19 Apr 2013

How Indian Politicians are Using Google+ Hangouts

How Indian Politicians are Using Google+ Hangouts

“Would you like to hang out with me this evening?”   

Indeed, all of you may have been asked this question by your friends and family. But Google has completely changed the way we “hang out” with our near and dear ones.

With the advent of Google+ (G+) multi-party video chats or Hangouts, not only can we now hang out with our friends and family, but, if we like, with the Prime Minister, Finance Minister, or the President of the country.

Image: SatishAcharya via Google, CC 3.0

Interesting, isn’t it?It seems governments and their agencies and organizations have understood how powerful social media can be (Facebook, Twitter, G+) for engaging with citizens, seeking feedback, creating awareness on different initiatives, and creating a participatory model of governance.

Some of the world figures who have used G+ Hangouts include U.S. President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, and South African President Jacob Zuma.And Indian politicians aren’t being left behind.

Hanging out with India’s Finance Minister 

Making full use of the power of social media and understanding the importance of getting real time feedback from the citizens of the country, Indian Finance Minister P. Chidambaram decided to “Hangout” with the “netizens.”

Every year, when the country’s budget is announced, everyone is glued to the television to follow the FM’s speech. PR professionals like us are usually busy chasing our clients to get quotes to send to the media, and as a result, follow most of the announcements either through Twitter or via the news online.  It is indeed a crazy day for media and communications professionals.

Yet after all the announcements have been made, we all still have questions, and there is no one around to address them. I’m sure there were people who wished they could speak to the FM themselves and get their answers.

And then it happened.

Following the budget announcement, P. Chidambaram responded to citizens’ questions about the budget, and discussed the state of the Indian economy with a panel of thought leaders as well as citizens through G+ Hangout.

Check out the video to see how the FM addressed the various questions he received via G+ hangout: https://youtu.be/9I392XdcNKU

How Indian Politicians are Using Google+ Hangouts

Before the Hangout, citizens could submit their questions to Chidambaram either by uploading a video, commenting on the YouTube channel, or through the Google India Page by tagging text or a video with the hashtag #askthefm.

G+ and the Indian GovernmentAccording to an article in the Financial Express, there were over 38,200 online views on YouTube for the 62-minute Hangout. The event was covered live by most major English and Hindi news channels, taking the combined reach to over 5 million in real time.

But that’s not all.

Last year, Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, was the first Indian public figure to use Hangout to reach out to his audience (August 2012). According to his website, Modi’s one-hour Hangout attracted over four million viewers, including online and television, as it was beamed on many channels, and over 20,000 questions were asked.
Other interesting facts from Modi’s G+ hangout were:

About 1,66,000 clicks were generated on Narendra Modi’s website on the day of the Hangout

Over 70,000 tweets poured in from all over while the Hangout was in progress

#ModiHangout remained the top trending topic on Twitter and all cities Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad

It was witnessed by people from 116 countries all across the world!

In my opinion, the government of India has been much faster in adopting Google+ Hangouts than many corporations and MNCs, and are doing a pretty good job of reaching out to their audience and engaging with them. Perhaps this is one area in which India’s corporate citizens could take lessons from the government, instead of the other way around.

Considering the power and reach of Google Hangouts, do you think they will become the next best alternative for PR professionals? Would you get your client and the media to hangout on G+ and interact with each other? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

The article was first published on Shonaliburke.com

TESTIMONIALS

user-img

Ancita always came across as an eager learner and willing to go the extra mile. She's got good language and social media skills and uses these to her advantage. She was also dependable and I believe she would be a good asset in any organization. I wish her well for the future.

Rony Thomas, Head of Communications, Amazon

user-img

Ankita supported us in connecting with the CMO community on social media in India - she is knowledgeable, articulate, prompt and superbly organized. She is fast to learn and agile to create business impact, which distinguishes her in the projects she works on.

Rajesh Kumar Jindal, Vice President, Head of Marketing, SAP

user-img

Although Ancita was part of the PR team, she gradually started taking interest in digital communication which I believe is an apt field for her. She effectively used her communication skills learnt in PR to deliver results in digital media which is a much needed talent in the industry. We worked together on google maps and on a project called PMOAppContest chat where Ancita ably demonstrated her creative and storytelling skills. She defined the flow of the chat and was a key campaign owner. The initiative was a huge success in India. Ancita is committed, disciplined and a diligent person and I am sure she is a great asset to her team and her organization.

Abhilasha Padhy, Communications Manager, Google

user-img

Ancita is a Star performer at Six Degrees. She takes initiative and has a ‘To Do’ attitude. This has reflected in her taking up the onus of focusing her skills on Digital within the firm during the last one year and even on her own through an initiative like the SocialPowWow. She has a strong understanding of developing engaging content for audiences to increase relevance for brands. We believe that she has great potential to develop as an integrated communications professional.

Rishi Seth, Group CEO, Cohn & Wolfe Six Degrees

user-img

PR professional, blogger, digital enthusiast. Driven, hardworking and result oriented, Ankita is always game to take up new challenges. Energetic and efficient, trust her to get things done. With keen interest in digital marketing she has been involved in various integrated comms campaigns and delivered successfully.

