Despite the various “influential bloggers” lists and the like about, what often escapes the otherwise astute PA professional is that the online world is not a different universe, at least in Public Affairs in Brussels. Citizen blogging or tweeting on the majority of issues that PA folk in Brussels care about has not taken off, meaning that the usual array of politicians, officials and journalists that are artfully mapped out in the hallowed stakeholder maps, a staple of PA, just need an extra couple of columns and it’s an online stakeholder map too.
In short, check if the said individuals tweet or blog or otherwise engage (avid engagement in a certain LinkedIn group perhaps?) and add a couple of extra columns, one for whichever channel they use, and another on how they use it (last tweeted 6 months ago, ignore; avid and insightful blogger, don’t ignore.)
A shame somewhat, but still a reality on the majority of issues. Don’t get me wrong, there are influential people here or there outside the regular offline crowd, especially in tech and energy, and there are a few influential generalists, but the issues based influential crowd in Brussels is pretty much the same whether on or offline.