When it comes to a crisis, you want to keep things simple. Really simple. In a crisis situation there is enough confusion already and unless you have been through countless simulations and trainings, getting your act together to do the basics right is noble enough an aspiration already. So I asked myself, what are the absolute basics when it comes to crisis management?
This month I left Berlin and moved back to the Netherlands to start a job at Hill & Knowlton Amsterdam. I knew the move would temporarily affect the hamster blog, but I was surprised to see it has already been over a month since the last post was published - and I'm not even fully settled yet.read more
Lobbyists are often publicly discredited as being manipulative or dishonest – a negative connotation conjured up by some of the lobbyists themselves which may be the reason for doors being shut before you even have the chance to knock.
Brussels: Lobbyists welcome!
Not so in the Brussels village however. It seems lobbyist make up the second largest group of residents here (after politicians obviously). Depending on the definition, there are between six and fifteen thousand lobbyists and more than 2.500 lobbying organisations stationed in the EU's political capital.
Indeed, EU institutions seem to like being lobbied and they seek expert insight and knowledge for three main reasons. Firstly, officials need information, data and special insights. MEPs and EU Commissioners depend heavily on the (technical) expertise of others. Secondly, for reasons of legitimacy, EU officials have to ensure all voices and views are taken into account. Thirdly, EU officials need to gather support for their proposals at European and national levels and allowing organisations to lobby can create valuable buy-in. Plus, interest groups are the perfect platform for MEPs and Commissioners to establish their own ‘branding’.
European Commission, main meeting room; Photo by JLogan via Wikimedia Commons
How to lobby in Brussels successfully
EU decision-making is an awfully complex, multi-level, and multi-actor process. Different EU institutions need different information, speak different ‘languages’, and have an ever changing pool of friends and contacts for intelligence gathering and campaigning. There are various ways of lobbying the different institutions (information, legitimacy, and support) and different points of access to the process. Moreover, there are certain methods and ‘codes of conduct’ you should keep in mind when making your way around the European capital:read more
In the last post, I mentioned the competition: 5 websites that give the little hamster headaches. However, I forgot one major force: social bookmarking sites. I turn to PR Hamster to browse new tools and blogs while I use social bookmarking to gather specific posts. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find an active social bookmarking group or user curating all the really good PR stuff. Thus, we started a new PR group on Diigo ourselves!