Social media investments have spiked up in the recent times for the Indian National Congress Party. The change comes due to the increasing influence of BJP and Narendra Modi and due to its own understanding of social media. Apart from having a presence and trying to connect with fans today it is also important for party spokespersons to keep in mind what should be spoken on social media, specially when you represent the ruling party of the country.
Keeping it in mind the Congress party is conducting a massive social media workshop for its spokespersons in the capital, reports IBNLive. The workshop is going to witness more than 300 members with 5 from each state of the country, and would be a first of its kind workshop which would train the spokespersons on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites.
The workshop is going to witness the presence of Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari and Union Minister Shashi Tharoor who would be training the participants on the “dos and don’ts” of the 140 character social network – Twitter. Some other experts would be joining in to share thoughts on how political parties globally have used social media to communicate with people. However, Rahul Gandhi won’t be addressing the workshop as was speculated earlier.
Sudden rise of social media workshops and its need
Conducting social media workshops has been an activity by the party for some time. The need has grown after the party had to face embarrassing situations due to the recent remarks made by political leaders on social media. The party was in a spot after former Minister of State Govt of India for Home, Communication and Information Technology and present General Secretary for the Congress, Shakeel Ahmad tweeted what the NIA had stated in its charge sheet – that the terror outfit Indian Mujahideen was formed after the Gujarat riots.
The tweet that was directed to the BJP and Narendra Modi’s camp was picked up by the media and made headlines. The issue trended on Twitter and BJP again got a chance to play with the reputation of Congress online.
The party has now started emphasizing on issues like what should be spoken and who should speak about the critical issues on social media since bad things spread fast. In fact the same was discussed in a earlier workshop where senior leaders like Union Minister Shashi Tharoor and Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari provided tips and stressed that due care should be taken while using Twitter.
AICC Communication Department Chairman Ajay Maken, while recently revealing that the party will set up new communication teams with a separate social media wing in five poll-bound states, updated that the Madhya Pradesh AICC party workers would undergo media training. The same would be carried out for other party workers.
Both Congress and BJP are very well aware that social media won’t influence voters specially the ones who are spending time on social media but one needs to be geared up since conversations and controversies happen on social media today. Even if you are not there people are out there ripping apart your online reputation along with the support of the opposition. Hence we see the sudden priority for social media by the same party that was considering the medium as a supplement till the beginning of 2013.