social media in government communication 3. Understanding public opinion 3 U d t di bli i i Number 10 E-petitions
  • 18. Perceived risks of social media in government communication exposure t scrutiny, criticism, negative media comment to ti iti i ti di t ‘opening the floodgates’ demands of managing response loss of reputational control l f t ti l t l inappropriate interventions
  • 19. Barriers to using social media in government communciation Limited d t di Li it d understanding “We do ha e sporadic demands for have blogs, podcasts and wikis from our policy teams, but without any real understanding of the business Lack of robust metrics/evidence benefits to be gained.” g Resource limitations “Policy colleagues’ perceptions of high risk could be overcome if we could provide more convincing insight into public and private sector Lack of expertise success.” IT limitations “We are contracted to use our IT supplier so we were unable to obtain competitive costs. We were charged a hugely inflated figure to set up a Security concerns simple discussion forum ’’ forum.
  • 20. A significant challenge for government “Social media is organic, democratic, spontaneous, conversational – it is a challenge to command and control structures and exposes civil servants t new risks and pressures.” i il t to i k d ” “Loss of control is an important and recurring argument … in so many initiatives and announcements there is a desire to put out a controlled message rather than stimulate debate.” Rational, strategic approach Keep pace, experiment, innovate
  • 21. Moving forward
  • 22. Moving forward Social Media Review recommends… S i l M di R i d ‒ Evidence-based, integrated approach ‒ Awareness of tools, opportunities and risks ‒ Guidelines and ‘how to’ toolkit ‒ Code of conduct ‒ Tracking social media tools and networks ‒ Making the case for access to tools and sites ‒ Participation before replication Government e-comms Cabinet Communication Communication network Office (P&E) Directorates
  • 23. The aspiration A positive choice t use social media i supported b iti h i to i l di is t d by: ‒ strong understanding ‒ clear leadership and direction ‒ rational, strategic approach ‒ solid evidence, analysis and decision-making The comms – policy – delivery partnership pioneers and proves the use of social media use, for positive audience impact The e-communicators network takes an active role in promoting and professionalising social media use in government