I’ve been helping a new Public Affairs Officer get setup at her new job. We had a chance to talk about what influence’s people, specifically in news media, and specifically about the importance of understanding and communicating to your audience in a way that they understand. I brought up how during our BALTOPS exercise, one of the most popular items was an interview my boss had with a local news organization that was translated into Russian. It spiked traffic and I was shocked at how well received it was.
This Public Affairs officer called me this week with a short request, and then asked “Hey, did you see Trump’s tweet in a foreign language?”
Her: “Yeah, he tweeted about the Iranian executions in their language.”
Sure enough, a quick Google revealed that she was correct. President Trump tweeted in Farsi (the most common language in Iran) about his opposition to the execution of Iranian protesters. It’s quickly become one of the most popular Farsi posts. Ironically, Trump had previously tweeted in Farsi in January which became the most popular Farsi tweet ever. And just as interesting, I had not heard of this tweet. Granted, I’m not a Twitter user, but normally that sort of thing makes the news.
Tweeting in Farsi is hard. It’s not an easy language to use, and not easy to convert English into Farsi. President Trump is showing a pretty good understanding of how to make his tweets viral with a foreign audience he wants to influence. And yet…no mention of this, at all, in the media. Not even to make fun of it.
It’s the lack of coverage on these things that makes it too easy to believe the media is horribly biased.
This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.