I recently found a story on Mashable covering Tweetminster and Tweet Congress.
It’s author, Stan Schroader, calls Twitter the swiss knife of communication platforms because of its simplicity and versatility.
Tweetminster, by Schroader definition, follows the UK political scene through Twitter. It helps users find all the UK politicians that are active on Twitter, but it also organizes tweets in a useful way. A user can check out which political party is the most active on Twitter, and has the ability to sort tweeters by constituency, and – if a politician is not active on Twitter – it can contact them directly from the site and try to convince them they should join.
The UK service was inspired by the US-based service, Tweet Congress, which includes a map of the United States, graphs and stats for Twitter using US politicians.
The Tweet Congress initiative aims to foster communication between lawmakers and the individuals who placed them into that position, the voters. This is yet just another form of connecting politicians to the publics in which they serve.
“We believe transparent government is better government,” said TweetCongress.org. “Twitter enables real conversation between lawmakers and voters, in real time. Find your representatives in Congress, follow them and give them a tweet full!”
What does this mean for PR in politics?
Well – now through Twitter, people not only have an additional news stream of their choice, but they can also mark messages with hashtags (#).
This enables a PR professional to link content with other tags that have related content. This is unique to Twitter. Hashtags are a great way to see unique conversations, along with different views and really be able to spread a message. Politicians are able to track a public conversation between friends and the publics that have placed them into office.
Having these avenues to communicate with voters, lawmakers and private citizens levels the playing field. Voters have the ability to have a voice in rural West Texas, all the way to Washington, D.C. They can ask questions and receive answers to them as well, giving the voters a sense of belonging in an online space – and ultimately, creating a better image if politics through the power of PR.