Spanish royals and Internet 2.0

King of Spain to publish his daily agenda via Internet

Don Juan Carlos, the King of Spain, has decided to publish his daily agenda of official meetings held in the Zarzuela palace. From now on the public and the press will have details of who he is meeting and what he is talking about – something completely unthinkable up to now given that information on most of the King’s meetings was kept secret. Juan Carlos wants the details to be posted on the Monarch’s website and to be published on social media sites.

While the royal family will not publish details on all of its activities due to security issues it will however make public details on most of its activities including those of not only the King but the Queen, the Prince of Asturias and his two sisters. These are just some of the changes that the new press officer for the King, Ramón Iribarren, has decided to introduce under the orders of don Juan Carlos.

Iribarren explained that ‘Don Juan Carlos wants Spanish citizens to know what he does’.

The aim of this new policy of openness is to improve the image of the Spanish royal family.

For example this month the King has held meetings with the second vice president Elena Salgado in which measures introduced by the government to combat the recession were discussed, the new chairman of Caja Madrid, Rodrigo Rato and most interestingly the general secretaries of two of Spain’s largest trade unions, Cándido Méndez for the UGT and Ignacio Fernández Toxo for Comisiones Obreras (CCOO).

This new openness by the King is significant because up until now no information was given on the activities of any members of the Spanish royal family. The press was only told about public appearances at which official photo opportunities were offered. Nevertheless it was no secret that the King met with politicians, businessmen and women, scientists and representatives of Spanish society.

Now it appears that the Spanish royal family has entered into a new era of openness. The previous press officer for the King, Juan González Cebrián, resigned ‘for personal reasons’ and now a new publicity team has taken over headed by Iribarren who has worked as head of communications and public relations for the Spanish embassies in Morocco and Argentina as well as the media advisor for Felipe Gonzalez when he was president of Spain.

The King and the rest of the royal family hope that these changes will help improve their image amongst ordinary Spaniards especially after public relations disasters such as the Kings famous faux pas of ‘why don’t you just shut up’ to the president of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, a book on the queen by Pilar Urbano, the divorce between princess Elena and Jaime de Marichalar as well as information on the royal family published on a daily basis in the sensationalist press.

In addition to publishing his daily agenda of meetings don Juan Carlos has also asked for the royal family’s web page to be updated and to have a presence in 2.0 social networks (eg Facebook, Twitter….).