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  • Facebook and your Congressperson

       March 25, 2011

    I keep getting emails from the Sen. Jeff Sessions and his Budget Press Office. The emails are unsolicited, hyperbolic and, because there's no unsubscribe function, impossible to escape.

    Our public servants still haven't figured out how to effectively use the internet to communicate. They know how to use it to raise money, but that's about it. I thought about doing an update to my list of Dos and Don'ts of Online Political Campaign Marketing, but I have to admit that at this point, especially with social media, I don't have the answers.

    I do, however, know what I like. Here's, I think, a fantastic example of an elected official using Facebook. My Mom's newly elected Congressman, former Real Worlder Sean Duffy, bucked his party and voted against defunding NPR. Admittedly, I do like his vote. But even more I like the fact that he used Facebook to explain to his constituents why he voted the way he did. Some people agree. Some people disagree. What's great is that Duffy is talking to everyone in his district with comments and posts like that. He's not just serving up red meat for the people that voted for him, he's also acknowledging that he's representing all of them in Congress.

    I think that's a problem that too many elected officials have. They forget that, once elected, they're not just talking to the converted. I'm Keith Ellison's constituent just as much as someone who voted for him is. I think they need to adjust their social media messaging to adjust for that fact. You shouldn't be hyper partisan and you should be locally focused. Most people in your district really don't care about the Democrats and the GOP. They care about themselves and their families.

    It's so easy to "like" something on Facebook that you can't assume that everyone that "likes" you really "likes" you. It's not really a fan club. They just want to keep up with what you have to say because you're their Representative. It actually should be a great tool. Instead of holding a town hall meeting everywhere, it's like the town hall is coming to you - you just gotta learn to speak to both sides of the room (and the middle!).

    Posted by kris at March 25, 2011 03:02 PM

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    #  March 30th, 2011 12:59 PM      kris
    I got two emails from this BUDGET PRESS OFFICE today already. The guy puts his phone number on them - should I share it? Call him?  



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