13 Nov Welcome, Prime Minister. Now, please engage.
I hope both he (@kevinruddpm) and the Opposition Leader (@turnbullmalcolm) , who’s been on Twitter a month or so now bother to read it and then move on to Mark Pesce’s material. I couldn’t agree with Stil more.
Malcolm Turnbull looks to be starting to get the use of Twitter, although he’s not nearly as responsive as I’d like. The PM has a lot of work ahead of him in both catching up and dropping the facade of control freak to really, honestly engage with the Australian public. If the effort is focussed on pushing messages, this will blow up spectacularly in his face. And the backlash from the Twitterati will be harsh, swift and public.
Twitter is strange, beautiful, open, intrusive, inclusive, welcoming, real, human and much more. The Hollowmen don’t get that (my brief time in a Minister’s office long ago was literally, terrifying, as they are much nastier and more cynical than TV depicts). They need to be ignored as often as possible by the PM if his foray into the world of Twitter is to work.
And the interaction needs to be the PM, not any of his mouthpieces or handlers. If the latter is the case, then the handle being used is all wrong and the approach needs reconsideration.
In the meantime, as a resident of the national capital, some-time consultant to the government, citizen passionate about Government 2.0 and a social media strategist, I’m intensely fascinated to know who’s advising the people on the Hill about all this communication and engagement, because frankly, I have no clue who it might be. Last time I contacted a politician (at the last Federal Election) and offered my expertise in online engagement, I was told “not interested” by both sides of the fence.
How quickly things change.
As a side note, the issue of who is behind these efforts and who has put them together is an interesting question. KevinPM is demonstrably a party political effort and not representative of the government of the day. If it was, the use of pm.gov.au would have been appropriate, and could have been done as the UK government does with number10.gov.uk. The general feel of KevinPM and Number10 is similar – indeed, if KevinPM wasn’t significantly influenced by Number10 efforts as a whole, I’d be surprised.
However, if public servants have been railroaded into working on KevinPM, this represents a serious breach of the law. I’m not saying it has been done, but I would like to know.