- firmly distinguish broadcast use from engagement, identify channels by use
- select areas of engagement strategically, following decisions about foreign policy priorities
- consider fundamental principles not their faddish implementations. Examples: the DiploHack initiative harnesses notions of crowd-sourcing expertise that are worth considering without “kickstarting” foreign policy; live-tweeting can create back-channels for discussion during presentations/meetings; video as means for visual communication; tweet-up as stakeholder meeting format etc.
- leverage existing activities like events, or presentations by officials and visitors
- think, write, engage, review, repeat
- learn qualitatively and quantitatively from communicating
- remain platform agnostic, but include different formats. Current standard formats would include micro-blogging and blogging
- recognize opportunities for knowledge management that arise from more open communications
- embrace Digital Diplomacy as an opportunity for the continuing integration of foreign affairs, international trade, and development.
- embrace facility with vernacular languages as engagement is more likely (though not exclusive to) vernacular languages
- ignore the beards and thick-rimmed glasses, digital diplomacy should be run by diplomats not social media specialists
- emphasize work-life balance; engagement cannot lead to expectation of 24/7 communications
- engagement requires passion
- diplomacy has always been social and always involved networks! Actively engage foreign diplomats, most active stakeholders
- integrate Digital Diplomacy into job descriptions, hiring decisions, evaluations, and promotions, but not in a punitive way. Not all positions require Digital Diplomacy skills and lots of contributions will continue to be made by analog diplomats
- empower, support and coordinate the efforts of experimenters and pioneers.
- all digital diplomacy activities are rooted in substance, no communication/engagement for communication’s sake
- obvious choices for engagement: overarching thematic priorities for foreign policy; aspects of foreign policies aimed squarely at digital matters, e.g. membership in Freedom Online Coalition; activities in countries that are particularly active online, e.g. Mongolia; activities that serve to integrate all-of government efforts, e.g. a collaboration to engage stakeholders in Arctic policy issues between Global Affairs and Indigenous and Northern Affairs
- embrace the reflective nature of communication and the opportunities this offers
- not all countries are equally well-suited for engagement, nor is it needed or likely to be beneficial everywhere
- lots of subject matter is neither suited for engagement, nor should it be. The weighing of foreign policy options is sometimes conducted in private and that is how it should be.
- stakeholders’ expectations have to be managed through forthright statements on their impact. Some engagement will not change policy, some policy decisions will contradict a consensus among stakeholders.
- digital diplomacy represents an opportunity for the further integration of foreign affairs, trade, and development around thematic engagement
- seek, use, nurture Canadian format innovations
- seek, use, nurture Canadian technology/business innovations through an office/division that focuses on tech adoption. Hootsuite is a fine product, let’s have more of those and try them out
- embrace bilingualism as an asset in speaking to stakeholders in Canada and around the world
- harness Canadian expertise that resides outside of Global Affairs by integrating experts’ contributions through Digital Diplomacy be they academic, or other experts
- Digital Diplomacy is appropriate to a middle power, particularly when resources at Global Affairs Canada have been slashed for years and budget realities might prevent their reinstatement