Cijo Mathew, General Manager, 20:20 MSL

user-img

Ancita is one of the most dependable people I have ever come across. She is diligent, attentive and sharp which makes her a great asset for the team as well as clients. Within few years in PR, Ancita managed to build great media relations and helped her team crack some of the best stories. She is a great team player

Priyank Dubey, Communications Lead, ESPN

user-img

Ancita and I have been working closely for 4 years now & it has been an inspiring journey thus far. It has been amazing to see her transformation from an curious social media learner to a professional digital media expert. Her knack for the understanding the digital landscape is special. While she certainly is an expert in various aspects of digital marketing but her initiative "SocialPowWow" has been really impressive. Today it's one of the most popular Twitter chats in India. She is great human being, hard worker & thinker. Her infectious smile can be an asset in any work environment. Wishing her all the success in any endeavours she chooses for herself.

Nitin Bhatia, Managing Director, Meltwater

user-img

A dedicated, smart and media savvy publicist. Her sound understanding about the real estate business and clarity of thought makes her a go-to person for all communication queries. Strong command over english language and a collaborative team player makes her a best fit for a challenging role. I highly recommend her for a profile that requires a go-getter, passionate, dedicated, knowledgeable and intelligent person.

Nikhil Savio Gutal, Deputy Manager, Marketing & Communication, Cushman & Wakefield

user-img

Ankita was one of the most diligent and hardworking students in our batch. There's a lot to learn from her, esp. her sense of punctuality, sincerity and work efficiency. It really was a lot of fun being together in the same class during our post graduation programme. I wish her good luck for all her future endeavours.

Sayani Bagchi, Area Sales Manager, Britannia Industries Limited

user-img

Ancita is an extremely dedicated resource and a great value add for an organization. Her attention to detail, intelligence and proactive approach has always delighted the people she works with and the clients she services. Ancita is absolutely great with digital media and gives creative, yet practical ideas. I wish her all the best for future!

Shreya Sabharwal, Vice President, Ernst & Young

user-img

Ancita has been a valued colleague at Six Degrees. She's focused and dedicated at work and brings in fresh thinking and approaches to mandates that she's entrusted with. Equally importantly she's a stickler for details and micro-manages things till the work gets done!

Rahul Mishra, General Manager, Cohn & Wolfe India

user-img

Ancita is a thorough professional who is particular about deadlines and quality of work. You can always bank upon Ancita on any work that is on her task list. A proactive individual who not only pushes herself but her team too.

Siddharth Kumar, Deputy General Manager, Cohn & Wolfe India

user-img

Ancita is a thorough professional and absolutely meticulous with her work. She took a lead in Digital when it was the upcoming hottest trend and that is commendable. Always ready to pitch in with ideas on a campaign,love her energy. She is and will be an asset to any organization that she chooses to be associated with. It has been a pleasure working with her here.

Pooja Poddar Jain, Account Director, Cohn & Wolfe Six Degrees

user-img

Ancita is very good in her craft of digital PR and comes with sound knowledge on digital. She is a great team player and has shown great capabilities to lead any team project. She is a great colleague, it has always been a pleasure to work with her and is very easy to work with.

Shalini Gunashekar, Associate Account Director, Cohn & Wolfe Six Degrees

user-img

SocialPowWow chat is one of the most innovative conversations involving small businesses and thought leaders. Ancita deserves a lot of credit for being the go-getter in bringing everyone together.

Cheval John, Founder & CEO, VallanoMedia, LLC, Houston

user-img

I'm impressed and inspired by Ancita Satija for creating an initiative as cool as SocialPowWow and making it a movement. How many young professionals go above and beyond to make a mark and leave a legacy? Ancita has set an example for others to follow. I am sure this weekly tweet chat will grow to become much more than just a chat.

Amith Prabhu, Founding Dean @SCoReInd, CoFounder @PRAXISInd & @PRomiseFdn

user-img

SocialPowWow is one of those must attend twitter chats like #TwitterSmarter #Hootchat #MediaChat with vibrant, engaged communities discussing relevant & trending topics on social media and with a smart and friendly host like Ancita!

Zen Yinger, CEO, ZenSocial, North Carolina

user-img

Congratulations #SocialPowWow for completing two years. You have always been amazing in getting interesting people to exchange views on interesting and relevant topics. You are the platform that brings out-of-the-box minds together across the globe in the world of clatter. Stay there with us -- as a friend, as a trend spotter, and stay relevant. Wishes for many more.

Sounak Mitra, Associate Editor @moneycontrolcom

user-img

I had the pleasure of working with Ancita, during my time at Burson Cohn and Wolfe. Ancita is affable and very easy to work with - great qualities to have in a team mate! She's a dedicated employee whose positive spirit helps guide the team that she’s in. Her experience and knowledge in digital, from copywriting to social media strategies makes her an asset to any organisation.

Thimah Hameed, Vice President - Regional Digital Strategy Marketing Lead, DBS Bank