Recently, Russia’s Foreign Ministry was thrust into the spotlight of the international community, not only for its official press releases on burning issues, but also for its clever, informative and often ad-hoc social media posts.
Recently he playfully told everyone to have a nice weekend.
On another occasion, the Ministry wittily struck back at the crusade of words against the so-called 'Russian threat’.
In the Russian blogosphere, Zakharova is often referred to as “the Russian answer to Jen Psaki”, the former spokesperson for the US Department of State and current White House Communications Director. But there is one important exception: Zakharova never makes the kinds of “slips of the tongue” with reference to world affairs which Psaki has become famous for.
Asked to comment on the comparison by the RT television network shortly following her appointment, Zakharova answered both bluntly and wryly: "My reaction to those who try to compare me [to Ms. Psaki] is obvious: you are wrong. My name is Maria —Maria Zakharova. [smiles]"
“Social media in general and Twitter in particular is no longer just an afterthought but an essential communication tool for governments to interact and broadcast 140 character messages and six-second soundbites,” it says
“For many diplomats, Twitter has become a powerful channel for digital diplomacy and 21st century statecraft and not all Twitter exchanges are diplomatic; real world differences are playing out on Twitter, sometimes ending up in hashtag wars between embassies and foreign ministries.”
Maria and her team have successfully promoted the Russian Foreign Ministry (@MID_RF), which ranks third among the world’s foreign ministries, after the State Department (@StateDept) and the Turkish Ministry (@TC_Disisleri).
In her interview with RT, Zakharova explained that in her work, she has tried combine official information, such as press briefings and press conferences, with interesting 'behind the scenes' information "related to negotiations, practical diplomacy and foreign visits." She noted that she believes that it is both "interesting and useful for the audience to understand how it all happens —[to see] how all these official events are prepared for and take place." Ultimately, the diplomat thinks "that the combination of traditional ways of diplomacy and some innovation is the most useful."
In 2014, the information and press department of the Russian Foreign Ministry won Russia’s Runet Award prize in the category “Culture and Mass Communications”. The award was handed to Maria.
Zakharova has been working in the Ministry since 1998. From 2005 to 2008 she worked as a Press-Secretary at the Russian Representative Office at the UN headquarters in New York.