Journalist Katherine Murphy (@murpharoo), National Correspondent of The Age, makes some salient observations about where social media channels fit in the political context (read her article here).
As she notes, social media do not spell the end of mainstream media (MSN), and that politicians might well relish being able to communicate directly with constituents and the electorate at large, but they might well need to get a little better at doing so.
In the real world the two approaches to engaging with an audience will, of course, complement each other.
But with social media, you can drill down to the thoughts and opinions of thousands of individuals.
And however confronting these opinions might be to any organizational or brand point of view, they are unfiltered by the mainstream media’s necessary modus operandi. They are real opinions, rather than a view taken from a sample interviewed in a survey.
It takes some nerve, perhaps, to consider these opinions, but for those organizations that do, the rewards will be greater.