Bank of Jamaica seeks comms boost from first social media foray

Central bank joins Twitter to aid communication around economic reforms

The Bank of Jamaica entered the Twittersphere on October 29 as it looks for new avenues to communicate with the general public.

“This is something we have wanted to do and planned for some time,” says Tony Morrison, director of public relations.

“We chose Twitter first just because it calls for a little less monitoring than what we have in mind for other platforms, which will have to wait until we increase our capacity, which we are working on.”

The central bank’s first tweet was a tongue-in-cheek take on economic jargon: “Ceteris paribus, we estimate this to be our first tweet,” it reads.

The main driver behind the Jamaican central bank’s decision to use social media has been recent economic reforms, including changes to its exchange rate and a shift to an inflation-targeting framework.

“To discuss and explain all these things, we have been communicating more than our previous norm in recent times,” says Morrison. Senior officials at the central bank have been giving more interviews while the governor, Brian Wynter, is also making an increased number of appearances. He spoke with Central Banking earlier this year.

Morrison also notes staff have contributed to a larger number of newspaper articles and op eds, while communications also received a boost from enhanced monetary policy documents and press conferences. “Social media is the logical next step to expand our outreach,” Morrison says.

This will be the central bank’s first foray into the realm of social media, which is quickly becoming a crucial communication tool for central banks around the world.

According to the Central Banking Directory 2018, 80 central banks currently use Twitter; Facebook is a close second with 77 central banks using the platform.

As of October 8, the Bank of Mexico was the most active central bank on Twitter, having tweeted more than 22,000 times since joining in October 2009. While the central bank has a large following (over 600,000), Bank Indonesia has the largest audience with around 650,000 followers.

Indonesia’s central bank has stepped up its social media presence since joining the platform in June 2010. Among its almost 15,000 tweets are updates on exchange rates and inflation, prize giveaways and a music video explaining how to spot counterfeit banknotes.

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