Romanian Foreign Affairs Minister Bogdan Aurescu has an official Twitter account – @BogdanAurescu.
The account has been launched on September 1st 2015, marking the opening of the Annual Conference of the Romanian Diplomacy. The event was designed to support the direct communication between the Foreign Ministry, the Romanian Heads of Mission and Consular Affairs abroad, the leaders of the Romanian Cultural Institutions active abroad, as well as officials working in the field of foreign policy.
Asked by our team regarding the reasons for this move in social media, the Romanian Minister for Foreign Affairs says:
Opening my Twitter account was a natural step if we take into account the increasingly important role of social media in bringing traditional diplomacy closer to the public, as well as the need to be part of the evolving virtual diplomatic networks. The MFA has made the strategic choice to employ digital tools in its external communication efforts, because as a fundamental and elite institution of the state it needs to carve out a presence in the evolving digital diplomacy landscape and adapt its communication to new technologies.
One week later today, the Minister has 165 followers, 100 of these joining in the very first day of his launch. His followers include ambassadors (foreign and Romanian), journalists, policy specialists, bloggers as well as relevant institutions. According to official statistics provided by the Minister’s team, his first tweet generated over 11,300 impressions.
The Romanian Foreign Affairs Ministry has demonstrated interest and skills in embracing the new technologies and integrating the digital communication channels into their outreach strategy. The Ministry is active on an institutional level on both Facebook (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Romania) and Twitter (@MAERomania), attracting about 20,000 followers and fans and ranking as one of the most active public institutions in the local social media – actually, the Ministry’s Twitter account has the highest followers’ community in the Government (approx. 5,600).
Over the past years Twitter has become the channel of choice for digital diplomacy between world leaders, governments, foreign ministries and diplomats, according to the latest Twiplomacy study. The study analyses, amongst others, Romania’s activity on Twitter in what regards the Romanian President, Prime Minister, the Government and also the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In another analysis from 2014 of the social network of the world’s MFAs, Romania (circled in red) is at the very heart of this social network – The Romanian MFA has a large following, is connected to many other MFAs and serves as an important hub of information, thus illustrating the potential of Romania’s digital diplomacy.