Our new Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has started tweeting (@JuliaGillard), following on from our ex-PM Kevin Rudd (@KevinRuddMP). Where Kevin07 seems to speak for himself, dropping anecdotes and one liners, Ms Gillard’s tweets are clearly from a staffer. Consider these examples (the last three as of this writing):
- The PM is giving a speech in Adelaide this morning. Listen here – http://bit.ly/watchABCnow
- “I believe in the importance of hard work; the obligation that we all owe to ourselves and others, to earn our keep and do our best.”
- “We are privileged to live here. We best respect that great privilege by working together, shaping a better future, going forward not back.”
The first is clearly written on her behalf by someone – either that or she’s speaking about herself in the third person.
The other two are in quotes, indicating she is quoting someone. Considering that she doesn’t cite who she is quoting, I can only guess that she is quoting herself. Again, either someone is tweeting for her, or she is tweeting in the third person.
Social media, especially Twitter, is first person communication. It is one-to-many and simultaneous many-to-one communications, and it is marked by personal, direct and to-the-point messages.
I think her tweeting style is wrong, and it is going to show the tech community that she is not in touch.
I would make 2 suggestions for our PM.
- Write your own tweets and do it in a personal manner; or
- If you can’t do that, make sure your staffers make it look like you are personally tweeting
If you can’t do one or the other of these, I’d suggest renaming your account to something like “TheOfficeOfJuliaGillard”.
Update 14 July 2010
Since the original post, PM Gillard has made 1 more tweet:
I don’t know whether someone gave her feedback along the lines of my comments above, or whether these directly got to her, but I do like that the most recent tweet is first person, and quite probably seems to be from her personally.