On Thursday I was a guest of Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko at the Russian Embassy in London. The embassy was hosting an invite only reception for ‘top British bloggers‘. The event kicked off with two lively and informative panel discussions. Both discussions were chaired by Mark Flanagan, the former Head of Strategic and Digital Communications in the Prime Minister’s Office at 10 Downing Street and now a partner at Portland Communications.
The first panel looked at the role of social media in modern politics in the UK and elsewhere. The first panel included Paul Staines ‘Guido Fawkes’ of Order-Order.com and Sunny Hundal editor of Pickled Politics and Liberal Conspiracy. The second panel looked at e-government and diplomacy and consisted of Jimmy Leach who is the Head of Digital Diplomacy at the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Elizabeth Stewart who is Editorial Director of Embassy magazine and Alex Butler who was previously Transformational Strategy Director at the Central Office of Information (COI).
One of the most fascinating things was finding out how the Russian Embassy is using social media to put its case directly to the public and bypass traditional mass media.
The reception was well attended and familiar faces included Mike Butcher (European Editor of TechCrunch), Heather Taylor (Acting Editor of About the BBC, the BBC’s corporate blog), Mat Morrison (Social Media lead at Starcom MediaVest Group), Jag Singh, James Whatley, Neville Hobson and many others.
To give you a flavour of the event I’ve included a round-up of some of my tweets from the event and some of the other more interesting ones using the hashtag #digitalbbq: