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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

Cong hopes to enlist 5,000 for social media cell

Ketaki Ghoghe, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, September 03, 2013
First Published: 08:52 IST(3/9/2013) | Last Updated: 08:57 IST(3/9/2013)

The state Congress party is hoping to enlist 5,000 volunteers across five regions for its social media as it gears up for the 2014 polls.

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All Congress sympathisers — academicians, students, journalists, professionals — will be asked to pitch in for a mega communication strategy via Facebook and Twitter to combat the BJP’s aggressive social media presence.

Following a national workshop held in the capital by AICC general secretary Ajay Maken, who heads the communications department, the state Congress is preparing its own state-level communications strategy.

“On the lines of national setup, at the state level too we will have a communications department with three cells working under it — research, spokespersons and social media,” said party spokesperson Sachin Sawant, who will head this wing.

“Since we are looking at the segment of internet savvy users, we will ask those who are party sympathisers and not just members of the Congress. We plan to hold five such workshops to enlist as many volunteers as possible — at least 1,000 per region,” Sawant added.

The first mega workshop will be held this month, where volunteers will be trained by a team from Delhi to use social media to counter the Opposition’s claims, and to publicise the party’s achievements.

“Across the country there are 75 urban seats, where social media can directly affect voting, if at all. Often, what’s on twitter is lapped up by the media and trickles down to the masses. We need to counter this misinformation and use it as a positive campaign tool,” said Mahesh Malik, city social media cell co-ordinator.

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