Brussels Blogger

Euroblog 2008 in Brussels

EuroBlog 2008The PR research association Euprera is hosting the EuroBlog 2008 conference in Brussels from 13 to 15 March 2008. Edelman, a leading global PR firm, is supporting the event.

The call for papers is still open until 7 January 2008. See also the facebook group related to the event.

Further reading:

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  1. Dear Sir,

    Thank you very much for organising EuroBlog 2008 and for giving the occasion already now to make comments.

    I’d like to make two, related to the event.

    – Apart from blogs there are also local news-websites, like the one I have for five years now. Blogs are often or even mostly set up by people who are not journalists or who have no journalist education or experience, and must be seen primarily as diaries, expressing personal views and inviting others to give theirs.
    The local websites – are often set up by former journalists or people who want to use their former journalist experience in this new medium to attract more people to ‘what happens’ locally and from there guide them to further off events – do try to keep up journalistic standards, methodology and ethics. For instance with a clear distinction between facts and opinion. However, as they mostly do it as a side job, or even as a hobby, they are not recognised as journalists. However I do think that they – I should say ‘we’ – should be recognised as an appropriate way to inform and to make aware people.
    – On public relations. It becomes very urgent that ‘public relations’ improves its perception. I learned that it is “The planned and sustained effort to establish and improve the degree of understanding between an organisation/person and its publics”. This text book definition of public relations has some variants. The Belgian PR Centre adds the words ‘trust’ to ‘understanding’, and ‘that have or may have an influence in achieving the goals of the organisation‘. A short American definition is: “Be good and tell it”. In fact this implies a philosophy and a way of working. In practice only the ‘way of working’ is considered, also by (PR) companies, who only seem to be interested in giving a good image, whether that is justified or not. And therefore when an authority, like the EC, wants to inform people (and indeed wants to explain people and to try to convince people that it is the right way forward), this is immediately explained as PR, but in the very short sighted view of that word. And this makes it rather difficult for that authority to explain what it wants to do and why, which however is an obligation not only as they should do so, but also to gain public support and co-operation.

    I would also react to the first comment on this blog, about ‘the Commission wants to educate us all’. First of all, I am working for the Commission, but still kept the journalistic critical mind, and I am not involved in the mentioned action. But my own experience (as a former journalist and with the own local news website) learned that only few people really ‘read’ what is being published, not to say that they mostly lack the necessary background to understand it. People – mostly due to the mass of information – do not make the necessary effort to gain that background knowledge. This opens the way to misinformation and to misleading. See for instance the blogs on whether to have a referendum on the European Treaty … Therefore it is almost an obligation for an authority to help citizens, or at least to persuade them to acquire background information, if only to see a broader picture. Of course a prerequisite is that this authority has enough credibility and thrustworthiness of its own. And on that I think I can say that the Commission – even with the mistakes it made and makes, on communication in the first place – can be seen as such.

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