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Breaking the news through Facebook

Posted by Darren Willsher on 10th May 2011

Over the weekend some troubling news from Egypt emerged, but what was interesting was how the Egyptian army chose to communicate updates.

Taken from the BBC report; “On its Facebook page, the Egyptian army announced: “The Supreme Military Council decided to send all those who were arrested in yesterday’s events, that is 190 people, to the Supreme Military Court.”

While a government organisation getting involved in social media is nothing new, (just look at the current White House administration), this is the first instance I can think of where news has been broken this way, particularly through Facebook.

This could signal a shift in State groups now looking at social media as the best way of communicating rather than relying on traditional media to do the job for them. As of Tuesday morning, the page had close to one million fans on Facebook and while a decent percentage are likely to read the news through other sources, sending out this message through Facebook is a much more direct approach.

With any news it’s all about picking the right approach for the audience, whether that’s a traditional press release or going direct through Facebook. This could be the first example of a Government group going direct and something I can only see more countries adopting.

Darren Willsher

Darren has been with Wildfire for six years and is one of the driving forces behind the agency’s telecoms and networking portfolio, with experience working on a range of international, multi-channel accounts including CSR, Picochip (now Mindspeed), Real Wireless, The Small Cell Forum, Samsung and Allied Telesis.