Government Goes Viral

The Rising Star of Social Media Editors
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2020 / September

Cathy Teng /photos courtesy of Lin Min-hsuan /tr. by Brandon Yen


In their communications with the public, government agencies are turning away from old habits of issuing haughty pronouncements couched in stuffy officialese. Instead they are employing social media editors who are full of whacky ideas and are a match for every conceivable challenge. These editors expose fake news and interpret policies for the general public by making connections with everyday life and topical events.


Social media editors have been brought into Taiwan’s public sector in recent years. They use their creativity to draw attention to important policies. Popular perceptions of public services have consequently undergone a sea change.

The Ministry of Finance boasts social media editors whose satirical brilliance has dazzled Internet celebrities. The editors at the Ministry of Education have taken the mickey out of their minister in jaw-­dropping ways. The National Palace Museum has editors who have riffed off the famous painting Along the River During the Qingming Festival with huge ingenuity.

However, despite the fun, these roles are by no means sinecures. Underlying the editors’ apparent ir­rever­ence is the full trust of their employers, and their eloquence is buttressed by a thorough know­ledge of legislation and policies. The editors seem to keep regu­lar office hours, but they are expected to provide immedi­ate responses both online and offline at all times. Jewel Lin of the National Palace Museum explains that a social media editor has to be tolerant enough to take in poisonous comments, and robust enough to face up to challenges from all quarters.

We have interviewed the social media editors of the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Education, and the National Palace Museum. Each and every one of them deserves our respect!

“Macaron Girl” wins over netizens

“I allow you to be exported! Come back to life, thermometers! I command you, cast off your restrictions! Your bonds are broken!” Exports of digital thermometers were temporarily banned earlier this year because of Covid-19. To publicize the lifting of this ban in April, social media editor Lu Chia-wen of the Ministry of ­Finance adapted a magic spell from Zenki, a Japan­ese manga series familiar to people in their 30s and 40s. Her post was viewed by more than 620,000 people.

Since late 2018, netizens have been relishing the zany humor of the MOF’s Facebook editors, who have successfully reversed the ministry’s unpopular associa­tions with “death and taxes.”

Working under the name of “Macaron Girl,” Lu Chia-wen and Huang Kailing have joined forces with Junu Wu, an otaku subculture expert, to form the MOF’s social media team. Using information that Lu distills from complex fiscal regulations, the three collaborate to create new posts, drawing inspira­tion from manga, anime, topical events, puns, songs, and memes in popular culture. For example, when announ­cing tax reliefs for energy-efficient household appliances, they created a sensation by turning the upcoming Sony PlayStation 5 into a dehumidi­fier. Those who commented on their post had no end of fun inventing excuses for getting this new video game console.

Lu says: “Our aim is for our posts to be widely disseminated, so we have to reach more and more people. If no one interacts with us online, our posts will not get the exposure we want. Without likes, comments and shares, we can’t get the algorithms to work in our favor.” The best way to reach a wide audience is to utilize popular memes and encourage netizens to respond. Wu checks the ministry’s Facebook page all the time, ensuring that not only their posts but also the comments below are full of pep. Even Hong-Kong-based netizens have noticed their sizzling creativity. Wu, who understands some Canton­ese, undertakes to interact with the ministry’s Hong Kong followers on their home turf. “They all marvel at our government being so down to earth.”

An approachable Ministry of Education

Under the name of “Yating,” the social media editors of the Ministry of Education shot to fame overnight with a Facebook post on the new “quasi-public nursery schools.” Modeled on the Japanese manga series Glass Mask, it attracted 23,000 likes.

The editorial role at the MOE was introduced in 2019. The primary aim of their social media campaign is to communicate policies, but they are also responsible for debunking misinformation and sharing stories from the frontline of education, a task emphasized by Pan Wen-chung, minister of education.

In solidarity with international initiatives against bullying, Yating proposed the project “#Your label, my pride” to the minister. Eight Internet celebrities were invited to embroider on school uniforms the abusive labels forced upon them in the past. They then shared their experiences. This was accompanied by interviews with teachers on their efforts to combat bullying at school. More than 80 other Internet celebrities responded to this project, and the series of posts earned 8 million hits.

