Most Australian politicians use social media to blast out messages without interacting with those of us at the receiving end. They use it like a one way platform or digital brochure. It can be discouraging but yesterday I got a pleasant surprise!
The new ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr is a prolific social media user, and as I discovered yesterday, willing to use it to engage.
Since the start of the year three local issues have unsettled me. So yesterday I direct messaged the Chief Minister on Facebook to express concern and suggest a better way of running the Territory – which is ambitious of me but hey I vote too.
Imagine my surprise when 30 minutes later Andrew came back to me. Starting off with Bob – appreciate the message but I respectfully disagree, the Chief Minister outlined his perspectives on my concerns then for good measure told me what he had been up to in January. His reply finished off with all the best in 2015 and regards.
Simple, straight forward and without an ounce of bureaucracy.
I have known Andrew for several years and the response certainly sounded like him. So was it Andrew Barr or a staffer on the keyboard at the other end?
For me it doesn’t really matter. The fact is my concern posted on social media media was picked up and promptly responded to, on my medium of choice.
So a big hat tip to Chief Minister Barr for using social media the way it should be used in Australian politics – to listen to and engage voters!