TSA's Blogger Bob

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This was a presentation from the November 2009 workshop in the Open Government Directive Workshop Series.

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TSA's Blogger Bob

  1. 1. TSA: A Social Media Success Story<br />
  2. 2. A Bad Story Can Spread Like Wildfire<br />October 16 – 8:30 a.m.: Blogger puts up a post called: “TSA Agents Took My Son” that alleges a TSO in Atlanta took her child away during secondary screening. Very emotional post.<br />Story quickly spreads throughout the internet, via Twitter and other blogs. TSA OPA becomes aware.<br />TSA OPA uses clues from the blog to provide information to TSA-ATL, who scours through hours of CCTV footage to find tape of blogger and her child being screened.<br />Footage clearly shows the story is false. SLT members approve posting CCTV footage on the TSA Blog to let the public see for themselves.<br />
  3. 3. Quick Response Kills the Bad Story<br />Early Saturday morning, “Response to TSA Took My Son” was posted on TSA’s blog, including the CCTV footage.<br />We used Twitter to “tweet” the blog link to everyone who spread the original post. <br />Story quickly changed from “Bad, Evil, Wicked TSA mistreats passenger” to “woman lies about screening experience.”<br />
  4. 4. Swift Action Gives Positive Results<br />Blogs that initially wrote about the story as if it were true quickly apologized to TSA.<br />The frontline workforce expressed appreciation for HQ standing up for them.<br />Social media experts cited TSA’s effort as a textbook example of killing a bad story and protecting our “brand.”<br />Not taking action would have eroded faith in TSA and hurt our mission.<br />
  5. 5. Statistics<br />Average Monthly Hits to Blog – 50,000<br />Total hits to this post: 126,790<br />Average comments per post: 75<br />Total Comments to this post: 400<br />Total Views of the CCTV footage on YouTube: 17,508<br />Technorati Ranking: Top 636<br />
  6. 6. TSA: On the Cutting Edge<br />What has to be the best ever use of social media by a bureaucracy… ~ Jessica Gottlieb<br />The TSA&apos;s immediate response, on Twitter and on its blog, squashed an internet meme that had been catching like wildfire -- a meme that had the potential to do serious public relations damage to the agency. ~ TPM Live Wire<br />Either way, the TSA&apos;s speed and deftness with new media tools helped stave off what could have been a public image disaster for the agency. ~ TPM Live Wire<br />
  7. 7. Results<br />Rumor Quashed <br />Workforce Defended<br />Reputation Protected<br />

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