Reporting on the Reporters: Coverage of the OGP Global Summit
Our biggest communications undertaking during the OGP Global Summit was a special blog series produced by the Huffington Post. For five days, the Huffington Post featured two daily blogs and provided extra social media support – starting with a tweet from Arianna Huffington herself (see above) – to provide old and new audiences with special insights from some of our community’s most important thinkers. Contributors were chosen to best reflect OGP’s mix of government, civil society and multilaterals. Geographic diversity and gender parity we also taken into account. All blogs are now available on our website for cross-posting and include submissions by: Alejandro González Executive Director GESOC, Alicia Barcena UN Executive Secretary of Economic Commission for Latin America and Caribbean, Winnie Byanyima Executive Director Oxfam International and OGP Ambassador, Helen Clark UN Development Program Administrator, Jamie Drummond Executive Director One, Ernest Bai Koroma President of Sierra Leone, Claudia Ruiz Massieu Mexican Foreign Affairs Secretary, Elena Panfilova Executive Director Transparency International Russia, Joe Powell Acting Executive Director OGP Support Unit, Marinke van Riet Executive Director Publish What You Pay and Luis Guillermo Solis President of Costa Rica.
In Mexico El Universal ran “Por un Gobierno Abierto”, an opinion piece by Alejandro Gonzalez, OGP Steering Committee Civil Society co-chair, and Elena Panfilova Vice-chair of Transparency International’s Board of Directors. In addition, many of the country’s most important outlets including El Universal, La Vanguardia, Michoacan, and Animal Politico ran numerous stories about the Summit as did various television stations throughout Latin America.
And while the subject “Open Government” is not always of immediate interest to journalists, I am happy to report that news of our Summit was covered around the world including in Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Ghana, Guyana, Italy, Indonesia, Latvia, Montenegro, New Zealand, Nigeria, Philippines, Romania, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, UK and the US. Reporting focused on the OGP Awards, visits by important national figures, bilateral discussions, and new innovations. (Please note that our monitoring is still very much underway and we are grateful for links to coverage we might have missed. Send to email@example.com.)
It is crucial that an initiative like ours, which often relies on the potential of technology to advance open government, excel at social media for its own use. During the Summit we experienced a 103.7% increase in Twitter profile views with over 1 million impressions, resulting in over 2,600 new followers. The Summit hashtag #OGP15 trended in Mexico City the first and the last day of the summit, and throughout Mexico on the first day. This was a notable achievement for OGP, given the highly competitive nature of Twitter in Mexico. In addition, our blog received close to 4,000 views; 655 people tuned into the Summit livestream on day one and by day two viewership increased to 990 and we engaged more than 27,000 users on Facebook over the two days. Finally, and most impressive to my mind given our desire to try new things, are the 522 people who tuned into Periscope (Twitter’s new livestreaming arm) to watch two Civil Society sessions.
As important as it is for us in OGP Communications to increase our outreach, we feel it is equally essential that we continue to foster and promote thought-provoking and sometimes challenging discussions. For me, one of the most important pieces to come out of the Summit was CPJ’s Joel Stern’s Open government is meaningless without a free press. Other pieces of particular interest to colleagues in the OGP Support Unit include: Open Data – Still Closed to Latin American Communities, Open government summit: PR stunt or a chance for real change?, Joining-up data standards post-OGP15: a need for joined-up conversations, Why the OGP needs to get serious about freedom of information laws, OGP & SDG16: Time to leave our comfort zones, Bad Technology Is Failing Good People — But That’s Changing and OGP Global Summit: Open Government = Open Knowledge.
During the Summit we also took advantage of the presence of many valuable open government colleagues from around the world to conduct over a dozen video interviews on important OGP topics, which we plan to share with you throughout the year.
Finally, I’d like to send a big thank you, on behalf of my OGP Communications colleague Madaleine Weber and myself, to social media consultant Aylan Aliyeva and to our Communications counterparts in the Mexican government who created the fantastic Summit graphics, handled the live-streaming, provided all of the administrative information and made this terrific closing video.