In this episode of The #DigitalDiplomacy Podcast, we dive into the practice of digital communications at the British foreign service with Ben Giddings, Head of Global Digital Network at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
As he introduces himself, Ben is Head of the Overseas Digital Network at the FCO, where he has worked in digital communications for the last 10 years. Prior to that, he worked in the private sector running websites, managing products, and tracking digital ad spend on things called ‘banner ads’. He's been around the internet long enough to remember a time when AOL was on the verge of world domination, social media was called forums, and no-one had ever heard of Facebook. He can be followed on Twitter at @bjgiddings .
In the interview, Ben tells us about his daily work, implementing the digital strategy of the FCO and finding the balance between the strategic global messages and different local contexts. We also talk about the challenges of data overload and disinformation , as well as, the need for a new of mind-set in foreign ministries to focus more on measurement and evaluation to become better at finding out what works and what not on digital platforms in a more cost-effective way.
The interview was recorded “on neutral ground” in a hotel bar in Madrid, which explains the background noise and the music that suddenly started...
Also, the interview was recorded before the eruption of the Salisbury-case, which is why it is not mentioned in the episode.
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We’ll be back soon with more interviews with interesting perspectives on the way diplomacy is changing, evolving, and adapting to the disruptive changes our societies and the relationship between them are undergoing these years.
The #DigitalDiplomacy Podcast is produced by the Embassy of Denmark in Spain. It is edited and hosted by Communications and Policy Officer Mikkel Larsen.
Music by Bebeto, “Ambient Loop” ((CC) / https://freesound.org/people/bebeto/sounds/554/ ).