The White House Communication Policy: Social Media (Thankfully) Enhances Press Conferences

We found out this week that the White House Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs, is out to allow for some fresh air in the press room. I read a lot of comments online about his skills, or his lack there of, with the press. Regardless of your personal preferences for Gibbs, as a PR professional I know he had an intense job. However, C.J. Cregg, he was not.

With the departure of Gibbs, I started wondering about the White House Communications in general. Barack Obama, as a presidential candidate, was a highly active participant in social media (or he hired really great people who were highly active users). Two years ago, Obama for President was a great story about how online marketing and social media can effectively raise money and gain exposure. His communications programs were exceptionally well executed, innovative, highly targeted and easily accessible to mass audiences. It was one seriously good way to help win a presidential campaign. And the story continues…

President Obama did not leave his social media savvy behind when he moved to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. I was a bit surprised to find the White House is all over social media. There has been a lot of criticism of President Obama about whether or not his promises for transparency were real. One thing you can’t criticize is the appearance of accessibility. Twitter feeds, Facebook and MySpace channels, Flicker and Vimeo feeds and a LinkedIn group. There is even a White House blog. I had no idea. If you want information that deals with the White House, you can find it with little effort.

I especially like the White House YouTube Channel. The West Wing Week series is a nice recap of the presidential happenings. And the weekly mailbag is interesting. Some questions have answers that are more entertaining and better delivered than others than others, but hey, a question or two gets answered weekly by someone who knows something. Honestly though, I can’t bring myself to watch eight hours of forum presentations. Honestly, I can’t even bring myself to watch eight minutes of it.

Kudos to the White House Communications team for their focus on social media. Keep it up.

Do you think the White House Communications team is doing enough or not enough to keep the country informed? Tell us what you think about their efforts here or on our Facebook site and keep up with all of our blog postings on Twitter.

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