Tuesday, August 24, 2010

MA AG's Tight, Tight New Media

Electrons are cheap, even with paid web/social media developers. Our attorney general, Martha Coakley, did a so-so job with new media in her run for Ted Kennedy's Senate seat, but she's full tilt now that she's settled back into her office.

Amusingly enough though, and likely befitting the chief MA cop, her approach is tight, very tight. Get a sense of that from her official Web Communications Policy - Attorney General's Office (or even just knowing that she has such a doc). You'll find she's all over these technologies and outlets, but in a very controlled way.

Among her online presence, include:
Also, outside of the official policy, she has her own Facebook page. It is really a personalized site for the office, with pointers to the blog and fluff for its actions.

As befitting a law-enforcement official, a lot of this social media stuff is not all that social, certainly not intimate. For example, the Twitter functionality is pretty much her keyboard to your eyes. As her policy puts it, "intended as one-way communication with any who elect to watch or follow" the messages. It automatically accepts and follows followers, but her office "will not respond via Twitter to press inquiries, consumer complaints, or other constituent matters." Wait your turn at the door, phone or email, if you please.

As for the blog, it effectively is a PR arm, with nothing personal or revealing otherwise. As a result, it has virtually no comments, even though it allows them. This is not the form of the medium we bloggers love and revile and occasionally abuse.

Oddly for the newsletter, it is not for consumers. That is the alleged thrust of her office and how she positioned herself in her run for the Senate. Instead, its for cops, municipalities and service providers. It is monthly and they don't seem to care whether you subscribe. It is a Constant Contact object and is in that flack spirit.

The Flickr pages are a dump of her official appearances. Nuff said.

Likewise, the YouTube channel is note Emmy material. It is also a PR function, with some archive utility. Some of her short speeches appear. Some of the more useful flicks are such as a six parter of talking heads delivering a cyber-bullying training lecture series to cops.

You can't really say she makes full use of new media, nor that she respects the ideas of them. Yet, look through government in our state and others and in many ways, she's ahead in variety if not execution. You can find Martha online. She may not reveal any great truths and certainly not esoterica or plain old secrets or opinions though.

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