|Credit: OSCE/Mikhail Evstafiev|
I strongly believe that Foreign Affairs Organizations have the opportunity to become pioneers in developing a comprehensive Digital Diplomacy and Social Media Strategy.
The Internet as a whole and the different Social Media applications provide an opportunity to connect with various stakeholders, online communities, interest groups and individuals.
The advantages of developing a Digital Diplomacy Strategy:
- To communicate the message directly to the public across the world. Without having to rely on International Media, Journalists or the Foreign Press.
- To harness public knowledge, share it with the world, so as to pursue national interests abroad.
- To maintain contact with audiences online and to utilize Social Media to listen and target important groups of individuals with key messages.
- To influence major online news leaders and International news agencies.
- To listen and gather information in order to anticipate emerging political movements.
- To connect and engage with other Foreign Affairs Ministries/ International Organizations/ NGOs and individual diplomats.
- To communicate with the wider diplomatic community an active and dynamic Foreign Affairs Strategy
The priorities of using Digital Diplomacy and Social Media:
- Set up the initial presence in selected Social Media Platforms. This should be done in a proper, formal and professional way.
- Communicate the message correctly to different audiences around the Globe, through different Social Media.
- Connect with people searching for information.
- Create and utilize Multimedia (Photos, videos, audio).
- Maintain a comprehensive digital diplomacy strategy.
Social Media has dramatically shifted the ground rules of Public Diplomacy. As Public Diplomacy always seeks to expand the ways in which it informs and engages with people; Social Media offers a way to conduct that in real-time with much broader reach; and support current Public Diplomacy campaigns.