“Proceed until apprehended,” the rallying principle for social media experimentation & execution shared by Brandon Friedman, Director of Online Communications for the Department of Veterans Affairs captured the pioneering spirit of all of the panelists from the October 6th Ogilvy Exchange: Can the Department of Defense realize the full power of social media? The experienced panel of practitioners – rounded out by Jack Holt, former Senior Strategist for emerging Media at the Department of Defense, and Lieutenant Commander Chris Servello, Director of Emerging Media for the US Navy’s Chief of Information – shared very practical tales from the trenches for applying social media to some of the government and DoD’s most difficult communications challenges.
Lessons & Links
Social greatness comes from the inside out – Jack Holt shared a number of helpful lessons, but thematically returned multiple times to something often overlooked – it is critical to embrace the principles of better interaction and connection internally before the promise of social media engagement with external constituents can be fully realized.
Even small engagements are important. If you visit the Department of Veterans Affairs remarkable Facebook page, you will see 1×1 questions and customer service being addressed in a very “public” forum. Take a read through the discussions and see if that changes your impressions of the Department.
There is power in speaking directly to your audiences – Last week, LCDR Servello’s group at Navy released a YouTube video of the new F-35 fighter landing on the USS Wasp. This brief video clip has racked up a remarkable 200k+ view on YouTube in a week of release with no traditional media aircover – overwhelming evidence that there is an audience for the stories the Navy has to tell. Social media empowers them to speak directly to their audience in the same venue where they can carry the story forward to their networks. Read the rest of this entry »