Social media : analysing governments’ and institutions’ capacities and engagement and the added value of an enhanced technological landscape

Last 31 March, I had the pleasure to attend the Club of Venice 5th Stratcom Seminar “Professionalizing Strategic Communication to tackle social and technological challenges.”

This year’s seminar focused on shaping meaningful and coordinated communication strategies to be applied in times of crisis especially in relation to the current war in Ukraine, its tragic impact on the citizens’ lives and on the dramatic problem of the refugees across the border, as well as on democratic values and on the country’s structures, economy and survival. We heard direct testimonies from specialists on the ground, from governmental voices and from international organisations, including from media specialists, on the impact of the conflict on communication and on the challenges for the media. The aim was to check the state of play and explore possible roads to increase mutual cooperation in resilience building; how to cope with the different challenges for communications and the media by adopting a multi-channel approach reinforcing the necessary dynamics.

On personal note, I had the pleasure to moderate the session on “Social media : analysing governments’ and institutions’ capacities and engagement and the added value of an enhanced technological landscape.”This session elaborated on the impact of social media in the communication strategies carried out by European governments and institutions. New players, increased participation, need for increased competencies, the difficult role of moderators, risks and opportunities for those who are elaborating strategies and seeking higher participation and involvement from the audiences, disinformation threats but also an enormous chance for increasing outreach and productive cooperation with civil society (an incredible multiplying factor for the benefit of large audiences).

We heard from national authorities (digital coordinators, social media experts and strategic comms advisors) how their respective organisations are organised and how best they see handling the balance between governance efficiency and public participation.

Once again I thank Alex Aiken, UK Executive Director for Government Communication, and Vincenzo Le Voci, Secretary General of the Club of Venice for the excellent organization and remarkable opportunity to exchange with fellow communicators from all around Europe.

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