DoD’s engagement in social media is a good example of governmental institutions opening up and embracing new tools and vehicles and streamlining their overall communication programs. What is especially valuable is that:
- DoD successfully combines traditional and new media platforms in reaching to its stakeholders. As a result, DoD’s communication program operates on two levels: not only that the traditional media coverage influences online but also the other way around. For instance, Jack Holt, DoD’s Chief of New Media Operations and its new media strategist, has pointed out the effectiveness of DoD’s Bloggers Roundtable practice: not only that it helped DoD to gain a significant online coverage, but it also placed DoD on the front page of the Washington Post. The Washington Post journalist picked up the story about re-educating Iraqi detainees from the DoD’s beat bloggers and the official transcript of the Bloggers Roundtable session, and wrote an article on the topic. Here is the explanatory video:
Together with the bloggers relations (Bloggers Roundtables) and outreach, the DoD has its own blog as well as its own online video channel--DoD Live new media vlog (constantly updated with the option to subscribe to it via RSS).
- DoD also produces audio and video podcasts. Did you know that the top government podcasts downloaded from iTunes are from DoD?
- You can subscribe to DoD’s content via RSS
- DoD has Flickr account
- The effectiveness of DoD’s social media initiative is partly due to the decision to make Holt the DoD’s digital strategy front man. I incidentally stumbled upon a pitch letter he wrote recently to announce DoD’s Bloggers Roundtable and it clearly testifies his PR skills. It’s short, effective, and to the point:
"Who wants to talk to the guy who flew the first C130 relief flight into Burma?
Bloggers Roundtable w/Capt. Trevor Hall, USAF, the pilot-in-command of the C-130 Hercules transport aircraft to fly the first emergency relief supplies into Rangoon International Airport in Burma.
Wednesday 14 May
Can you make it?"
Overall this is a good example on how to integrate social media with traditional channels to maximize your communication efforts and results. However, I am purposely avoiding commenting on DoD’s overall mission. My focus here is only on its communication strategy and its integration of the mainstream and social media.
Some more examples of social media used by the government:Government agencies host 30 ongoing blogs on various subjects, from AIDS awareness to personal blogs of agency officials. Here are some more examples:
The CIA uses Wikis
The NOAA has an island in Second Life
The TSA has a blog Evolution of Security (featuring Blogger Bob, some say the government celebrity blogger)
Know some more examples? Share them with me…