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Chief Executive Donald Tsang

Interactive platform:  Chief Executive Donald Tsang values the feedback garnered through the Facebook page.

Ronald Chan

Chief Executive's Office Special Assistant Ronald Chan said it is a trend for governments worldwide to make greater use of new media.

Donald Tsang visits a family

Facebook visitors can learn more about the real life of the Chief Executive from different perspectives.

New media winning new friends

October 09, 2010

The response to the official Facebook page of Chief Executive's Office has been overwhelming, gaining more than 10,000 'friends' since its September 16 launch.


In a recent interview with, the office’s Special Assistant Ronald Chan said Chief Executive Donald Tsang very much values the facebook feedback received on the page and wants to strengthen communication with the public through new media, pledging to respond to users' queries.


"We want the Facebook and new media platforms as interactive as possible. Mr Tsang asked about the page's URL even before it was launched and he spends a lot of time reading the comments on his iPad," Mr Chan said.


"Mr Tsang has also made it very clear he will respond to the key issues that Facebookers are concerned with by videos and his personal blogs. I am sure it will take place in days and weeks to come."


Collective work


Named 'Upper Albert Road', the page is a collective creation. The office extensively deliberated over the name and decided on one with character.


Mr Chan said it is common for the public and media to refer to a government office by its location, such as the British Prime Minister's office at 10 Downing Street in London.


"Upper Albert Road is a good choice. It conveys the message it will be a platform where people can get to know us from different angles, not just about public policies, but also everything happening here, like what we talk about in meetings and what we do after work."


The page features interesting pictures, videos and blogs showing Mr Tsang's personal life, along with formal material like government policies.


"For the gentlemen who want to know how to tie a bowtie, Mr Tsang will demonstrate how to tie a bowtie very soon."


Communications boon


New media allows Mr Tsang and his cabinet to better understand social sentiment and what the public thinks about government policies.


Two other Facebook pages launched by the Government for the Act Now campaign and the Manila hostage tragedy were very successful communication tools.


The Act Now page was Mr Chan's first project after joining the Government. To promote constitutional reform packages officials fully utilised this online platform to post related materials and listen to public views. He said the experience was very positive, as there was a lot of interaction on the page, especially from young people.


The overwhelming response of the Manila incident page further strengthened the Chief Executive's faith in new media, he said, adding Mr Tsang was moved by the reaction to the condolence page set up for the hostage victims, which garnered more than 100,000 'friends', and featured personal posts from Mr Tsang.


Traditional media does not allow for such personal interaction, Mr Chan said, so the Government is working to further explore new media. Governments worldwide are making greater use of new media like Facebook, Twitter and iPhone applications to reach the public, especially young people who actively go online to express their views.


Mr Chan said the public now enjoys the greatest degree of freedom of expression.


"We encourage people to tell us what they think honestly and directly," he said.

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