Yating taps into the popular mind. To help the public understand the 2019 curriculum guidelines, which had been ten years in the making, Yating turned Minis­ter Pan into a manga character. Portrayed as a handsome boy-detective, Pan infiltrates a school in order to investigate who is spreading misinformation about the curriculum guidelines. By using innovative ideas like this to get policies across, government agencies are showing a true willingness to change.

As an educator, Pan cautions Yating against unwittingly violating educational principles or taking part in any form of bullying. He also warns them not to be co-opted by policymaking officials, lest they should lose the ability to speak the language of the people. The MOE has placed a high premium on communicating with the public.

Making antiques speak to us

Did you know that there are more than 4000 people depicted in Along the River During the Qingming Festival? Masters of the art of nonsense, the social media editors of the National Palace Museum (NPM) have exploited this Song-­Dynasty scroll painting to create comic Captain America memes and to convey anti-coronavirus precautions. For the latter purpose, the editors made the painted figures adhere to social distancing by pulling them away from each other. Netizens admire the serious museum’s chummy new persona.

Jewel Lin, who often jokes about being the most “senior” social media editor in Taiwan, didn’t volunteer to do this job. An expert now, at first she didn’t even understand Internet slang such as “8+9” (thugs) and “484” (asking for confirma­tion). Her most popular posts include “Which is your type of New Year’s Eve?” and a collection of slips of paper bearing the comment “under­stood” in the handwriting of eight Qing-Dynasty emperors. Lin has given the museum’s ancient treasures a modern relevance.

The National Palace Museum Shop’s Facebook page also has a large following. The editors there turned a repro­duction of the museum’s Northern-Song lotus-­shaped wine warming bowl into a classy container for instant noodles, to capture the feelings of office workers before and after payday. Sindia Chang, marketing manager and one of the editors for the museum shop, explains that their aim is to raise awareness, their target audience being professionals and culturally engaged people aged 25 to 35. The editors use young people’s language, investing the shop’s cultural merchandise with new creative meanings. They have received a stunningly positive response.

The NPM Southern Branch opened to the public in 2015, in an area that had been something of a cultural desert. Editor Chou I-wen says that the Southern Branch has been making every effort to interact with local residents in order to boost art education and promote equal access to culture. Five years on, local children have become regular visitors to the museum. The seeds of art are germinating.

The NPM’s three fan pages attract different audiences, but as Jewel Lin observes, they actually complement each other.

These social media pages serve as new points of contact between the public and the museum. Feedback from social media users can lead to interesting outcomes. Lin remembers a post promoting the exhibition Rebuilding the Tong-an Ships in 2017. In response to the information about rampant piracy along China’s southeast coast in the late 18th century, netizens wanted to know how people at the time would have identified pirate ships. Lin posed the question to the curator, who replied: “They have been watching Pirates of the Caribbean too much.” Most pirate ships in fact masqueraded as ordinary commercial vessels. Nevertheless the question prompted the curator to furnish new information and replace some objects on display, thus making the exhibition even more approachable.

Bearing witness to government agencies’ efforts to transform the way they communicate with the public, the stories of these social media editors make us feel proud of Taiwan.

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小編大亂鬥

公部門放大絕

文‧鄧慧純 圖‧林旻萱

不傳聖旨,不寫咬文嚼字的公文,當代公部門想要跟民眾溝通,請出了十八般武藝精通的社群小編。小編們要創意有哏,還幾乎有求必應,他們闢謠打假,從生活擷取靈感,結合時事,轉譯政策,說給您聽。


 

「丞相,起風了!」

台灣公部門近年探得風向,勤與社會大眾溝通,力行有感施政。過往保守的政府機關,發言總是斟酌再三,與民眾日常脫節;但近年引入社群小編,在網上用創意撩民,另類的政令宣導,公部門氣象丕變,讓人耳目一新。

其中被暱稱「撿到槍」的財政部小編,力戰宅神網紅,言語嗆辣,酸度滿點。教育部小編在社群裡,吐槽長官,敷衍趕下班,引得看官拍案叫絕。故宮小編把《清明上河圖》玩得淋漓盡致,讓古畫可以興,可以觀,可以群,可以怨,……還可多識於鳥獸草木之名。

