Smartphone app to promote the Merry Cemetery of Sapanta

The Merry Cemetery of Sapanta (Maramures) is one of the most important touristic attractions in Romania, part of the UNESCO heritage and unique in the world because of the colourful grave stones and designs.

A new phone app will be launched next month to promote this destination. The app was created by the county tourism center, MaramuresInfo Turism. with the goal of promoting the region and informing tourists about all attractions in Sapanta. The app wil be available for free.

You can find out more about the application and the idea behind its creating in the article from

We are firm believers that such apps are welcome and can benefit the Romanian touristic industry. Recently we analysed the importance of online communicationfor tourism and also the existence (or lack of) smartphone apps available to Romanian and foreign tourists who wish to explore Romania. We will focus more on this topic in the coming posts and we strongly advise the Romanian authorities to start using the digital tools to promote Romania’s potential!

Weekly #DigitalDiplomacy news review

As we try to offer every Friday, we’ve compiled a list of interesting and recent pieces of news. The main news of this week has been the Twitter and YouTube blockade in Turkey, the Google Hangout about whether or not ambassadors and political leaders should tweet personally and a view of MEPs using social media, in the context of the upcoming EU elections.

Social Media and the 2014 European Elections in Europe

On 2 April 2014, Alec Ross, former Senior Advisor for Innovation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, will be speaking at a Conference in Brussels on  social media and the 2014 European elections. You can follow the event via live webstreaming here:

Twitter website ‘blocked’ in Turkey

A Turkish court on Wednesday ordered the government to lift its Twitter ban, according to reports. The court order comes five days after Turkey blocked Twitter, accusing the social network of ignoring orders to remove content. At the time, the country’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pledged to “eradicate” Twitter. Meanwhile Twitter announced on Wednseday morning that it has challenged the ban as well, filing petitions for lawsuits with the help of Turkish lawyers. The company said that it has been in contact with Turkish authorities trying to hear their concerns and solve the issue. After the ban, Turks quickly found ways to get around the ban, however, and sent a record number of tweets. Even after the government imposed tougher measures to block Twitter, Turks sidestepped them using Virtual Private Networks and the anonymizing and circumvention tool Tor. Yesterday, Turkey announced that they blocked access to YouTube as well, on grounds that it published a controversial video recording which threatens the legitimacy of the  Erdoğan regime.

Should ambassadors and political leaders tweet personally?

And if they do, how do they find the time? Can their staff tweet for them? What are the tips and tricks for successful personal tweets? Watch this Google Hangout replay from 24 March 2014, with some of the most active “twiplomats”  including: Nicola Clase (Swedish Ambassador to the UK), Tom Fletcher (UK Ambassador to Lebanon), Andreas Sandre (Press and Public Affairs Officer at Embassy of Italy, Washington, DC), Charlotta Ozaki Macias (‎Head of Communication, Swedish Foreign Ministry), Martha McLean, Deputy Director, Online communications (Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, Canada), Andrew Stroehlein (European Media Director, Human Rights Watch), Róisín Traynor (Online Editor, International Crisis Group). The discussion was moderated by Matthias Lüfkens, Digital Practice Leader EMEA, Burson-Marsteller.

European Parliament Members’ Twitter Networks

Twitter has become an important channel for political communication in many European countries. Politicians, activists, lobbyists, experts and journalists use the micro-blogging service to exchange information and engage in conversations on current political affairs. In regard to the European elections to be held in May 2014, we can expect Twitter to be an integral part of the media mix for political discussion and campaigning. Check out this analysis which looks at the respective network of Twitter accounts of Members of European Parliament (MEPs).

What was Vladimir Putin’s first tweet?

As you probably now, Twitter offered its users the possibility to remember what was their first tweet ever. Apparently the first tweet of Russian President Vladimir Putin was sent in 2012 and congratulated US President Barack Obama for his winning the elections for the 2nd time. ” (“Congratulations to US President-elect Barack Obama.”)

Conference on social media use in the European elections

2014 is marked at European level by the European Parliament elections and one of the main focuses of the elections campaign will be the use of social media.

How to incorporate social networks into the political communication strategy, to what effect and what will be the challenges that the MEPs will have to overcome – these are all questions to which you will find an answer in the ”Hash # Tags and Politics: Social Media and the 2014 European Elections” conference taking place today in Brussels, from 10.30 Romania time.

You can follow real time comments and impressions on Twitter using #EP2014smc or watch the event via live streaming, here.

Romania’s MEP elections candidates on Twitter (II)

We continue the series of articles that take a look at the Twitter activity of the candidates of Romanian parties in the European Parliament elections, with those of the Liberal National Party (PNL). On PNL’s list there are 10 candidates, and at a simple search we have identified that seven of them have Twitter accounts, and that most are relatively active. The table below gives a clear overview of their Twitter presence:

MEP candidate Username  Followers Following Tweets
Norica Nicolai @Norica_Nicolai 5 18 0
Adina Vălean @AdinaValean 567 100 90
Ramona Mănescu  –
Cristian Buşoi @Cristian_Busoi 639 86 96
Renate Weber @renateweber 1368 147 947
Eduard Hellvig @EduardHellvig1 370 78 256
 Mihai Ţurcanu  –
Claudia Benchescu @ClauBenchescu 105 21 556
Romeo Stavarache @romeostavarache 19 14 3
Andrei Muraru
* 06.04.2014

The table shows that Renate Weber is by far the most followed and most active Liberal candidate on Twitter. By comparison, Norica Nicolai has had no activity so far on her Twitter account and Romeo Stavarache suspended its use in 2010. We will continue soon with short presentations for the other parties.