The role of the Internet in a European communication policy Ramón Jiménez Fraile Council of the European Union
Hey guys, Can EU hear us? Hey guys, Can EU hear us?
Obviously not Voter apathy and disengagement from the political process Rejection of the EU constitution in 2 founding member states Brussels bureaucracy more distant than ever
What to do? Keep it simple and effective : less is more More openness and transparency Better communication Plan D : Dialogue, Debate & Democracy White Paper on a European communication policy
New communication approach Listening Explaining Connecting by going local With a little help from the e-channel …
Listening The direct line : phone, mail, web online consultation Online forums, virtual events, chats, blogs Opinion polls, focus groups, panels
Explaining Clear information on a well-structured website Audience targeting and localisation of messages What is the impact on your daily life? What are the benefits?
Connecting by going local Address the local concerns, speak the local language Cooperate with civil society organisations Active participation in online discussions Getting the facts straight
INTERNET Is a powerful communication tool and its impact on opinion building is still very much underestimated It has become an important forum of political debate and can increase citizens participation in the democratic process It will play a key role in the EU institutions communication efforts, who will use state-of-art Internet technology to actively debate and advocate its policies in cyberspace
The internet is a mass medium – Two-thirds in the net: – 64 percent of Germans are in the web; – 87 percent of young persons aged 25 or less already have internet access. – Everyday companion: 44 percent of Germans make daily use of the web.
Internet media usage is mushrooming – Internet media usage continues to grow powerfully while all other media are losing ground. – The internet now ranks third in terms of media usage Index of net media advertising revenue (year 2000 = 100) Daily media usage in minutes
The internet is "invading" TV – By 2009, more than 40 percent of all DVDs will be hired out via the web.
Entertainment via internet By 2015 it will be common: – 23 percent of households will be using video on demand, – 31percent music on demand – 18 percent online gaming offerings.
Weblogs in political communications? Communication + Trust
About weblogs A weblog or blog (an artifically created word derived from 'web' and 'log') is a website to which new entries are added from time to time. New entries are placed in first position.weblog website –70,000 new blogs appear in the World Wide Web each day. –By the end of 2006 there will be roughly 15 million US blogs and > 40 million worldwide. Statistics
Typical blog users –< 30 years old, students, trainees, self- employed persons, "power" internet users W3B, Fittkau & Maas, www.w3b.de, autumn 2005
About blogs –Opinion and style: relevant, subjective, variable emphasis –Links: links to one another and blog link lists –Dialog / interchange: with other bloggers, community, target groups –Frequency: content is direct and should appear at regular intervals –Blogroll: collection of links to other weblogs within a weblog –Trackbacks: The content of weblogs can be integrated into other weblogs. Trackbacks are used to indicate this linkage in the original article. –Permalink: Link to an article in a weblog that has been in existence for a long time –Pingback: Means by which blog authors find out that someone is linking to their articles Result: Because of the intensive internal and external linkages, blogs are often well placed in search engines. Main characteristics Networking
Companies have recognized this potential – Five members of SAP's Executive Board blog – IBM has also launched a major corporate blogging initiative: each member of staff should be an "online evangelist", reporting on IBM products and technologies. SAPIBM
Blogs can be used to "push" (industry-related) themes and topics RFID Bluetooth – Therfidweblog supplies information on all aspects of RFID, integrating advertising and sponsored text links – Latest information on Bluetooth and other wireless technologies
Blogs as a platform for dialog http://csr.blogs.mcdonalds.com/default.asp
Possible uses of blogs Overview Internal communi- cations Market communi- cations Public relations Information Providing knowledge Focusing on theme Building image Backing up contracts Persuasion Argumentation Maintaining relations Resolving conflicts Knowledge blogs Service blogs Campaigning blogs CEO blogs Product blogs Collaboration blogs Customer relationship blogs Crisis blogs Source: Ansgar Zerfass: Corporate blogs: Possible applications and challenges.
Blogs in political communications – www.blogforamerica.com recruited volunteers/donations for the 2004 US presidential election www.blogforamerica.com
Blogs in political communications No.1 in technorati ratings for Europe >20,000 links "Journalistic" blogs
Blogs in political communications "Journalistic" blogs in dailys environment
Blogs in political communications Austrian Media - http://blogs.salzburg.com/perterer/2006/03/foto_ohne_salzb.html http://blogs.salzburg.com/perterer/2006/03/foto_ohne_salzb.html
Blogs in political communications Theme-oriented blog
Blogs in political communications – Blog of Margot Wallström, Vice-President of the European Commission
Blogs in political communications For political actors, the internet represents a direct communications channel which has no media filters and can be used strategically and at comparatively short notice. At the same time, however, the direct channel also provides a broad platform for negative campaigning.
http://europa.eu.int/comm/communication_white_paper/index_en.htm Have your say ! How to involve the media, including new technologies, more effectively in communicating on Europe? How will the partnership between the key actors, i.e. member states, EU institutions, local and regional authorities, political parties and civil society organizations, work?
A tip… «The EU institutions and the Member States could pool available resources to set up an independent Observatory for European Public Opinion which would identify and provide in-depth analyses of trends in public opinion. » White Paper on a European communication policy, February 2006