social media diplomacy

A new study finds almost two-thirds of world leaders now have a Twitter account, but many don't bother to follow each other. The "Twiplomacy" study Thursday by PR firm Burson-Marsteller says President Barack Obama is the most-followed world leader, including by 76 of his peers and other governments.

Bodies like the Sahitya Akademi, the Lalit Kala Akademi and the National Gallery of Modern Art opened their accounts on popular social media site Facebook some nine months ago. And while their pages are not very exciting, to get them moving in this direction was a feat in itself, accomplished largely due to the efforts of Abhay Kumar, former Deputy Secretary, Public Diplomacy, in the External Affairs Ministry, whose personal interest motivates him to keep nudging a sluggish bureaucracy.

If Facebook were a country, its membership would make it the third most populous in the world. As its “population” continues to grow, the social network finds itself adapting to, and navigating within, a global sphere in which the importance of public diplomacy has also grown.

June 13, 2011

Sherine B. Walton, Editor-in-Chief
Naomi Leight, Managing Editor
Tracy Bloom, Associate Editor