Israeli Consulate’s David Saranga Discusses Tweeting, Peace, and Perceptions at 140 Conference

Here’s coverage of the 140 Conference today in NYC

David Saranga (@DavidSaranga) – Consul for Media and Public Affairs at the Israeli Consulate in New York
The use of Twitter in Public Diplomacy

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When people see Israel, they think of a kid in front of a tank. The media concentrates on that – "I can understand it."

"I would like to add another dimension." He shows Maxim Magazine coming to Israel, getting coverage in international press. In Central Park next week, they’re bringing a beach to Central Park.

In December 2008, during the war on Gaza, they got on Twitter. "The definition of public diplomacy has changed." There’s no middleman (the press). "For the first time we can have a dialogue with the public opinion." The Israeli government can listen. "We want to know what people think about us." Announced government press conference on Twitter. International coverage ensued.

They weren’t neglecting conventional media for this new channel. It was about "fusion" – it was one more channel, especially to reach the younger generation not reading newspapers or watching TV.

The trends:
* People can talk directly to governments
* Governments can bypass the media
* Face to face dialogue possible

It allows government to speak on an "eye to eye level" with public opinion.

Built platform of Tweet for Peace to promote 3 topics:
* Environment
* Minority rights
* Education

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