Twitter + Diplomacy = “Twiplomacy” But Who Tweets for Thee?

While we’re on the subject of Twitter …

A new “Twiplomacy” study just released today by PR giant Burson-Marsteller (yes, my competition) finds that almost two-thirds of world leaders now have a Twitter account.  The company says 16 of the so-called “Group of 20” leaders actively use Twitter for public diplomacy.  Who’s not using it:  China, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, and Italy.

What the study doesn’t say, however, is how many of them personally use that Twitter account.  As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, who Tweets for you is often even more important than what you’re Tweeting.

Some interesting figures from the Burson-Marsteller release include:

  • President Obama is the most-followed world leader, with 17,115,177 followers, including 76 of his peers and other governments.  {Globally he’s in fifth place just behind Britney Spears.)
  • Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez is in second place, with 3,152,608 followers.
  • The most popular tweet:  “Same-sex couples should be able to get married.” – President Obama, re-Tweeted 62,047 times on May 9, 2012.

Unfortunately, the study found that many of these world leaders who are tech-savvy enough to use Twitter are breaking a cardinal rule of media relations:  they aren’t bothering to follow each other.  Media relations and organizational communications are a two-way street; the old axiom of two ears/one mouth certainly applies: you need to listen twice as much as you say.

For more on the survey:

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