Digital diplomacy


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For the Foreign Office digital diplomacy is about using the web to help solve foreign policy problems.

That means running our official Foreign Office websites - we run 250 sites in 50 languages, providing our news and travel advice in close-to-real time, to international audiences.

And running digital diplomacy campaigns - making use of global internet culture to help deliver our policy objectives.

We know that our web presence and our digital campaigns give us huge potential reach and influence around the world. We aren't limited by geographical boundaries or even language barriers. We can reach audiences who want or need our content, irrespective of the news cycle or the editorial decisions of broadcasters or editors.

We use our digital channels to communicate directly with public audiences, as well as other governments and influential individuals. And importantly, the web allows us to engage in conversations with our audiences, not just deliver information.

We often find that there is a natural fit between what our diplomats are trying to achieve offline (engaging, influencing and changing opinion and behaviour), and what is possible online.

Exploiting these new opportunities needed a cultural shift in the Foreign Office.

In particular, social media is a personal medium – credibility depends on personal authority. So to exploit social media our diplomats have had to become public figures online.

They have also had to get used to a new level of transparency about their work and their thoughts and opinions.

We’ve come a long way quite quickly in our efforts to solve foreign policy problems through digital engagement.

Digital diplomacy

  1. 1. Digital Diplomacy