Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Social Media's Impact on Government PR

I ran across Dr. Mark Drapeau's EXCELLENT post on PBS' MediaShift blog regarding how social media can impact government communicators' and truly facilitate a government not just for the people, but "government with the people."

What struck me the most about Dr. Drapeau's post is how similar it is to ideas and strategies being implemented by companies in the B2B market. His thoughts for government are easily transferred to the emerging and dynamic corporate communications agenda of most companies. Moreover, it is probably the most remarkable post I have EVER seen on the role of emerging (arguably established) social media tools for the government.

Dr. Drapeau advocates the rise of government social communicators or federal and civilian agency brand ambassadors that become the face of a government agency - transforming the faceless government bureaucracy to a community of government brand ambassadors that become a trusted friend over time.

Dr. Drapeau states:

"Engaging, trusted personalities employed as brand ambassadors will complement -- not replace -- traditional public affairs and government outreach. Depending on their agency or office's mission and goals, individuals can follow customized strategies to engage specific niches of the public at events, in interviews, and through constant, pervasive use of new and emerging media tools. In an ongoing bi-directional conversation, brand ambassadors employing I3 would work not only on behalf of the government among the people, but also on behalf of the people within the government."

As part of their job description, Dr. Drapeau notes that government brand ambassadors should conduct research to better understand the "marketplace" on how key audiences/constituents feel about certain issues. While consensus may not be reached, Dr. Drapeau argues that the insight may help politicians and agencies when evaluating policy decisions.

Definitely check out his post and leave your comments.

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