Real-Time Public Diplomacy in Romania

by Hillary Hartley on November 20, 2008

Obama’s transition team has garnered much of the spotlight surrounding “Government 2.0″ in recent weeks, and with good reason.  He is on a quest to bring transparency to the federal government via blogging at and “fireside chats” on YouTube.  It will be an uphill battle to say the least, but the quest is noble; and as someone fighting for this type of change at the state government level, I most certainly hope he succeeds.

But there is big news out of Washington this week (as opposed to Chicago) on the microsharing front.  The State Department waded into the social media waters in September of 2007 by starting their blog Dipnote.  A month later they joined Twitter (@dipnote).  It’s a less-than-ideal Twitter account, in my opinion, because it’s simply a feed of their blog headlines — there’s no human touch, like with 10 Downing Street’s account (@DowningStreet).  However, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy, Colleen Graffy, has a personal Twitter account (@Colleen_Graffy) and she’s using it to keep her followers up-to-date as she visits Romania during “International Education Week.”

For those of you on Twitter, you can experience public diplomacy in real-time as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy, Colleen Graffy, travels to Bucharest and twitters along the way. It is “International Education Week” in Romania, and she will be meeting with students, Fulbright scholars, conducting media interviews, visiting the University of Bucharest, and speaking at the Romanian Diplomatic Institute, among other things. Follow the details of Colleen Graffy’s trip here, and don’t forget, DipNote is also on Twitter.

Twitter This: Public Diplomacy in Romania

Twitter - cgraffy

So far she’s visited the US Embassy, met with the Fulbright Commission, done a couple of interviews, and met Remus Pricopie, State Secretary for Education.  It’s a fascinating, real-time look into the world of a US diplomat.

(Note: Ms. Graffy has changed her Twitter handle from @cgraffy to @Colleen_Graffy since the time this article was first published.)

Hillary Hartley is a leading authority on government’s use of emerging technologies to deliver on its mission of service to constituents. In her role as Director of Integrated Marketing for NIC, Hillary consults with 21 states and hundreds of local governments on portal management, Web design, marketing, and Web 2.0 best practices for eGovernment. A frequent speaker at a wide range of technology-related events, Hillary is a blogger, San Franciscan, photographer, and Citizen Space coworker.  Follow her on Twitter (@quepol).

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Behold the Power of Twitter | Pistachio
December 1, 2008 at 9:46 am

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Hillary Hartley November 20, 2008 at 1:45 pm

Ms. Graffy announced this morning on Dipnote that her Twittering will continue as she travels from Romania to Moldova. She’ll be meeting with Moldovan bloggers, alumni of the State Department like FLEXers and Ben Franklin Fellows (a new exchange program), hosting a media roundtable on press freedom issues, doing TV interviews and more.

DipNote Blogger Luke Forgerson November 22, 2008 at 5:49 pm

@ Hillary — thanks for the entry. Just wanted to let you and your readers know that they can now follow Deputy Assistant Secretary Colleen Graffy on Twitter at We’ve also updated the link on the DipNote entries about her travels.

Hillary Hartley November 22, 2008 at 10:05 pm

Thanks for your comment, Luke. I noticed the change in her Twitter handle yesterday, but didn’t have a chance to log in and update the links. Will make those edits now.

Looking forward to more tweeting from the State Dept!

Dan @DipNote November 28, 2008 at 11:46 pm

Hi Hillary,

Great timing for this entry! We Twittered Laura Fitton (@Pistachio) recently to let her know that @DipNote is in the process of ramping-up our Twitter efforts. We’ll now be adding news updates, Twittering live from daily press briefings, and letting folks know about upcoming senior staff events. We already Twittered live from Secretary Rice’s press briefing (11/26) and passed along critical information about the recent attacks in Mumbai. Let us know what you think. We’re always willing to incorporate new suggestions!

Hillary Hartley December 3, 2008 at 4:56 pm

Dan, great news! (Sorry for my slow response — must be the tryptophan :)

It’s exciting to see the ramped up efforts of DipNote on Twitter. The live press briefing tweets are outstanding, and I look forward to even more intertwining of Briefing 2.0 with Twitter.

For ideas on how to incorporate Twitter into live events, take a look at Science Friday (@scifritter). They are taking questions now from phone calls, emails, Twitter, and Second Life. It might be an interesting way to have some live interaction during the briefings.

Good luck!

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