SociaL mediaTor Forum
While the number of
media into their
efforts has soared,
this is still very much
a new frontier in
are getting a very
rare opportunity to
shape the direction
of their government.
time soon, and certainly not in
this space, but suffice it to say
that your representatives are
eagerly looking for new ways
to communicate and legislate.
Congressional staffs scour online
communities for mentions of their
bosses. Bloggers and other digital influentials have been given
unprecedented access to politicians. When the president recently
took questions live via Twitter,
he found himself on the hot seat
in his own White House when he
faced questions on the lack of jobs
and a flagging economy. All of
this is testament to the fact that
the tweets and status updates of
citizens are echoing in the marble
halls of our nation’s government.
The marriage of social media
and government has made it
through the honeymoon stage.
To what degree that results in a
more perfect union is still yet to
be seen. The potential for trans-
formative change is there, and
I’m confident it will be realized
by this and many generations of
social media patriots to come.
Nick Schaper (@nickschaper) is Executive Director
of Digital Strategic Communications at the U.S.
Chamber of Commerce and former Director of
Digital Media for U.S. Speaker of the House of
Representatives, John Boehner.
November + December 2011
entrances into social media. Suffice
it to say that many are on board
and they’re not likely to exit social
media. Your member of Congress
wants you to like him or her, both
at the ballot box and on Facebook.
While the number of elected representatives integrating social
media into their communications
efforts has soared, this is still
very much a new frontier in governance. Americans are getting a
very rare opportunity to shape the
direction of their government.
In the heady frontier days of the
government’s adoption of social
media (five to seven years ago),
members of Congress moved from
the stodgy “traditional media”
strategy of drafting and sending out
a press release to the cutting-edge
“new media” strategy of drafting
and sending out a press release and
then posting a link to it via Twitter
and Facebook. It was hardly split-
ting the atom, but it was moving in
the right direction.
To understand how the
By Stephanie L. Schierholz
National Aeronautics and Space
Administration (NASA) uses social
media to accomplish its mission,
you must first understand the
agency’s vision. Simply put, the
space agency’s goal is to “reach
for new heights and reveal the
unknown so what we do and
learn will benefit all humankind.”