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Cecilia Malmstrom

#Talkdigital blogging competition: have your say on European digital communication!

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The next European elections will take place all around the European Union between 22-25 May and it’s a good time for us all to reflect on the direction we want the EU to take. So we have a question for you – how do you think the EU could better communicate with citizens digitally? If you could suggest one big thing about European digital communication what would that be?

Share your ideas in this blogging competition! The winning idea will be published on this blog and the author will be invited to speak at EuroPCom2014.

You can submit your entry until 15 June 2014.

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Send your entry by email to the Commission’s social media team  with the subject “#TALKDIGITAL BLOGGING COMPETITION” or leave us a comment to this post. Read the full entry

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Transforming digital communication at the European Commission

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Robert Andrecs, who is heading the unit in charge of digital communication gives some insights into the digital change project.


Good quality content focused on user needs, integration with social media and availability on any device: these will be the three central features of the Commission’s new online presence that we are currently working on. Read the full entry

#ThanksAMillion – EC Google+ page has reached 1 Million Plusses!

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#ThanksAMillionby @PabloPerezA

Early in 2012, the European Commission opened a page on Google+. Google’s social network had been around for a while at that point, growing quietly but quickly as it took advantage of its own search engine, making social media posts on the platform easy to find through searches. Today, we have just reached 1 million pluses. To celebrate that milestone, we want to share with you some insights Read the full entry

The grass is always greener on the other side…and so are analytics tools

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There are literally thousands of social media analytics tools out there. When you get accustomed to one tool you might get the feeling that you are missing out on something. And that other analytics tools can offer incredible, flashy and (apparently) indispensable features that would ease your work or provide you with some data which would help enrich your social media reports.

This is something I always try to stress as a social media analyst: the fact that other tools may offer “more”, doesn’t mean that other tools can offer what you actually need.


There are thousands of tools out there offering more or less the same data, stats etc… and that try to differentiate themselves by adding some (sometimes insignificant) features.

The question you should ask yourself is “what data do I need in order to produce a good report about my social media activity, campaign or project?”

Secondly, investigate which tools provide this data.

Thirdly, amongst the tools you have identified choose the one you think is the most user-friendly.

If you do the opposite (checking what features a set of tools can offer and then go for the most “complete one”) your quest will be biased by some “needs” you possibly don’t have while analysing your social media activity.

Don’t get me wrong, experimenting doesn’t hurt. So, I do encourage you to try different tools (if time permits). But when making your final choice, I would recommend sticking to the points above.

How diverse is the online conversation about the European elections?

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A guest blog from Tony Lockett of DG Regional policy.

The online conversation about the European elections provides some fascinating insights into the issues at stake, the process and the positions of the protagonists from the different sides of the debate.  But if we step back a bit from the specifics of the election campaign, what can these online exchanges tell us more generally about the state of public engagement with the EU and the Europe’s evolving “digital public sphere”?

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Highlights from Social Media Week, Hamburg

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Social Media WeekBy @nialljudge

Niall works in the communication team of DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion and co-manages their social media accounts

In February, I was lucky enough to attend Social Media Week in Hamburg for three days. It’s a worldwide event that takes place twice a year in the spring and autumn for… funnily enough… a week at a time. It’s a coordinated week of events in 8 cities all over the world, with the most recent edition 17-21 February in Hamburg, Copenhagen, Milan, Barcelona, New York, Lagos, Tokyo and Bangalore.

There were close to 200 separate events, covering all manner of things such as Social Media Monitoring & Analytics; Legal Pitfalls in Social Media Marketing; the use of photos; Political reporting and campaigning; Social Media in the European Parliament elections, and so on. You can see the full schedule including videos for some of the events. Several are in English but most are in German so you can also use the opportunity to brush up on your Deutsch!

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Designing for our users – some first thoughts

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By @deirdrehodson

Prototype team post-itsWhen our team was set up last year our senior management gave us a dual task:

- to support Commission departments in their digital ‘clean-up’
- to put forward ideas for a leaner, more cost-effective Commission website.

We were asked to create some sketch-ups or wireframes showing what a new site might look like by June this year. This work began last month when some new recruits joined the team.

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Can we measure social media’s impact on the European elections?

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Written by @TonyLbxl

With three months still to go, people are already talking about the European elections on social media.  But will social media actually make a difference?  And, perhaps more importantly, can we get beyond speculation and measure the impact of social media on the 2014 European elections?

In this post, I’m going to take a brief look at three areas where I think social media could potentially have a quantifiable impact.

Social media and voter turnout

During the 2010 US congressional elections, a research team led by the University of California in San Diego studied the voting behaviour of 61 million Facebook users.  The researchers looked at the impact of a “get out the vote” message delivered to voters via Facebook, as well as an “I voted” button that allowed people to inform their Facebook friends that they had cast their vote.  The study concluded that the Facebook campaign generated 340,000 additional votes nationwide.  Interestingly, it found that people’s behaviour was influenced not just by their friends, but also by friends of their friends.  (See further information about the study on the UCSD website.)

It’s not currently clear whether Facebook will be used in a similar way to get out the vote during this year’s European elections.  If it is, evidence from the UCSD study suggests that it could potentially have a quantifiable effect on voter turnout.

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Understanding what users need from us

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by @deirdrehodson

Spreadsheet displayed on wallThis month we are deep in user research. Part of our work to clean up the Commission’s websites has us doing a huge stocktaking exercise on the main reasons why people come to our sites.
As one of our colleagues put it: it’s about making our online publishing about demand and not just supply.

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Community Manager Appreciation Day in Europe

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By @marcoRecorder

Community Managers: You are the bestLast Monday, 27 January 2014, was Community Manager Appreciation Day, a day to recognise and celebrate the efforts of community managers around the world using social media and other tools to improve customer experiences.

Jeremiah Owyang initiated this international event in 2010. People are encouraged to send sincere Thank You notes to their online community managers. People using Twitter include the #CMAD and #CMGR hashtag in their tweets about this event. Many online community managers and vendors in the social media marketplace post blogs in appreciation of their community managers. Cities with large concentrations of social media focused businesses, such as Boston, Austin, and San Francisco hold in-person meet-up events to celebrate and honour those who represent and support their online communities.

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