Experts participating in the discussion included Maria Linkova-Nijs, Communications Director at Cefic; Róisín Traynor, Senior Account Director at BCW Brussels; and Jacques Foul, Digital Strategist & Trainer. The discussion provided a comprehensive landscape of the risks, challenges and opportunities shaping policy dialogue on social platforms today. The recording of the webinar is available on YouTube:
Moderated by Krzysztof Bulski, the webinar kicked off with thought-provoking questions that set the tone for a captivating discussion. Among the queries posed was, “Amidst the spotlight on LinkedIn and Twitter, do the experts believe platforms like Facebook or TikTok still hold relevance in shaping future social media strategies and client recommendations?”
Róisín Traynor, reflecting on findings from BCW’s EU Media Poll report, spoke about the importance of aligning communication strategies with audience presence, “The foundation of any good comms strategy is to go where your audience is… right now for social media in Brussels for policy communications that’s still Twitter and increasingly LinkedIn”. She also acknowledged the challenges of a turbulent social media landscape “It’s really a hectic and complicated social media world. But here in Brussels we still don’t see any of the competitors taking off.” she added.
Maria Linkova-Nijs emphasised the enduring significance of TikTok, particularly in reaching younger demographics. Her insights illuminated the necessity of adapting content to suit each platform’s unique audience and tone. Maria also raised a crucial point about resource allocation, cautioning against the urge to engage on multiple platforms without a solid foundation of content.
Jacques Foul also spoke candidly about the resource challenges in the industry, “I think the resource issue is really the number one thing. It’s also something that I’ve seen people usually struggle with in the bubble with strategy, visibility, or capability or capacity.” He also noted the need for realistic content strategies.
The conversation also delved into the importance of strategic focus, where Róisín Traynor, highlighted the need to prioritise impactful platforms and tailor content to suit each platform’s unique audience. Platforms like TikTok, Facebook, and LinkedIn were spotlighted for their undeniable relevance in the realm of policy communications.
The emergence of influencers as pivotal figures in the policy landscape was acknowledged. The panel suggested that organizations can enhance their influence by encouraging team members to become advocates on social media, thereby creating more personal and credible communication channels.
The discussion ventured further, exploring how organisations can balance their presence on well-established platforms like LinkedIn with smaller newcomers such as Mastodon or Blue Sky. Jacques Foul shed light on the potential of less crowded platforms and the unique dynamics they offer for engaging niche audiences in specific industries.
The dialogue expanded to consider the feasibility of transferring an audience from one social media platform to another. The question raised a critical point – the challenges of transitioning an audience between platforms due to the differing ways people engage with each platform.
The webinar concluded with a unified message: as the tools of communication evolve, the foundational skills of adaptability, strategic thinking, and clarity in conveying complex policy issues remain the cornerstones of effective EU policy advocacy. The insights provided by the panelists can serve as guiding principles for those navigating the intricate avenues of EU policy communication, ensuring that the essence of the message is not lost in the medium.