Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Social Media in Public Affairs and State Government Relations

Most Americans (92%) get their news from more than one source and more people get their news online than from newspapers or radio.  Seventy-five percent of people indicate they get their news from email or updates on social media sites.  That compares with 54 percent who say they get news from radio news programs and 50 percent from newspapers.  While 75 percent of people who get their news from email and social media sites, 34 percent have indicated that they have reported news, commented on a story or shared it on social media sites like Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter.

State legislators are no different and if anything, they are more likely than not to have an active account on Twitter and Facebook.  It is becoming increasingly apparent that if you are an elected official in the United States and you are not utilizing Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin to communicate, you are missing out on a golden opportunity.  And if you work in state government affairs or public relations and don't have your fingers on this pulse of information, you're falling behind your competitors.

Facebook is valuable in large part because it has nearly 600 million users and it’s growing.  44.3% of American users are men. About a third of those, 48.8 million, fall between the ages of 35 and 65.  By far the fastest growing age group on Facebook are those 55 and older.  The second fastest growing segment is those age 35-54.  And an even more impressive statistic is that Facebook passed Google in 2010 as the most visited website on the internet.  If your public affairs or government relations department wants to move forward, they can't do it effectively without an integrated social meda effort.

The good news is that the world changes quickly.  In 2008, the Obama for President campaign was justifiably recognized as the gold standard for online communications.  Competing Democrats and Republicans were light years behind what the Obama campaign put together.  Well, you don't have to climb the mountain that Obama conquered.  That world doesn't exist anymore.  When Obama mastered online communications, Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin didn't exist to the extent we know them today.  Facebook and Linkedin have quadrupled in size since then and Twitter has grown 100-fold.

The link below provides great information about legislators on Facebook and Twitter and this changing world.


Brownstone Communications LLC is the premier niche firm that marries state of the art expertise and experience in social media and traditional communications with unparalleled experience in state government relations and issue advocacy in all 50 states in a high-pressure, fast-paced environment.

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