ICS Europe 2013

26 Sep 2013 ore 09:45, Bibliotèque Solvay - Brussels

Content cloud

Communication and engagement for the new european citizen-consumer

Citizens and institutions: the game is played on the field of transparency

How is the figure of the citizen-consumer changing inside the new information “cloud” that is invading our everyday life?  Which are the behaviours to adopt in order to reconstruct a new trusting relationship between politics and people? The International Communication Summit, on its first edition held at Brussels, was able to fulfil the expectations creating a platform for the debate of these issues, finding not conclusive answers but inspiration for further considerations.

“Transparency means telling the truth”.  This is the simple and strong message of the bestseller writer Jung Chang, who told us how her books are born mainly from experiences of life and about why they reach so many people in the entire world (sixteen million copies sold with her last two books). She said:

“A good storytelling is made of a few important ingredients: honesty towards the reader, clearness and simplicity. Simplicity is the test of profoundness”.

Harper Reed, web strategist for Obama’s re election campaign, told us how the President found him:

“In 2012 the scenery had changed compared to 2008 and Obama’s staff wanted something different, and I was obviously something different”.

Reed spoke also about the activities of crowdsourcing made by Threadless, about getting people engaged by using the social networks and the web, for the creative part and for the contents.

“Using crowdsourcing we made so that the users were the ones doing the hardest part of the job”.

Harper Reed also evidenced that:

“The web communities give power to brands. Communities are like neighbourhoods: if you build a good neighbourhood people will come to live with you”.

We went from the United States to Europe. Geoff Mulgan, one of the most innovative policy makers in the world and former Advisor of the Tony Blair’s government, faced the theme of the social innovation that is always getting stronger thanks to the engagement of the users, and about how Internet and new technologies may further mobilize people and capabilities. Going over one of the most significant experiences about the sharing economy, Mulgan has demonstrated how:

“One of the biggest challenges in Europe is letting know the public the importance of investing in the future, in research and development, and innovation. In other places in the world this commitment has been galvanized by fear, instead we must bet on hope and on the direct engagement of the public”.

The guru of the public communication, Pierre Zémor, honorary President of EuroPcom and State Advisor of France, offered us a view of the chameleonic nature of communication explaining how,

“Being immediate, communication binds those who have the power to decide and sacrifices the necessary in-depth analysis, especially in situations of crisis. Instead, a good communication that contributes to renew democracy is needed, one that engages people in a direct way”.

About civic participation in times of web 2.0, spoke Stephen Clark, responsible of the communication between the European Parliament and citizens. He illustrated his job and the objectives of the institution that he represents,

“To make people understand the European Parliament and to begin a relationship, a dialogue between citizens and their own political representatives. Once the dialogue has begun, we get out of the way and let it go on without filters”.

Also Ronny Patz, responsible of the EU Communications and Policy Officer at the Liaison Office of Transparency International, explained,

“In order to have the trust of citizens is not enough to make laws about transparency. We must also aim to transparency by using new technologies”.

The ICS Pomilio Blumm, born from the efforts of the Blumm Academy, has contributed to bring forward, in a privileged way, new concepts such as the “citizen-consumer” and “transparency” inside the institutional communications to engage the European citizens, as evidenced by Franco Pomilio, President of the Pomilio Blumm and ICS Chairman.

The moderator of the event was Barbara Roffi, Head of Sector Content Production and Audiovisual Unit for the European Parliament.

After Brussels, the ICS Pomilio Blumm is scheduled at Rome on October 24th 2013 and at Milan on November 28th 2013, to continue the dialogue for the understanding on how to proceed to define new behaviour models that acknowledge transparency and correctness, two essential values in order to have trust between society and institutions. 


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