Public Affairs through Facebook and other Social Media

As was mentioned in the previous blog, European Parliament’s facebook page is a brilliant tool. Because it provides resource of reference to all 754 MEP social media profiles. This includes personal facebook profiles, facebook pages, and twitter accounts. The question is by how much will social media change how Public Affairs works’.

If people can contact their MEP through twitter or private message on facebook it’s a step forward, but nothing revolutionary. As even in the day before email, anyone could mail a petition letter to their representative. However the real power of social media comes at amplifying the message to the whole world, at little or no costs. Organisation of grass roots movements, throughout the globe becomes possible, and even easy.

On Social Media Public Affairs and Public Relations moves closer to each other. As the emotional video message aimed at the public, can also have the same effect on the policy maker. By posting the video with a message on the policymakers wall, or tagging them in a twitter message, there is much higher guarantee that it will be noticed by the target group and a wider public compared to the advert at the back of the Parliamentary magazine.

Successful utilization of social media will allow civil societies to gain bigger role in the public affairs, by providing them more space and channels to express their message. But the well organised communications campaign strategy is vital.  Social media is only a communications tool, not a magic ingredient.

However, the uptake of social media by polity it’s still at a very early stage, some even doubt it’s potential impact. Most of the older generation politicians still haven’t taken up the use of social media. If they have, they often don’t use it themselves, ignore it, or even worse block comments option on facebook, this way preventing the two-way dialogue between the electorate and the elected.

However,  the future generations will see social media as the corner stone to their campaigns. A point in time will come then it will prove to be hugely unfavourable not to be present on the internet, eventually it will become essential. The same way as having an email address on your business card.

Internet has only truly taken off in the 21st century, and we are at the time of great changes, like the time of the printing press invention. Not only will the Public Affairs change, but the media and other aspects of our lives. The media which is extremely tied to the public,  will become much more tailored and unique to the customer tastes. Through the use of new technologies we will be able to subscribe to individual writers, that will form our own unique digital newspaper, catered to our own individual interests.

This will allow Public Policy environment to be scanned perfectly via Social Media. Not only can all the information be easily and manageably received from all the major, specialised, corporate news channels, but also from clients, competitors, politicians, and administrators. To form the overall public policy, by connecting the whole matrix of information. Oversight of this on the daily basis will reduce the chance of nasty surprises, as politician updates will provide a far greater insight into the truth state of polity. This is nothing revolutionary, and the technology is already available, thus I already started experimenting by creating European Union Voice, which was initially called EU MEPs Voice but was later changed to add the administration and other institutions of the European Union. The initial aim of the project was to add all 754 MEP’s on twitter, and produce digital daily newspaper of all their news. The main obstacle is that not all the MEPs are on twitter, the other is the translation of languages.

Till the next year… Public Affairs 2.0 survey

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