The very first thing India’s newly elected Prime Minister did was to officially announce revamp of all digital platforms of the Prime Minister’s office and improve interactivity. During his tenure as the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi was popular in the secretariat of Gandhinagar for responding to almost every letter that he would receive (even letters of children).
That made him popular among all age groups and communities of Gujarat. Since he cannot do that to every Indian now, he has chosen the platform of digital and social media to reach out to Indians. Here is a list of 10 things the Prime Minister’s office is in the process of doing to address what his predecessor Dr Manmohan Singh called the ‘communication gap’.
1. The Prime Minister has launched a new Facebook page PMO India which was liked by over 1 million people withing 4 days of its launch (likely to surpass likes on the White House page). He plans to extensively disseminate new initiatives of the government through this page.
2. He is using an interesting mix of pictures and videos on his social media accounts which are nearly unprecedented by a high office holder.
3. The Prime Minister is updating mundane details of even regular meetings with his cabinet ministers and bureaucrats.
4. PM’s social media team appears to be in the process of integrating his newly launched website pmindia.gov.in and his Twitter page @PMOIndia to his Facebook page by frequent references and cross messaging.
5. The PM is hyperactive on Twitter. @PMOIndia is following major central government agencies, foreign diplomatic missions, global institutions like World Bank and United Nations, the White House and some of PM’s bitter opponents from the Congress including Mr Kapil Sibal.
6. On Twitter, @PMOIndia is following himself @narednramodi! It is difficult to differentiate between his personal and official accounts. Sometimes they Tweet the same stuff and follow the same people. His personal page, however, is more colourful and dynamic.
7. Apart from ceremonial remarks, on Twitter, the new PM is expected to disseminate more of his slogans such as extension of his original phrases – ‘Acche Din Aane Wale Hain’ and ‘Minimum Government, Maximum Governance’.
8. In another unusual move, his social media pages will invite his followers to suggest changes, modifications and also criticise his social media strategy.
9. He is also breaking the old tradition of strict ‘protocol’ and ‘embargo’ on communications from the Prime Minister’s office. For instance, he recently chose Twitter to announce that he will retain the Varanasi seat and resign from the Vadodara seat for bye-elections.
10. Lastly, he is catching up with news of the day as much as news of the day is catching up with him. He is quick in commenting on populist issues of current affairs such as formation of India’s 29th state – Telangana, World Tobacco Day and congratulating youngsters of CBSE examination results. This will ensure that he will stay in the news if, by any chance, editors chose other happenings as headlines.