Speaking about PA and digital: 10 things that resonate with audiences

I spend a lot of time presenting these days, both to internal and external audiences. I’m usually asked to speak about some variation of this theme: how is digital impacting Public Affairs in Brussels. Here are a few of the points which resonate most with audiences:

  • An entirely vacuous point: slides with good pictures and no more than five words are infinitely better than text-heavy slides. No surprise I guess, but it’s certainly been confirmed.
  • PA is shifting from being government relations centric: it’s embracing a broader set of communications disciplines, especially around reputation (and digital is key to reputation.)
  • Digital PA does not involve an entirely different toolkit to digital marketing or online PR.
  • You don’t need to “pick” a channel but first decide who you want to reach and what you want to say. Channels come last (and sometimes a mix-mash of channels is best e.g. a blog feeds conversation on Twitter etc.)
  • Producing good content – compelling stories – is key to success, and digital allows for frequent and diverse content production.
  • Content needs to be simplified and be more value-based rather than just technical.
  • NGOs have driven the agenda on many issues because they’re better at content.
  • Basic video output, especially involving 3rd parties, is easy to produce and highly effective.
  • It is possible to micro-target using digital i.e. yes you can target regulators, not just spray and pray, if done right.
  • You can measure everything, from the number of views on a Wikipedia entry to amount of visits on your blog from the European Commission.

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