Generating Goodwill for a key US Ally


Amidst a key period of restructuring and identity building, a major sovereign nation in the Middle East came to Burk to raise the profile of its ambassador and spread goodwill about the country’s relationship with the US inside the beltway.


To achieve the embassy’s reputational goals, we turned to Twitter. Through a well-managed Twitter conversation, also called a Twitter Chat, the Burk digital team determined the ambassador could engage key Beltway audiences, make a buzz-worthy entrance into the online diplomatic conversation, and raise the profile of the embassy and its social media profiles with online influencers.

The effort began by employing thorough online research and analytics to uncover the most relevant, targeted audiences, conversations, messaging and channels to develop a clear understanding of how these audiences are talking about and learning about the client and topics relevant to its brand. This would strategically determine not only the pertinent conversations taking place – 54% of the total conversation was on Twitter – topics and the potential challenges, but also the most influential journalists, bloggers, and thought leaders relevant to the ambassador inside the Beltway.

Armed with this key information, we worked with the client and Twitter to create branded verified accounts for the ambassador, a status reserved for public officials and brands, and quickly ramped up the quantity and quality of engagement coming from these handles. Based on calculated targeting, we built a Twitter list of key foreign policy elites. The Ambassador followed, re-tweeted and engaged the list of most influential authors and thought leaders inside the Beltway, 200 in all.

To prepare for the Twitter chat, we brought together an integrated team of government relations and public relations specialists to develop a matrix of likely questions and appropriate messaged responses – in 140 characters or less. The week of the Twitter event, we went live with an aggressive outreach program, online and off, to drive up awareness among media and policy elites.


Through well-coordinated moderation and messaging, the event was by all accounts a success. And the results speak for themselves.
Among the wins:

  • reached 2.6 million people with 5,500 total tweets
  • engaged 275 influential Twitter users, influential foreign policy and Middle East thought leaders and journalists, government officials and other relevant stakeholders
  • received questions during the event from dozens of journalists who re-tweeted messages, or engaged directly as a result of the Twitter chat, including reporters for Bloomberg News, Al Jazeera, NBC News, Huffington Post, Salon, McClatchy, New York Times’ “Deal Book”
  • earned a write-up by Twitter’s Government and Policy blog, recognizing the successful effort
  • won hundreds of new followers for the ambassador and the embassy’s social media channels that have continued to engage