TM as PM in AMA – why not?

New PM, new opportunities.

Cameron was a PM who normalised social media simply by turning up with some channels, and using them (or at least, signing off their use), and in doing so seemed to understand the importance of networks and communities online.

However, there’s nothing novel about this in 2016, so it’ll be interesting to see what Theresa May does online. She certainly understands the impact it can have. As far as I can tell she’s never openly dismissed social media, or belittled its role.

Does it really matter whether or not she tweets? I don’t think so. In fact it might be more helpful for everyone (apart from the media) if she chose not to.

Seriously, why not be the first leader to abandon twitter?

This could be a great opportunity for our most senior politician to make a break for it, and focus on the needs of specific audiences. Dare I say it: of the web, not just on it.

I’d like to see Theresa May help answer my questions about Europe, immigration, the economy, transport and so on, by:

  • Participating in an AMA on Reddit, and more web Q&As, generally
  • Knuckle down on policy making processes, ensuring consultations are easy to read and respond to online, and as representative as they can be
  • Use more video to explain the really complex issues, and not leave it to the press
  • Insist on regular, granular blogging from the new Brexit team
  • Demonstrate that Government is listening online generally, and not just hanging on headlines and comment from media and big business
  • Also, we don’t know much about our new PM, personally. A little bit of human insight on Instagram perhaps, wouldn’t go amiss

Wish list? Maybe. But far more meaningful, and useful, than ghost-written twitter accounts.

A tick box approach to Prime Ministerial social media won’t do in 2016.

Running scared of the web

I hope this:

and this:

don’t provide an excuse for people to do less, or nothing, on social media.

Large organisations have plenty enough reasons not to ask for input from their audiences, or to be fearful of opening up their channels to public comment.

It’s too easy to believe that the web is full of trolls (and count anyone with negative feedback as a troll), or that no-one is capable of sharing a sensible idea.

Give people a structure, a set of choices, and target your audience online – rather than just tweeting the world – and the web can still be powerful and constructive.