Russia’s embassy in London wins social media followers with digital diplomacy, and simple twitter fun.
The edgy tweets are generated not by social media gurus, but by every day embassy staff.
Russia’s embassy in the UK said its social media goal is to “react to mainstream media publications when Russian position is misrepresented, distorted, or where fake news is published about Russia”.
It [Russian Embassy UK] uses a cutting mix of memes and even verse and music, once portraying Russia as a strapping bear and the eurozone as a pigpen under the kind of rainbow flag flown by gay rights campaigners. Over the past year, @RussianEmbassy has overtaken the US and Israeli embassy accounts to become the most-followed diplomatic mission in London, with 56,000 followers.
Surprisingly, perhaps, those behind it are career diplomats with no digital training. The embassy declined to be interviewed about its social media activity or identify who was responsible for the Twitter feed, saying it was a “collective” effort. Many of its 30-odd staff are said to contribute.
Here are 9 of the best @RussianEmbassy tweets…
1. The embassy’s most retweeted post, 22,000 times. Outgoing US President Barack Obama expelled 35 Russian diplomats over Moscow’s alleged hacking of the US election. It pictured a fluffy duckling with “LAME” plastered across it, picked up in press reports as far afield as Australia and India.
2. Tweet came in October 2016, with Russian US election hacking hysteria gaining speed, juxtaposed with a narrative that Russia is in decline.
3. Embassy uses Pepe the Frog to mock UK pundits calling on PM May to disrupt Russia-US relations.
4. While the White Helmets got an Oscar, the Russian Embassy skillfully exposed the White Helmets for what they truly are…Al Qaeda – ISIS in white hard hats.
5. A reminder to UK PM that the Cold War is over. Hashtag was a nice touch.
6. Remember when former UK PM David Cameron called Labour a ‘threat to Britain’s national security.’ Imagine if such things happened in Russia.
7. WADA punished Russia’s entire Olympic team based on very suspicious data and testimony, while the USA team, caught using banned substances, was allowed to attend the Olympic games.
8. This twitter poll exposes the “jealousy” UK media feels when Russia displays foreign policy prowess and skill, especially in Syria, where a truce was negotiated without the US or UK.
9. When the British Embassy in Moscow tried to stick it to Russia over Crimea, the Russian Embassy in London crushed it with this epic twitter reply.