Twitter Chat – Forum EU Debate

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Imagine a business networking event but without a dress code, instead you can wear what you want and you have a keyboard to do the talking.

The same social customs apply, courtesy and respect at all times and it’s a great way to meet new people with similar interests and views. There are Twitter chats in almost every industry imaginable and The Forum are now hosting regular Twitterchats.

Twitter Talk: Overview

  • Twitter-based discussion
  • Wednesday 9th March 12 noon to 1pm
  • @the_fpb twitter profile to be used as a facilitator / host of session
  • Key points to be posted on Forum website and sent out as a press release following the Twitter chat sessions


The Forum believes that the more information is needed on the UK’s relationship with Europe. One way to do this is to explore the opinions of business owners and key experts to understand what the impact would be of staying in or leaving.

The Forum also wants to explore how the debate can work effectively to provide information that can determine policy and be used as a feedback tool by the Forum.


  1. The conversation will be guided by the Forum’s marketing team.
  2. The starting tweets for each discussion will be approved internally and circulated where appropriate.
  3. After each talk, the Forum will collate all the key points into an article, where the Forum wants to include a tweet, this will be sent to each agreed participant mentioned for sign off.

Rules of Engagement

There will be parameters set and agreed to by all participants for the chat. These include :

  1. Political opinions are to be focused on the debate.
  2. The tone will at all times be respectful, engaged, positive, polite and interested.
  3. There will be no inappropriate references to subjects outside of this broad remit.

Suggestions for participants

  1. Participants are encouraged to connect with each other before each talk begins, and tweet about their involvement in the talks beforehand using the hashtag #ForumEUdebate.
  2. Participants are encouraged to share each other’s content and RT where applicable.
  3. If you have any content already that you think is relevant, please post it! With the active audience already involved it is likely to get engagement.
  4. It is an idea to prepare relevant content beforehand so it will give you some good conversation starters.

Proposed Themes

  1. What do you feel is the key issue in the debate?
  2. What, if any, impact would an exit from the EU have on the ability of SMEs to trade?
  3. Would either option create a level playing field for SMEs?
  4. Does a vote for either side reduce regulation and red tape?
  5. What one area do you believe needs further clarification?

Twitter Chat: Tips

The discussion topic is an overall, underlying theme for the hour, and each subtopic is there as a guideline to start participants off, so there is no need to stick to rigidly to what’s here. If participants want to talk about something relevant to the topic they should just bring it up, and not feel that they are forced to come up with something immediately.

Here are some tips for those participants new to Twitter conversations, or who want a bit of a nudge in the right direction.

  1. As a Twitter chat, it’s as much about raising things you’ve often thought of, things you think would merit further thought, questions for the rest of the group, and sharing and agreeing/taking up points from others as it is delivering fully formed points or arguments.
  2. Like all conversations, these talks will start to evolve and things will crop up. The Forum will be moderating and constantly contributing to keep everyone talking and posing questions and keeping things moving along using individual accounts, as well as replying and sometimes announcing to the world what it is we’re talking about.
  3. Because we’re all on Twitter, there’ll be crossovers in replies and points being made at the same time. That’s part of the fun! Don’t hang back until you think someone might have ‘done’ with their train of thought. And equally, if you tweet a point and the group is on another point and misses it, don’t worry – no reply doesn’t mean no engagement. The strong likelihood is that it was a great point well made, and it’s there on the timeline for people to read and enjoy, so please don’t think it was a waste.
  4. Please ensure the hashtag is in all tweets.
  5. No pressure on each of you individually to tweet too much – overdoing it can fill up the timelines of your other followers. What often works well is a tweet just before it kicks off to say what you’ll be doing and that it’ll be for an hour. And if you can’t think of anything to say for a while, retweeting other participants’ good questions or points, or quoting their tweets with a comment, is always really appreciated.
  6. We are hoping that enough buzz will be created around the talk for people, experts and brands to get involved who weren’t on the original contact list.
  7. Please be as welcoming as possible and feel free to encourage anyone you have interacted with on Twitter (or in fact anyone you think will want to be involved in the conversation) to get involved too – the more the merrier!
  8. Twitter is full of trolls, spammers and bot accounts, so we need to be prepared for some negative or unnecessary feedback/interactions. If you have any problems, please contact us but otherwise the best course of action is just to ignore them.

In the unlikely event something happens that looks like we should cut it short for any reason, as moderator the Forum will tweet a wind-down.

Lastly, this is a fun and fast way of debating business topics, so let’s enjoy ourselves. Any questions and we’ll be happy to answer and look forward to chatting tomorrow from 12 noon.

Follow The Forum on Twitter and Join in the #ForumEUDebate