Geneva, 15 November 2012 – Burson-Marsteller, a leading global public relations an d communications firm, today released the second

part of its “Twiplomacy” study (htt p://, looking specifically at country branding on Twitter. The st udy shows that only 9 governments out of 193 UN member states own their country name Twitter handle. Interestingly the @India account is owned by an Indian person living in Guangzho u, China. The account owner shares pictures from his daily life and has made it clear that his Twitter handle is not for sale. With respect to other social medi a channels, India is one of just 19 YouTube channels owned by the tourism office . The accounts of @GreatBritain, @Israel, and @Sweden are the most significant exa mples of country promotion on Twitter. @GreatBritain is part of the ‘Britain is Gr eat’ campaign launched in March 2012 to highlight everything that is great about t he United Kingdom. @Israel is the country’s official Twitter channel, maintained by the Foreign Minis try’s Digital Diplomacy Team. The account is one of the most followed country acco unts with more than 66,000 followers and serves as the focal point for Israel’s go vernment Twitter activity. The Twitter accounts of @AntiguaBarbuda, @Barbados, @Lithuania, the @Maldives, @ SouthAfrica, and @Spain are run by their respective official tourism organisatio ns to promote tourism in each country. However, three out of five country accounts are either protected, dormant, inact ive, or suspended and almost half of the 71 remaining active accounts are tweeti ng an automated news feed broadcasting news about the country. “Looking at the findings it becomes clear that few governments and tourism organis ations have understood the power of country branding and marketing on Twitter,” sa id Matthias Lüfkens, head of the Burson-Marsteller EMEA Digital Practice. “There is a huge opportunity for countries to use Twitter as part of their communications to engage with a large and growing audience.” Data used was taken in November 2012 looking at the Twitter handles of the 193 U N member countries. Burson-Marsteller used Twitonomy ( to a nalyze tweeting patterns and the Twitter history of each account. To access the complete analysis of these findings, visit: country-promotion. About Burson-Marsteller Burson-Marsteller, established in 1953, is a leading global public relations and communications firm. It provides clients with strategic thinking and program ex ecution across a full range of public relations, public affairs, reputation and crisis management, advertising and digital strategies. The firm’s seamless worldwi de network consists of 73 offices and 83 affiliate offices, together operating i n 108 countries across six continents. Burson-Marsteller is a unit of WPP, the w orld’s leading communications services network. For more information, please visit