President Obama, in his weekly video address spoke about a new "under construction" website called recovery.gov.
Next to immediately, people flocked to google and made the search for recovery.gov "spicy" (I guess that's google for "hot.")
Now, there isn't a recovery.gov site, outside of a placeholder. But that placeholder is receiving traffic. And bloggers are blogging it, reporters are reporting it. This means that there are multiple references to the site, so it will have good search engine placement.
The President has the power to drive people to a web site by saying "something dot-gov." And he is using the power of the Internet and the echo-effect of social media to broadcast further than a radio address. (Although, I hope he continues to broadcast his address on radio, too, for that audience that might never get to You Tube.)
This administration is providing one case-study after another in harnessing the power of multi-channel communications. While most agencies do not have the reach of the White House and President Obama, these techniques can be used on a smaller scale to broadcast messages to specific audiences and stakeholders.
It's important to remember that it will take time to build your own electronic network. So, a few things to keep in mind:
- Start by tracking usage from day one. You won't know how far you have come if you don't know where you started. First day, zero.
- Have an idea of where you want to be. A great thing about social media is that it's easy to find benchmarks--the data is frequently right there. See how other agencies, non-profits, companies do with their video views, Technorati rankings (for blogs), rss subscribers. Also, check-in with your dot-gov colleagues and ask them about their numbers. (See www.webcontent.gov to find folks.)
- Figure out how to use current tools, like email and your current website, to drive your audience.
- Be consistent in your efforts. People need to learn to count on your information. This is a long-term process.