State Department – a twittering we shall go

This is the type of news that just sends shivers of joy up the backs of the social media mavens. The fact that the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy (man that was a mouthful) Colleen Graffy is using Twitter to advance US public diplomacy should just get the Twitter PR rolling.

In post on the Washington Post Ms. Graffy relates how in this digital age diplomats would be willing to use all the tools available to reach out to people; with Twitter being one of those.

Why did I do it? Not that long ago, communicating diplomat-to-diplomat was enough. Agreements were reached behind closed doors and announced in a manner and degree that suited the schedule and desires of the governments involved, not the general population. In fact, the public was by and large an afterthought. But the proliferation of democracies and the emergence of the round-the-clock media environment has brought an end to those days. Now, governments must communicate not only with their people but also with foreign audiences, including through public diplomacy.

She also talks about how the State Department has set up a media hub in Brussels to be able to make the department more accessible to the some 1,200 journalists covering the European Union. As well she notes there things like Public Diplomacy 2.0 which is a social network for State alumni and ties in with the blogs and Facebook pages for embassies.