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31 Aug 2012

The 2012 State of Australian Public Affairs series: A social media world

George Onisiforou

Social media has become an accepted and important component of the public affairs function in Australia, as evidenced by the Centre’s latest survey of the function. Our recently completed State of Australian Public Affairs research found that:

• fifty-nine per cent of respondent public affairs functions currently undertake activities involving social media, an increase from 24 per cent in 2009 — 38 per cent of respondents reported this activity had been added in the past three years;

• blog management is currently undertaken by 35 per cent of public affairs functions, as compared to 24 per cent in 2009;

• almost 70 per cent of respondents report public affairs has the major carriage of social media as a communication tool in their organisation as compared to marketing at just over 30 per cent;

• 75 per cent of respondents report they have a social media policy for employees and more than half report their organisation has a social media strategy; and

• social media is frequently cited as one of the function’s challenges for the coming year and is a benchmarking subject for more than 44 per cent of respondents over the coming 12 months.

Comments provided by survey respondents suggest that organisations in Australia are pursuing more proactive and strategic approaches to using social media. Companies that have still not developed social media policies and strategies are lagging behind their peers.

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