Public diplomacy expert Guy Golan sends us this summary of recent research on digital diplomacy, with key insights for governments and national news organizations. Guy Golan is Associate Professor of Public Relations and Public Diplomacy at Syracuse University in the US. He is also the editor-in-chief of The Public Diplomat.
Digital diplomacy & social media
The rise of digital diplomacy allows governments to directly engage foreign publics via social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Under the leadership of then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her 21st Century Statecraft initiative, the United States launched Twitter accounts in a variety of languages including, but not limited to Arabic, Urdu, Russian, Farsi and Chinese.
While this initiative seemed innovative to some, many argued that the United States was actually trailing behind other governments who took to social media in aggressive outreach efforts that integrated social media with government sponsored broadcasting channels.
A good example is the Russian Republic, whose Russia Today (RT) Satellite network operates in several languages and enjoys strong viewership across the world. RT has a well-coordinated news apparatus that successfully integrates traditional, satellite and social media platforms in terms of message consistency and in framing of global affairs.
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