大夥兒鬧得開心,政策也藉機「控制腦波」,政令到位,兩全其美。

但看似笑鬧瘋癲,其實小編的工作一點都不簡單。小編看似無法無天,卻有賴長官全然的信任授權。小編看似辯才無礙,卻是啃讀了數千法條,才能轉譯政策。小編看似隨手用哏,卻是日夜吸取大眾文化精華的成果。小編看似每天正常上下班,卻是線上線下即時回應,不捨晝夜當客服。創意先行,但背後是與業務單位唇舌溝通,大戰三天。

問到小編需要什麼技能,故宮小編林白苧給了答案:「我覺得就兩個心,一個就是你要夠大的心,要容忍住所有的酸,然後還有個夠強的心,隨時迎戰各界的挑戰。熱情很重要,不然撐不住。」

這回《光華》採訪公部門小編,走探了財政部、教育部和故宮,結論只有一事,每個小編都要供起來拜啦!

宅哏圖出動,馬卡龍女孩收編鄉民

「我開放你出口!重生吧,體溫計!遵從我命、袪除管制!解除!解開束縛!」今年年初因為COVID-19疫情,國內體溫計管制出口,到四月初方解禁。財政部小編呂佳紋早早嗅到新聞點,轉換六七年級生熟悉的《鬼神童子》咒語做成貼文,讓民眾知道財稅新政策。這則貼文上線後觸及超過62萬人,並有5萬以上人次在網上互動分享,大家在留言區互探年紀,回憶追卡通的童年。

2018年底開站,財政部臉書粉專經營約一年半,已累積了近8萬人按讚、追蹤,靠著哏圖製作吸引鄉民,財政部給人的印象從與死神並列的討稅者(death and taxes),變得親民又酷炫。

由呂佳紋、黃凱鈴組成「馬卡龍女孩」,加上精通宅文化的吳俊佑,精實的財政部小編就位。呂佳紋負責理解吸收繁複的稅制,三人再一起找出民眾有感的切點,並靈活運用大眾文化中動漫、時事、諧音、迷因、歌詞哏,撰寫貼文。舉例說,小編結合SONY PS5上市預告,將遊戲機偽裝成除濕機,包裝節能家電減徵貨物稅的政策。貼文一出,留言板上你一言我一語,網友共謀如何藉名目換新機,雖說只是抬槓,卻歡樂異常,原本只是單純的退稅政策,已超過29萬的觸及,16萬次的互動及分享。

呂佳紋說:「我們的目的是希望貼文廣傳,就必須觸及更多人,如果網友不來互動,貼文會推不出去,沒有互動,就無法透過演算法來拉推。」善用哏圖當作策略,讓懂哏的網友來互動留言,分享傳散效果最好,是社群經營的鐵則。吳俊佑每天也不忘去「巡田水」,在FB上與粉絲互動對話,無厘頭或天外一筆的創意,不只貼文有趣,留言板也超有看頭,精采程度好比番外又一章。這樣的創新創意,也被香港網友注意且分享,略懂廣東話的吳俊佑則會循線跨海去留言,「我們在香港有一定程度的粉絲,他們都誇怎麼有如此接地氣的政府。」他也會主動到網友版上留言,臉友看到財政部來自家FB互動,都會笑稱:「要被查水錶了嗎?」

這樣的「教育部」很可以

被暱稱是「雅婷」的教育部小編,這名號得來卻是無心插柳。因為一張仿日本少女漫畫《千面女郎》的分格漫畫,敘述小夫妻的吃醋情節,卻是包裝教育部準公共化幼兒園政策的「千面幼兒園」系列。貼文一出,2.3萬的讚數,超過1,500則的互動及4,000多次的分享,讓教育部小編一夕爆紅。

雅婷們是2019年中入駐的,而社群化經營的目標首重是政策溝通,其次是澄清假訊息,還有就是部長潘文忠所希望的多多分享教育現場愛的故事。

雅婷的戰役不止於此,去年蔡依林出遊被偷拍的新聞,記者以G奶下標,蔡依林因此發文想跟大眾討論「身體意識」,雅婷也去留言:「需要重補修性別教育,而且要超過2小時,」讓網友大讚神回應,教育部因此攻佔各大媒體娛樂版。

呼應國際反霸凌日推出的「#你的標籤我的驕傲」,是雅婷們自主向部長提案的反霸凌企劃。邀請八位網紅將昔日不堪的綽號繡在制服上,先讓網友猜猜制服的主人,再分享網紅們的經歷,並搭配訪談第一線教師對反霸凌的努力,這件專案激起社會廣大的迴響,後續更有80多位網紅公益響應,系列貼文也創下800萬的觸及率。

