John Bell Social@Ogilvy

Becoming Social Leaders at the European Committee of the Regions in Brussels

Originally posted on The Digital Influence Mapping Project with John Bell

This past year, I had the good fortune to speak at the EuroPCom Conference on Public Communication held adjacent to the European Parliament in Brussels. This happened concurrent with a EU leaders session and immediately after the Nobel Prize announced that the EU would be presented with the Nobel Peace Prize for 2012. One thrill was not only meeting great leaders like Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission, but inspiring her to take photos of my presentation from my return monitor.

My POV – Government communicators can learn a tremendous amount from the brands, agile non-profits and scrappy start-ups all innovating in digital and social media.  Too often, government communicators feel their circumstance is ‘terminally unique,’ that nothing can be learned from the Nestle’s and Ford’s of the world.

Brands are spending billions to figure our how to engage people via social media. Investment firms invest billions in start-ups attempting to build businesses and disrupt the way we get things done via digital. It would be a shame if public communicators and leaders turned a blind eye to all the learnings from these efforts.

The result? Well, hopefully a good session overall. But more importantly, I walked away with a fresh understanding and appreciation for the innovations and efforts of the folks working for the European Commission, the European Council, and the European Parliament.

Learning is a two-way street.  Who will you learn from this year?