Archive for ‘citizenship’

June 7th, 2012

Diamond Jubilee: a global Social Story

by Laurent François

There’s something astonishing with Great Britain: there are stories which are able to connect citizens, consumers, governments, foreigners, brands, in the very meantime.

I had the chance to experience the Diamond Jubilee, and it’s probably one of the most amazing Social Media case studies since Obama’s campaign.

Some stats to better understand the scope of the phenomenon:


But it’s not really the point. The point is that in any store, in any street, there was a deep commitment of a nation with this celebration. To be honnest, I’m a bit jealous of Commonwealth people today, because it was not about an identity which denies the other nations, but it was about an hyphenated identity which opens the gates. In Tesco supermarkets, you could have some fun with Union Jack flags and goodies. At Barclays, every customer could receive a special package. Why not a popular branding of the European Union then?

A very interesting popular fact can also be presented: Jubilee anthem “Sing” by Gary Barlow, is now #1 in diverse UK music charts.


So why did it work so well, apart the fact that British LOVE their Queen?

  • the main official website gave clear meeting points and agenda some weeks before the crazy week-end: you knew what you could get and where you could go, at the very local place combined to the very moment you’re available
  • there was a strong implication of media, in order to tell the story of both the core of the Diamond Jubilee (Queen Elizabeth II ) and the local narratives (what’s going on in the local pub?)
  • a lot of stakeholders had a strong value proposal: business? holidays? meeting friends? reinsuring the British nation?
  • people were empowered as they could organize “their” own Jubilee (BBQ at home? actions for nonprofits? )

Well done Majesty!

December 14th, 2011

Buying availability through Facebook credits

by Laurent François

This morning, in France, we’ll soon be able to buy pre-paid Facebook credits cards in brick&mortar stores.

It’s highly interesting to see that “ages” ago, brands & agencies were paying to get “consumers’ availabilities” through ads. Now, consumers themselves PAY to get social availabilities.

Time, this crucial currency.

April 28th, 2011

Why Social Media ideas are still complicated to widespread in Europe

by Laurent François

We had a great conversation 2 days ago @ ESCP Europe with some students, who wanted to know if it was more relevant to implement their start-ups in France, or more generally in Europe, or to directly move to the US.

Some constraints are obvious in Europe, and the main difficulty is…leveraging critical mass:

  • you have more than 20 languages in the European Union stricto sensu
    – it means that if there’s one EU citizenship, you have hundreds of local cultures you need to handle as an entrepreneur
    – you not only need to translate your solution but also understand the local expectations
    – people can’t easily share ideas and games through conversations, as they don’t speak all English, for instance
  • there’s already a wide diversity of start-ups: how to be original?
  • there are legal constraints, thus

But hey, socializers, come on! 3 arguments to answer:

  • if it was all about getting enough people to be reached, just go in advertising, not marketing: many products are good for very few people: the critical mass to achieve can be a very low number, depending on your business
  • think “business”, not “social”: what do you want to sell, and to whom?
  • the local differences are also business opportunities: not many people know how to manage different groups of people, even in plain English: it’s time to grow it

Remember: Social Media is a practice; what are your core competences? who are the public you want to reach? What’s the value proposition?


Once you’ve solved that, you don’t care where you are: there are still people talking to other people. Be pervasive; and creative


September 25th, 2010

Tweet your MEP! towards open democracy at a European level?

by Laurent François

The EU activists Toute l’ has launched, on Sept. 22nd, a new democracy tool between Citizen and Members of European Parliament: TweetYourMEP (TyMEP for short in Social Media like twitter). Basically, once you’ve selected the MEP you want to outreach, you can shout him/her a message.

This platform is great:

  • it allows EU citizens to interact with MEP on diverse Social Media
  • it’s a first step to break the language issue in Europe (we don’t all speak English)
  • it’s a tool that can be used both by regular citizens & activists
  • it’s a way to keep data and to get a history of what were MEP asked
  • it’s a great tool to make some lobbying at the EU level instead of the very local one
  • it’s a way to create fantastic digital influence strategy against or pro MEP

Congrats and if you American guys feel like giving us some advice, we’re in!

July 8th, 2010

Mediapart vs UMP: France experiences a Social Media war

by Laurent François


I don’t know if you’ve heard about UMP vs Mediapart affair:

“The accountant told the police that Mrs. Bettencourt’s chief financial adviser had handed an envelope with 150,000 euros, now worth about $190,000, to the treasurer of Mr. Sarkozy’s center-right party in March 2007. The treasurer, Éric Woerth, is labor minister and a central ally of the president’s who is in charge of a politically delicate effort to raise the retirement age in France.”

As Ms. Thibout (the accountant) first made her assertions on the news Web site Mediapart (one of the founder is Edwy Plenel), there’s now a media + Social Media war rising in France against the website!

Eric Woerth has a clear statement: it’s not his fault, there’s a vendetta against him & his wife, that is supposed to his mind to be organized by Socialist Party (PS). Between us, I’d love to be sure that PS is behind the scandal, but I can tell you they’re not ready for any structure opinion war at the moment.

Well then, Eric Woerth “cried us a river” as Justin Timberlake would sings, on TF1 prime time news show with Laurence Ferrari:

Then, all UMP spokepersons mention exactly the same story when they’re interviewed: Eric Woerth would be a victim, of a vendetta against his own person.

What’s more original for France is that Social Media UMP teams implemented a digital attack, right after Eric Woerth show on TF1. If you search “Liliane Bettencourt on Google”, you now find a very interesting sponsored link:

A dedicated “social” website to support Eric Woerth, driven by Search war + Word-of-Mouth !

Then, anytime an article or a positive post for UMP is published in Social Media, the official UMP twitter account “buzz” it to its communities…

Communities made of:

  • UMP fans
  • political observers like journalists
  • curious
  • engaged citizens

A way to propage their own vision, using “real” facts to reinforce their messages. Active listening at stake!

At the end, we’ll see if Eric Woerth is really innocent (or not). But 3 insights at least:

  • 2012 presidential elections are going to be highly aggressive
  • share of voice is now a key indicator: if you’re attacked, try to reduce the negative share of voice
  • Social Media is a question of organization, as “story” is now the central hub of all the other channels