The Edelman Global Public Affairs team has released findings from the 2011 Capital Staffers Index, an annual global study that analyzes top trends in global public affairs and communications.
This year’s expanded report is the third annual survey based on interviews with over 500 senior staffers (legislative directors and above) from capital cities in 11 different countries around the world including Washington DC, Brussels, London, Beijing, Ottawa, Mexico City, Paris, Berlin, New Delhi, Buenos Aires and Brasilia.
Although traditional methods public affairs components are still valuable, social media channels have experienced a meteoric rise in their ability to shape and influence policy worldwide over the past year.
Over the past couple weeks, the White House has been all about Twitter.
Of course, President Obama’s team isn’t exactly new to Twitter — and neither is the White House. His official @whitehouse Twitter account has been in use since April 2009 and his @BarackObama campaign handle launched in March 2007. Today, the campaign’s Twitter feed seems to be in full re-election mode with almost 9 million followers and the #Obama2012 staff working to keep it updated with both campaign and official White House news.
So, what’s new? The most recent activity of note is that the president himself is beginning to tweet.
Today, Edelman released the findings of our 2010 Capital Staffer Index during an event hosted in the Washington, DC office. Edelman’s Public Affairs & StrategyOne teams interviewed senior legislative staffers around the globe in several capital cities including Berlin, Brussels, London, Paris and Washington to determine the role and influence of various communications channels both online and off. Below are some of my initial — and personal — thoughts about the U.S. survey results.
Traditionally, August is supposed to be a little quieter in Washington, DC. Not so this summer with the current debates heating up over the future of the US economy, bailouts, healthcare reform and energy legislation.
The Internet is certainly playing a key role. In fact, YouTube may have officially reached its digital advocacy “tipping point” when a handful of videos were recently uploaded featuring flustered politicians struggling to answer tough healthcare questions during several Congressional town hall meetings.
Many Democrats in support of the bill have moved to characterize opponents as an organized, astroturfing, angry right wing mob. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) even went so far as to call the protests “un-American.” On the contrary, it was the SEIU who was caught on tape beating a black conservative who voiced dissent over the plan.
Back in March, Jose Antonio Vargas from The Washington Post assembled a bipartisan group of five panelists to periodically review President Obama’s White House Website in a feature called “Grading WhiteHouse.gov.”
Due to the overwhelming response to the first column, Jose decided to add a guest reviewer for “Grading WhiteHouse.gov, Round Two,” which was posted earlier this week — and I was honored that he thought of me. Of course, he did indicate that he wasn’t going to be able to print my entire thoughts, but agreed to allow me to post them here.
Today, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide is releasing a white paper on digital healthcare titled, “Healthcare Communications in the Digital World: Mitigating the Risks in a Highly Regulated Environment.”
In conjunction with the paper, I will be moderating a live panel discussion this morning, Tuesday, February 24 at 9 AM EST at The Madison, 1177 15th Streeet, NW in Washington, DC. The event will also be available via live webcast.
There has been a lot of buzz recently about how President-Elect Obama might carry the online momentum created during his campaign into the White House with him come January 2009. Taking a step in that direction, the President-Elect announced this week that he may alter the traditional method of delivering the Presidential Weekly Radio Address.
President-elect Obama will record the weekly Democratic address not just on radio but also on video — a first. The address, typically four minutes long, will be turned into a YouTube video and posted on Obama’s transition site, Change.gov, once the radio address is made public on Saturday morning.
According to Mike Allen, who writes Politico.com’s Playbook, the Obama-Biden transition stated on Friday that “No President-elect or President has ever turned the radio address into a multi-media opportunity before.”
I love Austin, Texas! Seriously, what’s not to like? It’s both a powerful capital city and a happening college town with great food, terrific music, historic films and, of course, the craziness of 6th Street! I have been there several times over the years for work and conferences, as well as a couple visits with close friends who live/work in the area.
A couple weeks ago, I had the pleasure of making another trip to the “Live Music Capital of the World” (as well as a side visit to Dallas) for work and to visit WE’s Austin office. On Saturday afternoon, Social Media Club Austin and Waggener Edstrom kindly hosted an event at Scholz Garten to welcome me to their town. I met some terrific folks, including David J. Neff, who then introduced me to … his house.
Rep. John Culberson (R-TX) is on Twitter @johnculberson. So is Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) @timryan. For those who don’t know, Twitter is a microblog that enables users to “tweet” out short text messages in 140 characters or less (about a sentence or two) designed to answer this question: “What are you doing right now?”
The popularity of the site has certainly grown, especially in the world of politics in recent months:
The White House has been on Twitter for about a year. UPDATE 1/2009: President George W. Bush’s Twitter account (@TheWhiteHouse) was closed shortly after President Obama was sworn-in. The new account may be found at @whitehouse.
Many presidential hopefuls were Twitterng early in the 2008 campaign including Sens. Edwards, Obama, Clinton and McCain.
At the Personal Democracy Forum (PdF) on June 23-24 in New York, Ana Marie Cox moderated a policy debate between Liz Mair (for McCain) and Mike Nelson (for Obama) via Twitter (hashtag: #pdfdebate).
Just this past week, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown was Twittering live from the G8 Summit in Toyako, Japan.