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HindustanTimes Sat,30 Aug 2014

Cong to exploit WhatsApp, Blackberry services to reach out to masses

Surender Sharma, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, November 12, 2013
First Published: 10:32 IST(12/11/2013) | Last Updated: 10:34 IST(12/11/2013)

Going the whole hog into campaigning on social media, the Congress seems all set to exploit the latest technology. Twitter and Facebook are passe now, with messenger services WhatsApp and BlackBerry now being the in-thing.

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Or it is what the Congress national coordinator, social media cell, Gaurav Pandhi, who was in Chandigarh on Sunday to impart training to the local party workers on social media, projects as the work on the top of his agenda.

Talking to Hindustan Times, he said that already nearly 10,000 party workers and service users were getting messages from the social media group set up by the All India Congress Committee in New Delhi.

"While there seems to be a lot of Congress battering on the social media, a worker on opening an account on Facebook or Twitter, at times, finds he is short of facts. Even if he has information, it is often not authenticated, nor does he know off hand what line is to be taken," he said.

"With messages from the central unit about the achievements of the government he would get the requisite data for sharing, which would be done in a jiffy through BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) and WhatsApp," Pandhi said.

The social media cell has so far held workshops in nearly 20 cities across the country and nearly 30 are to be covered by mid-December. The workers are not only being trained on use of Facebook and Twitter but also being enrolled for WhatsApp and BlackBerry Messenger services.

"Nobody can remain on Facebook throughout the day. If you have missed two hours, then you would not be able to see posts during that time. Nowadays, Facebook pages are flooded with various kinds of posts. On BlackBerry and WhatsApp, you get a message which remains there in your inbox," Pandhi said, adding that the AICC had created a data bank for which state-specific data was also being compiled.

Elaborating on how the services would be used, he referred to the November 10 Congress' Haryana Shakti rally at Gohana and held that while several aspects of the rally were being debated, party workers in Haryana got authentic data from the central social media group, which they shared with others on Facebook and Twitter," he said.\

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