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Thursday, 10 April 2014 15:25

Meet the Lithuanian Twitter diplomat

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Rolandas Kacinskas, a.k.a. @RKacinskas on Twitter Rolandas Kacinskas, a.k.a. @RKacinskas on Twitter Draugas News

Draugas News, English edition of Draugas, a Lithuanian newspaper published in Chicago, featured interesting interview with a Lithuanian diplomat about increasing use of social media tools in a public sector. Draugas News asked Rolandas Kačinskas, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Lithuanian Embassy in Washington, D.C., to share his thoughts on communicating with foreign audiences with the help of Twitter.

Kacinskas, a.k.a. @RKacinskas on Twitter, got publicity for being one of the most active and popular Lithuanian diplomats on Twitter. He has been tweeting for the past three years and boasts over 17,000 followers.  A few Lithuanians do have higher follower counts.

One of the most interesting questions asked was about the benefit of using Twitter in diplomacy.

Here is his answer:

“Twitter is an efficient way to get information quickly and to access world trends. […] For a small country, specifically, it offers a platform to raise awareness and to shape the debate about issues that are of specific concern to our country.  Twitter gives us an unparalleled PR opportunity to present Lithuania on the world stage as a country that is modern and open, savvy and responsive.”

Another provoking question was whether “Twiplomacy — Twitter Diplomacy” portends the end of diplomacy as we know it.

Kacinskas:

"Not at all. Up until the 19th century, diplomacy occurred only face to face, with delegations traveling from country to country.  When the telegraph was invented, some people speculated on the end of diplomacy, which we clearly know did not happen.  Communication tools have once again dramatically changed, and we have to keep pace with them.  Now we have more options at our disposal, and we are learning new distinctions  in the nature of communication. Interestingly enough, the more we become “hi-tech” with social networking platforms, the more we value the  “hi-touch”  personal relationship building.  Technology has not jeopardized our diplomatic efforts, but rather enhanced them."

Read the full interview here. 

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