I hear some variation of this all the time: we don’t need digital, this is just a policy issue; digital isn’t relevant, we’re not trying to reach a mass audience. And so forth.
No – digital is always relevant; it’s the degree that changes. In short, here are three reasons why:
- Digital isn’t only social media. People often think that being active online always involves 2-way engagement but I’m perfectly happy to admit that in many cases, Brussels issues are such that online engagement isn’t likely to happen, for a number of reasons. However, policy-makers and others who matter, no matter how niche an issue is, still use the web to conduct research. So content and search are always relevant.
- Beyond content and search, the engagement piece is increasingly important. On some issues (ICT especially) Twitter advocacy is already fairly mature, and it’s just a question of time before the same becomes the case in other sectors.
- Lastly, there’s the fact that the line between PR and PA is blurring: issues are increasingly influenced by players beyond Brussels, meaning that success in PA will depend on a government relations “plus” approach involving more audiences, across Europe, and across channels (including digital).