The Communications and Information Ministry of Indonesia wants to leverage the social media presence of civil servants by reaching out to their large followings on social media, the local media outlet Kompas reported.
The Ministry hopes that popular local bloggers and Instagrammers will help spread the word about the government’s programs and raise public awareness of governmental initiatives.
According to the acting head of the Ministry’s public relations bureau, Ferdinandus Setu, the Ministry will discuss partners with civil servants who are active on social media.
To become a governmental influencer, a blogger should comply with certain requirements, such as having at least 500 followers on Instagram and Twitter and a minimum of 500 friends on Facebook.
The government is also considering labeling their accounts with special badges to avoid fake accounts that might spread fake news in the name of governmental influencers.
The director of Public Communications and Information (IKP) Widodo Muktiyo said that he supported the idea. This move may lead to a breakthrough in public relations and enhance communication methods used by the government to disseminate its agenda.
Widodo Muktiyo believes that we live in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which disrupts the way people communicate and obtain information. However, at this stage, the outdated methods used by the Ministry are out of sync with the new realities and the body needs innovative channels to perform effectively.
Notably, Indonesia ranked as the fifth country by time spent using the Internet per day. Indonesians spend well above the global average of 6 hours and 42 minutes online, doing shopping, watching films, reading news, and browsing social media platforms.
Interestingly, a recent report raised the discussion of using influencers for political agendas, as U.S. presidential candidate Cory Booker’s campaign tried to hire influencers.