Thailand LIKES Ambassador Kenney: Using the Power of Social Media to Further U.S. Public Diplomacy

February 9, 2011
Ambassador Kristie Kenney Appears in a Video for U.S. Embassy Bangkok YouTube Channel

Kristin L. Kneedler serves as Assistant Information Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand.

Recently, Embassy Bangkok introduced the new U.S. Ambassador to Thailand Kristie Kenney, using social media as the vehicle. With the help of the Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP), Ambassador Kenney filmed two short introductory videos -- the first discussing her excitement about coming to Thailand and the second highlighting her love of Thai food.

The first video, “Greetings from Ambassador Kristie Kenney,” was posted on YouTube and links to the video were posted on the Embassy's Facebook page. Within hours, the video received several hundred views, and within a couple of days, several dozen bloggers picked up the video and attracted the attention of local Thai media. The Ambassador's welcome message was broadcast over Thai television and radio, and newspapers also wrote about her message, with cartoonists even joining in on the fun. Ambassador Kenney quickly picked up another thousand followers on Twitter and the Embassy Facebook page received dozens of “Welcome Madame Ambassador!!” messages.

To continue the positive anticipation of the Ambassador's arrival, the Embassy posted the second video, “Ambassador Kristie Kenney Loves Thai Food." To amplify the message, the Embassy launched a Facebook contest asking the people of Thailand to post their favorite Thai dishes or recipes. The person whose posting received the most "LIKES" will meet Ambassador Kenney in person over a Thai meal at a local restaurant. Once again, the Embassy's Facebook page lit up with dozens of entries further welcoming the Ambassador and sharing their favorite dishes.

Overall, the social media introduction has been very well received, creating goodwill, and effectively portraying Ambassador Kenney's enthusiasm for her assignment to Thailand and paving the way for enhanced outreach. Ambassador Kenney and the Embassy Bangkok Public Affairs staff plan on making more video messages throughout her tenure in Thailand and will continue to use social media to reach out to the Thai and American publics.

To learn more about Ambassador Kenney and her time in Thailand, visit her blog, "It's me, Kristie."



Maryland, USA
February 8, 2011

Patrick in Maryland writes:

I like the enthusiasm that Ambassador Kristie Kenney has for wanting to learning, as much as she can, about her new post. And the people she will be working with there.

I think your idea of food as an icebreaker is a wonderful. Most cultures invite their guests to dinner. :)

Very nice posting! Good too hear from you Kristin.

February 8, 2011

Plaga in Mexico writes:

A very interesting story about the use of social networks.

hedi b.
February 9, 2011

Hedi B. in Spain writes:

Very positive the way ambassador Kenney ignaugurate her duty the american administration.

Should remodelate quickly the image of america the whole world and myself cried fr death of kennedy what happened since then to the image of the US. it is time to change "public relation" especially in arab world if not china will take the place.

United States
February 13, 2011

O.C. in the U.S.A. writes:

Is that shrimp galanga soup on the table? Marrow bone soup is tiring to eat every night since the banksters stole all of our money.

April 6, 2011

Ebrima in Thailand writes:

Nice to meet you. How are you miss ambessador?


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