Political spokespersons have to be smart on online as well as offline mediums. The demand increases more when the General Elections is about to knock on the doors. Congress party, which is supporting the current UPA government, seems to have taken it seriously and has conducted a recent media workshop for Congress spokespersons.
The workshop had speakers like Union Minister Shashi Tharoor and Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari. The objective was clear to impart the dos and don’ts on social media especially on channels like Twitter.
Speaking at the workshop through video conferencing, the Union Minister warned the Congress spokespersons and shared that the social media needed to be handled with care. The minister – who himself has been caught more than once for his controversial tweets – emphasized that due care should be taken while using Twitter.
Addressing on the kind of language to be used on the platform, the minister reiterated the thoughts of Rahul Gandhi that the spokespersons should use decent language and positive politics.
In fact similar thoughts on being cautious on Twitter were expressed by the Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari, who has been quite active on Twitter in clearing his party’s stance.
Speaking at the workshop, Manish also reminded the participants of the five Cs of Courage, Conviction, Candour, Content and Convenience (comfort with language or medium) before they disseminate party’s viewpoint before the press or at social media.
Is it a coincidence that the workshop comes at a time when the Congress ministers have been caught in unnecessary online controversies? Recently former Minister of State Govt of India for Home, Communication and Information Technology and present General Secretary for the Congress 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 workshop should be a good eye opener but the political war on Twitter is just heating up. By 2014 we are going to see much more.