The show must go on -- Sebastian Kurz and social media

Chancellor Kurz's meticulous PR strategy extends to channels such Instagram and Twitter. His seemingly spontaneous “behind the scenes” posts serve an important strategic function -- they set the scene for his political agenda.

Christine Tragler
Christine Tragler Der Standard, Austria
Source: Der Standard
The show must go on --
Sebastian Kurz and social media
 - NewsMavens
Sebastian Kurz. Wikimedia Commons

Why this story matters:

The days when most political activity took place behind the scenes are long gone. Today, thanks to social media, we can follow politicians in real time. And for most politicians, this type of activities plays a crucial role -- they help them maintain control over their image and create an appealing background for their work.

Austria's Chancellor Sebastian Kurz excells at this.

 

On his official Instagram account, Kurz likes to portray himself as an outstanding speaker -- either caught up in conversation or listened to by powerful leaders, such as Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán on January 30, 2018 or Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 28, 2018.

 

These snapshots may seem sponaneous, but, as political scientists Petra Bernhardt and Karin Liebhart point out in their analysis, nothing is a coincidence on social media. In contrast to traditional outlets, Instagram and Facebook provide users with full control over their editorial content. Kurz -- and his media team -- are therefore the only curators. Convenient for a politician who likes to rule with a firm hand.

Details from the story:

  • Sebastian Kurz is known for his careful PR strategy, which experts describe as "very, very structured”.
  • Bernhardt and Liebhart believe that those who bypass traditional media and focus on social platforms retain control the content but also of the overall effect of self-presentation.
  • However, experts point out that if politicians want to succeed with their PR strategies beyond their "followers", "friends" and "subscribers", they still depend on the attention of traditional media, which can either boost their image or consistently question and undermine it.
EDITOR'S PICK:
Only relevant news in your inbox.

Our top picks in your inbox -- the best stories from Europe's front pages, selected by top women editors.

WITH FINANCIAL SUPPORT FROM:
Google DNI
SUPPORTED BY:
Women in news
World Editors Forum
STRATEGIC PARTNERS:
NewsMavens
NewsMavens is a media start-up within Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest liberal broadsheet published by Agora S.A. NewsMavens is currently financed by Gazeta Wyborcza and Google DNI Fund.
Gazeta Wyborcza, Agora SA
Czerska 8/10 00-732, Warsaw Poland
Core team_
Zuzanna Ziomecka
Zuzanna Ziomecka EDITOR IN CHIEF
Lea Berriault-Jauvin
Lea Berriault Managing Editor
The e-mail addresses provided above are not intended for recruitment purposes. Messages concerning recruitment will be deleted immediately. Your personal data provided as part of your correspondence with Zuzanna or Lea will be processed for the purpose of resolving the issue you contacted us about. The data provided in your email is controlled by Agora S.A. with its registered office in Warsaw Czerska 8/10 Street (00-732). You can find more information about the processing and protection of your personal data at https://newsmavens.com/transparency-policy