POLITICO – White House messaging in 140 characters

I was quoted in this POLITICO story by Michael Calderone. He examined the recent foray by Obama White House communication staff into the Twitterverse.

Here’s the top of the story and my quote. You can read the full story here.

politico
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W.H. messaging in 140 characters
By: Michael Calderone
February 15, 2010 07:07 PM EST

The White House has started using a new weapon for correcting news reports, pushing back against a negative story, or shaping the press corps narrative of the day: Twitter.

On Monday, deputy press secretary Bill Burton told his more than four thousand followers — which includes much of the White House press corps — that a Washington Post report that morning was wrong. The Obamas, he noted, went to Chicago for Valentine’s Day in 2009, not this past Sunday, as was reported in the Post’s Style section.

It was a small correction, but indicative of how the White House press shop can now more actively engage with the press and public through the popular micro-blogging platform that allows users to post 140 characters at a time, and follow any number of friends, celebrities, reporters and a variety of media outlets, large and small.

While there’s long been a White House Twitter feed, only in the last few weeks have members of the administration started using individual accounts in an official capacity. Burton, who’s had an account since August, just started posting regularly in January, gaining attention among reporters with a little push-back against a CNN report.

While Gibbs and Burton are the first press secretary and deputy to officially use Twitter, the first White House press shop official to embrace the platform was Scott Stanzel, President George W. Bush’s deputy press secretary from just after the 2006 midterm elections until Obama’s inauguration.

Stanzel said that even in 2007 and 2008 — before a number of White House reporters began using Twitter — he found it useful as a way of following what journalists were interested in and subsequently linking to. “The only time I think I used Twitter in a work-related fashion is when I live-tweeted President Bush’s final press conference” in January 2009.

“It’s a very efficient way to share information and nearly all White House reporters are active in some fashion on Twitter,” said Stanzel, who now runs his own public relations firm, Stanzel Communications.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 16th, 2010 at 1:37 AM and is filed under Media, Politics, Technology. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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