貼文要有哏,回應要神準,雅婷們的鬼點子來自對生活的觀察和熱情。如籌備十年終於上路的108課綱,如何讓社會大眾更了解政策內涵,雅婷想出把潘文忠「柯南化」;但潘文忠認為舞台應該讓給前線的教育者,而躊躇再三,雅婷們鬧著陷入沈思不發一語的部長,不講話就是同意了,那我們就畫囉!潘文忠成了美少男,深入校園探案,要找出造謠108課綱的肇事者;同時也重新體驗學生生活,了解當前學生的重擔。「#這樣的課綱我可以」以新穎的方式,努力把政策清楚溝通的心意,足見公部門確實有心改變。

身為教育人,潘文忠開放心胸,接受雅婷們的創意,但是也不忘給小編忠告,創意怎麼玩都不能違反教育價值,不能成為霸凌的參與者。還有他要雅婷們「不要被我們(官員)同化了!因為我們太熟教育政策了,如果你們(小編)被我們同化,就再也講不出民眾懂的語言了。」始終惦念著如何與民眾溝通的教育部,最暖心。

古人超愛演,通通拿來做哏圖

您知道《清明上河圖》裡有4,000多人,而且每個都不一樣嗎?故宮小編用《清明上河圖》,創造出無數笑到翻桌的哏圖,不管是無厘頭創意「#美國隊長哏圖」,或是用來宣導防疫的「#時中前,時中後」,把每個小人都拉遠一公分,都讓網友驚覺古人好有戲,古畫可以這樣看,而且原本總讓人肅穆立正的故宮可以那麼親民。

喜歡戲稱自己是全台最資深的故宮北院小編林白苧,當初是被趕鴨子上架的。她從完全不懂網路語言,到了解8+9、484這些網路流行語,人氣作品有「跨年你是哪一型」,集結古畫推出「人擠人型」、「邊緣型」、「狂歡型」、「補眠型」等,原來古畫也超有戲。她還找出清代八帝手帖「知道了」,讓網友來品評,有網友笑稱像在翻牌皇上,創造出古老故宮的新話題。

大家最熟知的故宮粉專當屬「故宮精品」。以「汝窯青瓷蓮花碗裝泡麵」,對比發薪前後,精品小編最了解上班族的心聲。精品小編同時也是博物館商品行銷部經理張庭甄解釋,故宮精品的目的是要打出台灣市場的知名度,但博物館吸引不了年輕人進館,是當前的困境。鎖定25~35歲的上班族與文青族群,用年輕人的語言溝通,把博物館商品透過文化內涵和創意的轉換,大家超愛文物背後的故事和創意,果然一鳴驚人。

故宮南院成立的時間最晚,耕耘的地點也屬文化偏鄉,南院小編周奕妏聊到,當地對博物館的認識幾乎是零,因此博物館很努力與在地居民當鄰居,相互往來溝通,推動藝術扎根、文化平權。五年來的經營,當地的孩子把博物館當自家後院,而且有8%的觀眾是因追蹤粉專而來,顯示當時試著種下的藝術種子已漸漸發芽了。

綜看三粉專的客群各異,卻如林白苧所言「分進合擊,相輔相成」八字訣的合作模式,共同經營博物館品牌,更是小編圈競相仿效觀摩的翹楚。

粉專提供多一個管道與民眾接觸,林白苧分享因民眾回饋而衍生的故事更是有趣。 2017年「同安‧潮」展覽,提及十八世紀末中國東南沿海海盜猖獗,民眾留言詢問如何識別海盜船,林白苧帶著好奇詢問策展人,卻得到:「大家《神鬼奇航》看太多了。」原來當時船隻多只掛三面旗,一面黃色(媽祖旗),一面定風旗,第三面荷蘭國旗,海盜船也是偽裝成一般船隻,而不會大張旗鼓的宣示自己的身分;但是透過FB互動,策展人知道民眾的疑問,決定添補資訊並更換展品,是貼近民心的體貼。

聽著小編們生動地說著諸多的幕後故事,看到政府部門努力轉化語言與民眾溝通,也為生活增添了些許樂趣,真讓生在台灣的我們心想著「我台灣,我驕傲」。

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