Public and participatory digital diplomacy
Catalonia is a small country which is open to the world and has a track record of international openness. Thus, it makes sense for Catalonia to join the increasing debate created by diplomats, international organisations and public diplomacy institutions in social media
Over the last years public diplomacy has efficiently used these relatively new media as they make dialoguing with people in remote countries or across cultures a lot easier.
By definition, public diplomacy fosters dialogue with a strong emphasis on listening to what the other side has to say. Social media are ideal for dialogues and the exchange of ideas.
Nowadays, countries cannot ignore this, regardless of the size of their population, area or GDP. And this is also true for sub-state entities such as Catalonia.
If we accept that social media are one of the voices of the public opinion, then Catalonia’s public diplomacy has reason to take an active part in this borderless world at our fingertips. Catalonia has always promoted open dialogue.
The Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia uses a variety of media in order to exchange ideas with the global public opinion. Please read the brief description below, further channels are likely to be added in the future according to specific target groups or contexts.
CatalanVoices is the main tool of participatory public digital diplomacy run by the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia. It started out in March 2013. It consists of a Twitter account run by a different person every week following the concept of “Rotation curation”, invented by the @Sweden Twitter account, and adapted for sub-states by @Scotvoices. The @CatalanVoices account can be managed by anyone who has lived in Catalonia for at least three months regardless of their nationality. Curators tweet in English about their day-to-day life and their thoughts and opinions on life in Catalonia. The curator is not usually a person in the public eye. Thanks to the diversity of contributions, this project gradually leads to a debate on new concepts and themes approached from different angles. The main aim of @CatalanVoices is to provide direct knowledge about Catalonia by those who know the country best – the people living here. A list of all the participants can be seen on the webpage: www.catalanvoices.com.
Participants in the @CatalanVoices project enjoy a period of free subscription to the online edition of the Ara newspaper.
The Ara newspaper has reached an agreement with the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia to offer curators a free two-month subscription to the full online edition of the paper. This offer applies to both future and previous curators of the account. In this way Diari Ara allows all the participants of @CatalanVoices a two-month access to its complete online edition, normally available only to paying subscribers.
The Twitter account @ThIsCatalonia is the official account of the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia. Council-related or third-party news relating to Catalonia are broadcast in English or additional languages in order to reach specific audiences. Moreover, questions and suggestions referring to the activities of the Council or Catalonia in general are directly answered or referred to the institutions in charge.
The Pinterest account “This is Catalonia” uses the power of imagery in order to make Catalonia known by an even larger audience. Photographs grouped in categories, a regular feature of this social network, are open to selected Pinterest users who complement the mosaic of images through their contributions.
Google Hangouts i Canal YouTube
Google Hangouts allows for several participants without geographic proximity to broadcast their conversation live via Google+ and converts it into video which, subsequently, is uploaded to a popular video platform called YouTube.
The main goal of the Council’s Google Hangouts is to hold brief debates with Catalans and citizens from all over the world about Catalonia-related news in general or globally relevant topics to which Catalonia can contribute expertise or best practices.
Last updated: 26 September 2014