Opinion: From our Readers - Parties should use Facebook with care

I read with interest your article about the Conservative Party dominating Facebook, especially now the election date has been confirmed (prweek.com/uk, 22 March).

PR is often used as a derogatory term during an election, but social media offer the opportunity for each party to engage with their audiences and provide transparency instead of putting a spin on a story.

We have seen with the elections in the US how important social media can be when running a campaign, and hopefully the British parties have learned from our friends across the pond.

They need to be genuine when communicating policies or promoting the personality of the party, as well as taking the time to listen to what the public says. If they try to be something they are not on Facebook, or make the communication one-sided, they are likely to fail.

The election represents an exciting opportunity to demonstrate how powerful social media have become, but the overall winner will be the party that uses it to be transparent and genuine, rather than as a tool for mudslinging about the opposition.

- Paul Stallard, account director, Berkeley PR.

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