Digital Public Affairs
The digital public affairs landscape has changed dramatically over the last decade. Policy audiences now look to a range of on and offline channels to gather information, debate issues and ultimately influence policy outcomes.
Twitter is the place where news breaks first in Brussels. Although social media clearly has limited effectiveness in influencing EU policy-makers, our recent research confirmed that no social network is as central to EU political communication as Twitter. It is the place politicians air their views, journalists get their news and campaigners put the world to rights. Interestingly, LinkedIn comes in a close second as a key digital channel for consultancies and their clients to get their messages out there.
Virtual meetings, Zoom, Teams etc. have substantially replaced physical meetings, since the pandemic and they are here to stay as part of the mix of the “new normal” in terms of public affairs engagement. All Brussels firms have adapted accordingly, and a number of the larger Brussels consultancies including Edelman, FleishmanHilllard and BCW built inhouse digital public affairs teams during the pandemic.
In addition, there are a number of specialist digital agencies offering public affairs services, including BUMP and the market leader ZN.
ZN have conceived and implemented successful communication for many demanding clients, from European associations to major corporate customers, not forgetting the largest group in the European Parliament and the award-winning #DiscoverEU campaign.
Brussels lobbyists can sometimes be a little too wordy, and might use a thousand words rather than one infographic to convey their messages. Visual communication is often the most effective way of passing information because the human mind processes things in images. It is simply easier to process a visual signal quickly than to read a paragraph full of text.
There are a number of digital design and multimedia agencies who are well versed with visual communication and EU public affairs. Morris & Chapman and The Right Street are two particularly well regarded firms in this space.
Morris & Chapman is a Brussels based communication agency specialised in developing on and offline communication solutions for institutional and corporate clients, Fortune 500 companies and trade associations.
In Brussels and across the world, The Right Street is helping clients to navigate the digital landscape. They are a fast growing digital agency for creative communications and advocacy.
Digital Platforms & Apps
There are numerous digital platforms, tools and apps that enable EU public affairs practitioners expand their reach, and work smarter and faster. For instance, many European associations have undergone a digital transformation over the last year, to increase membership engagement, offer new services and harness data analytics. One of the Brussels pioneers in this space is niche agency Symantra.