It has not gone unnoticed that Sweden strives to be a global leader in Digital Diplomacy and especially the Embassy of Sweden in Bangkok under the leadership of Ambassador Jon Åström Gröndahl uses social media to communicate various hot topics in Thai society in a timely manner.
In a recent interview by Thai media Bangkok Biz News, the Ambassador speaks about ways of presenting news through social media to resonate with followers.
Ambassador Jon Åström Gröndahl explains that Sweden aims to be a global leader in Digital Diplomacy and that the Embassy strives to bring the content of interest promptly to their Thai followers. The Embassy promotes Sweden as a travel, work, and continuing education destination but the issues coincide with a controversial timeline and that is why the post spreads causing the number of the Embassy’s Facebook followers to increase as well.
The Embassy is happy to see followers discuss the topics in the comment section, “as an open and free discussion is a sign of good society,” the Ambassador says.
The Embassy promotes Sweden’s basic values of labor rights, innovation, equality, and social welfare leaving no one behind and they use social media to promote these values through social media not only in Thailand but all over the world.
“We are extremely grateful for the public interest in our work. And we are delighted that people have used this channel to speak openly and constructively on a wide range of issues, including how we can work together to shape and improve our society. An important component of democracy is openness, freedom of information, and transparency,” the Ambassador says.
When asked what are the Embassy of Sweden’s social media guidelines and how important they are to diplomacy, the Ambassador says that diplomats often have the opportunity to meet with representatives from the public and private sectors in the country they work in and that public diplomacy has been part of diplomatic operations for a long time. Social media has however provided a new excellent opportunity to communicate with the Thai public and reach millions of people with the Embassy’s messages and initiatives
“Sweden was the first country to adopt what is now known as Digital Diplomacy and it is part of our global strategy. We aim to be at the forefront of digital communications and because of that we have to be innovative and develop our social media work constantly. The followers are very important to us and we like to hear our followers’ opinions and try to make the content interesting while also trying to answer the questions we receive, the Ambassador says.
The Embassy of Sweden also connects with Swedes in Thailand via social media with monthly newsletters and consular information. During critical times, digital diplomacy has become increasingly important as a foreign policy tool, especially during the pandemic, which has made face-to-face interactions a daunting task, the Ambassador adds.
Read Ambassador Jon Åström Gröndahl’s full interview with Bangkok Bizz News and more on the subject here. (Only available in Thai)