Do the Research!

Internet, public relations 4 Comments

Generating new sales leads can be challenging, time consuming and frustrating — but it’s a critical element in growing a business. Believe me, I’ve been there and can sympathize with anyone who has ever had to build a list from scratch, make a cold call or contact someone they simply don’t know.

ResearchSome people really thrive on the excitement of aggressively securing a new lead, while others are uncomfortable with the pursuit. In either case, there’s no excuse — especially with all the information available on the Internet these days — for not performing even the most basic research before reaching out to a prospect.

A couple weeks ago, I received an unsolicited sales email. Personally, I prefer to receive a phone call first, but if an email does arrive in my Inbox, I would hope that the sender would at least make sure that it’s relevant to the recipient.

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Grading WhiteHouse.gov

E-Gov, social media, White House 5 Comments

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.”

The group includes Craig Newmark of Craigslist.org; Andrew Rasiej, founder of the Personal Democracy Forum; Ellen Miller from the Sunlight Foundation; Jon Henke, a consultant and blogger for The Next Right; and David Weinberger, a fellow at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society.

WhiteHouse.govDue 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.

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White House Wireside Chats

E-Gov, social media, White House 2 Comments

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.

Presidential Weekly Radio AddressAs the Washington Post’s Jose Antonio Vargas reported yesterday in The YouTube Presidency:

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.”

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Call to Service

White House 1 Comment

Last night, Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain participated in a forum on volunteerism and public service in conjuction with the ServiceNation summit at Columbia University in New York. Clearly, given McCain’s military service and Obama’s background as a community organizer, it should be no surprise to anyone that both presidential candidates were in agreement on the importance community service.

Yesterday was also the seventh anniversary of the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks that forever changed the lives of so many Americans. Earlier in the day, the two presidential candidates visited Ground Zero along with New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Sen. McCain’s wife, Cindy. It was entirely appropriate and refreshing that both campaigns put politics aside in a brief moment of unity to pay their respects and honor the fallen.

President Bush observed a moment of silence on the South Lawn of the White House, then participated in the dedication ceremony of the 9/11 Pentagon Memorial. In a taped message this week (below), President Bush took the opportunity to reflect upon America’s strength, courage and grace in the wake of the attacks. He discussed the intent behind the creation of USA Freedom Corps: to connect Americans with opportunities to serve our country and to foster a culture of citizenship, responsibility and service.

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Defending Dot Govs

Campaign 2008, E-Gov, White House 3 Comments

Politics Online Conference 2008This week, a few hundred convened to attend the 2-day Politics Online Conference 2008 hosted by the  Institute for Politics Democracy and the Internet (IPDI) at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington, DC. 

On Day 2, I had the pleasure of participating on the Morning Plenary panel sponsored by POLITICO entitled, “White House 2.0.”  We discussed how the Internet, which has been so prevalent in the current presidiential race, will possibly change how a future administration will govern.

The panel, moderated by Ari Schwartz, Center for Democracy and Technology included Sunlight Foundation Executive Director Ellen Miller, former U.S. Congressman Rick White of the Wood Bay Group and Tom Steinberg from the UK’s mySociety.org.

It was a very lively discussion where a number of innovative ideas for citizen activist and engagement websites were shared – but, in my opinion, most would be best managed outside the official dot gov arena.  There are a number of current restrictions and regulations that govern federal government sites that may provide some barriers to participation. 

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Senate’s E-Gov Technical Difficulties

E-Gov, White House No Comments

In preparation for an upcoming speaking engagement, I was doing some research on Sen. Lieberman’s (Independent-CT) past comments during a U.S. Senate hearing on E-Gov reauthorization.  So, I went to Google and searched for “lieberman egov” which yielded the following top organic result:

http://.senate.gov – Technical difficulties.
Sorry, the http://.senate.gov web page you have requested is experiencing technical difficulties. The Webmaster has been alerted.
www.senate.gov/~gov_affairs/egov/ – 2k – CachedSimilar pages

Then, by visiting the page, the visitor is greeted with:

Sorry, the http://.senate.gov web page you have requested is experiencing technical difficulties. The Webmaster has been alerted.

You will be automatically redirected to the http://.senate.gov Home page after 10 seconds.

If this problem persists, please contact the Office of the Secretary Webmaster at webmaster@sec.senate.gov.

After waiting 10 seconds, you are not redirected to the Senate.gov Home page, but rather to this: “Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage.

Of course, I should have just visited the President’s E-Gov Initiative site in the first place.

Sir Bob Geldof on Africa

government, White House 1 Comment

As President Bush wraps up his weeklong trip to Africa today, there is some discussion as whether he has been given due credit for his strong commitment to the people of the region during his tenure.  Under President Bush, the United States has developed extensive progams and initiatives for Africa to address the issues of education, poverty, human rights, democracy, economic development, and health concerns such as the fight against HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other treatable diseases.

Jim Long (aka newmediajim), conducted a fascinating impromptu mobile video interview with Irish musician and political activist Sir Bob Geldof, of “We Are the World,” Band Aid, World Aid and The ONE Campaign fame. He has also teamed up with friend and U2 frontman, Bono, in many of these and other global charity endeavors. 

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