Four out of ten TDs now have a presence on Twitter according to research carried out by leading PR firm Murray Consultants. This is a higher number than has been discovered in previous surveys and underlines how Twitter is quickly become a mainstream form of political communication.
According to our survey 63 of the 163 current TDs (there are three vacancies) have Twitter accounts, representing 39% of the total. Some 49% of the under 50s are on it, with 34% of the over 50s. A slightly greater number, 73 Deputies or 45% of the total, have a Facebook presence.
Out of the top ten TDs on Twitter measured according to their number of followers, Green Party TDs hold first, second, sixth and ninth places. Fine Gael hold three of the top ten positions, Labour two and Fianna Fail just one.
Just 27% of Fianna Fail TDs are on Twitter compared to 37% of Fine Gael deputies, 75% of Labour TDs and 100% of Green TDs.
According to Mark Brennock, Director of Public Affairs at Murray Consultants, “it is notable that Fianna Fail is seen as the party with the strongest community and ‘grassroots’ organisation, yet it is the weakest in relation to the use of social media. Conversely the Green Party has the least traditional political party model, and is the strongest on social media. There seems to be an inverse relationship between the extent of a party’s traditional communication with citizens, and its communication with citizens using social media”.
Looking at Facebook usage party differences are also apparent. Each of the Green Party TDs has a Facebook account. However just 40% of Fianna Fail Deputies have one. Interestingly, while Labour Deputies are enthusiastic about Twitter with 75% on it, just 35% are on Facebook.
Murray Consultants has today published its research results, along with advice for politicians using or considering using Twitter as a means of communicating with the public. It says politicians should write their own tweets rather than have a member of staff do it for them; be simultaneously informal but careful about what they write; be positive in tone; make time to use the medium properly; and use it to set agendas for debate rather than just respond to others.
“If you use Twitter, you must become familiar and comfortable with the medium. After that the most important thing is what you say, not the medium through which you say it”, said Brennock. The full research results and commentary can be read at
For further information please contact:
Murray Consultants 01 4980300
Mark Brennock 087 233 5923