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Davos Digest 2023 — Issue Six

January 23, 2023
Mountain view of Switzerland

Welcome to Issue Six of FleishmanHillard’s Davos Digest 2023.  

Dissecting Davos 

It was an intense week at Davos, with a mountain of meetings, a profusion of schmoozing, and opulent parties aplenty. But the great and the good are now home, as everyone reflects on what the week meant for politics, people and the planet. 

Now it’s time to look back at those last five days and explore the stories that stole the headlines and stormed on social. 

Following our specialist sector news and global perspectives over the past five issues, this latest instalment of Davos Digest features analysis from FleishmanHillard’s research and measurement practice, TRUE Global Intelligence. Check out what news and events captured the imagination of the world’s press and drove the greatest volume and engagement across key social platforms. 

Our Alpine analysis 

The following overall analysis gauges media and public interest in topics linked to Davos 2023 using volume and engagement metrics as indicators.  

  • Overall, there were 3.5M social and online media mentions of the summit between 16 and 20 January. This is nearly twice as many as for the last year’s summit (1.8M), which is unsurprising given last May’s event was a scaled-down version of Davos in a post-pandemic era. 
  • Key moments, whether by volume or engagement, included the following: 
  1. The mounting pressure on Germany to provide military aid for Ukraine was remarked on, both on media and social media. A widely shared Politico article commented on Germany’s deliberately low profile on the subject at Davos while chancellor Olaf Scholz was heavily criticised on social media. 
  1. The protests in Iran were another salient topic shaping the meeting’s political agenda. European Commission President Ursula van der Leyen’s backing for listing Iran’s Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organisation was among the most-shared news content on social media. Meanwhile, the hashtag #MahsaAmini was among the top-trending on Twitter. 
  1. The open letter by more than 200 members of the ‘super rich’ calling on governments to introduce wealth taxes to tackle inequality gained public notice, although it was also met by a great deal of scepticism as a ‘PR move’.   
  1. Once again, climate activists captured media and public interest by not mincing their words as they addressed the current state of affairs. Fresh from her arrest in Germany, Greta Thunberg called out the hypocrisy of the attendees while Al Gore delivered an animated speech featuring apocalyptic climate scenarios. The widespread use of private jets, as the preferred means of transport to yet another event with a strong climate agenda, also did not escape public attention. 
  1. Further layoffs in the tech sector were at the forefront of the internet community’s mind. Especially when it emerged that Microsoft had held an invite-only Sting concert for execs just before it announced layoffs of 10,000 employees. Reddit users particularly reacted to the news which became the platform’s most popular discussion thread from the entire event (43K upvotes and 2.4K comments). 
  1. With Davos no longer the Hollywood A-lister magnet, tabloids had to get creative with their reporting. The rising demand for sex workers during the summit was reported by the Daily Mail, The New York Post, Germany’s Bild and The Spectator (US) and drove substantial online engagement. 
  1. Despite his absence from the forum, Elon Musk still made his presence felt. Amidst conflicting accounts on whether or not Musk was invited to the summit, he was outspoken in his criticism of WEF and riled up his fans and opponents on Twitter through public opinion polls on WEF’s mandate
  1. As usual, citizen journalism and fringe media reporting were rife during the forum, mainly criticising the event itself, multilateralism and globalisation as a whole. One news report gaining high traction on social media staged a ‘walking press conference’ with the Pfizer CEO, Albert Bourla. 
  • Articles with the highest engagement rates: 


  • Social posts with the highest engagement rate: 
  1. Rand Paul: This is the danger of a one-world government – YouTube, Fox News: 1.3M views 
  1. A tweet from Avi Yemini questioning NYT deputy managing editor Rebecca Blumenstein about how impartial the NYT is if they are “an invited guest” at Davos: 57.3K engagements 
  1. The news that Davos security had detained far-right journalist Jack Posobiec – 55.4K 


  • Top Twitter hashtags used by volume (other than #Davos, #WEF etc) 
  1. #Pfizer – 20.2K times 
  1. #GreatReset – 11.4K 
  1. #Ukraine – 10.8K times 
  1. #Agenda2030 – 7.8K times 
  1. #MahsaAmini – 7K times 


  • Top Twitter and YouTube authors by engagements: 
  1. @elonmusk – 9 posts, 714.6K engagements – the business magnate and Twitter CEO, mainly venting about the event he may or may not have been invited to 
  1. @OzraeliAvi – 17 posts, 487K engagements – right-wing activist and RebelNews correspondent going after pharma CEOs, activists and mainstream media 
  1. @NasDaily – 1 post, 279K engagements – Indian YouTuber providing light-hearted reporting from the event 
  1. @PeterSweden – 11 posts, 189K engagements – a controversial Swedish far-right freelance journalist Peter Imanuelsen 
  1. @RWMaloneMD – 3 posts, 148K engagements – a MD, famous for his anti-vaccine stance 


The analysis encompassed global media and social data collected between January 16 and 20 using a combination of media and social media monitoring tools. Social media data covers Twitter, YouTube, Reddit and Facebook.