This is one of the findings revealed during the seminar on “Creating Transparent Political Leadership Through ICT” at UNU-EGOV headquarters on 2 May 2017. The seminar was delivered by Aleksandr Riabushko, Public Relations and ICT Project Manager for the Ulyanovsk Regional Government (Russia) and UNU-EGOV Government Fellow. During the seminar Aleksandr introduced the results and main findings of his PhD dissertation, which included:
- The Ulyanovsk region e-Government infrastructure was examined. It is based not only on the servers and technological platforms but rather on websites, open data, official blogs, public service delivery both offline and online;
- Classical theories and methodologies are now as applicable as before. Sometimes, they are even more significant than when they were invented. In ancient and medieval times there were frontiers of climate and geography issues. But now ICT tools have “destroyed” all natural obstacles previously limited the political participation, so far everybody at any season 24/7 can request, for example, some public service, voice an opinion etc;
- A strong correlation between the publication activity and the number of followers in social media was revealed;
- On average on public administration, and executive leaves his job every 1,5 years and, on average, once in three months he/she will change position either for promotion or quitting his job;
- It was mathematically proven that two-three months before the promotion the leader has the highest numbers of positive mentions in the media within the elite group. By contrast, two-three months before quitting the job the leader has the lowest number of positive mentions within the elite group.
To handle these issues and to help the leaders sustain their leadership, the author invented the theory of information presence. The theory constitutes that once the leader wants to have a sustainable leadership he/she needs to provide the positive publicity, which means to have positive mentions in the media in at least 1/7 of materials released during the period.
Discussion during the seminar highlighted the importance of the research done. In particular, it was highlighted the importance of both practical and image issues in the work of political leaders. The participants also discussed the contribution of theoretical and methodological issues towards the results achieved.