#SocialCongress
Perceptions and Use of Social Media
on Capitol Hill
Call In: (702) 489-0007
Access Code: 445-939-781
Pin: ...
Congressional Management Foundation
• Founded in 1977
• Management Guidance to Individual Offices
• Training and Publicati...
Agenda
• History of Research
• Methodology
• Findings
Methodology
• Survey Conducted Oct. through Dec. 2010
• 260 Respondents
• Representative Balance by Chamber & Party
• Hous...
#SocialCongress Introduction:
Congress is often accused of being slow to
adapt. Whether it be through institutional reform...
While congressional offices may lag behind
some leading private-sector organizations in their
use of Facebook, Twitter and...
While difficult to precisely quantify, it is hard
not to conclude that both legislators and citizens
have benefited from a...
Findings
Finding 1
Congressional offices are using social media to help
gauge public opinion, augmenting traditional tools
used for...
Survey Question
“In your opinion, how important are the following
for understanding constituents' views and
opinions?”
34%
34%
42%
44%
54%
56%
64%
68%
83%
90%
90%
97%
98%
Member/Senator's blog
YouTube
Twitter
Online town hall meetings
Online...
Finding 2
Congressional offices now include social media
among the tools used to communicate Senators’ and
Representatives...
Survey Question
“In your opinion, how important are the
following for communicating the
Member/Senator's views and activit...
39%
44%
51%
64%
72%
74%
79%
80%
82%
83%
85%
91%
95%
98%
99%
100%
Member/Senator's blog
Online town hall meetings
Twitter
P...
Facebook
YouTube
Twitter
Member's
Blog 34%
39%
42%
51%
34%
72%
64%
74%
Constituent's Views
Member's Views
Constituent's Vi...
Finding 3
Congressional staff feel the benefits of using social
media outweigh the risks.
72%
59%
55%
7%
10%
14%
Social media enables us to
reach people we were not
reaching before.
Social media is worth the
time...
Finding 4
Younger staffers see more value in social media than
their older colleagues.
66%
58%
32%
6%
12%
27%
30 and Younger 31-50 51 and Older
Social Media is Worth the Time My Office Spends on It
Agree Disag...
63%
49%
36%
10%
24%
18%
30 and Younger 31-50 51 and Older
We Can Control Our Message on Social Media
Agree Disagree
Finding 5
Staffers from offices that embrace technology are
more likely to see social media as a benefit to the
office and...
Technology Adoption Terms
• Early Adopters: “My office is among the first to use
new communications tools.”
• Mainstream A...
Technology Adoption Terms
• Early Adopters:
• Mainstream Adopters:
• Late Adopters:
34%
48%
12%
43%
77%
54%
69%
62%
53%
Made Members/Senators more responsive
to their constituents.
Caused staff to worry more about
info...
54%
11%
68%
36%
88%
47%
Social media enables us to reach people we
were not reaching before.
Social media enables us to ha...
Finding 6
Social media managers have a more positive view of
constituent communications than senior managers
or staffers w...
45%
74%
68%66%
47%
60%
70%
59%
46%
Reduced the quality of
constituent messages to
Capitol Hill
Made Members/Senators
more ...
Coming:
Congress on Facebook
Presentations & Webinars
• “How to be an Effective Citizen Advocate”
• “How to Influence Lawmakers Back Home”
• “How to Co...
Invite Legislator to Facility
Organizers’ Benefits
• Chart of the Month
• Slide of the Month
• Private Briefings on Research
• 2-4 Minute Co-Branded Tra...
Videos
• “Strategies for Influencing Undecided Lawmakers”
• “How Congress is Using Social Media”
• “What Congress is Looki...
2013 Research / Surveys
• House Chiefs of Staff – Best Practices for Fly-In Meetings and
Leave-Behind Material
• House Sch...
CongressFoundation.org
bfitch@CongressFoundation.org
#SocialCongress: Perceptions and Use of Social media on Capitol Hill
#SocialCongress: Perceptions and Use of Social media on Capitol Hill
#SocialCongress: Perceptions and Use of Social media on Capitol Hill
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#SocialCongress: Perceptions and Use of Social media on Capitol Hill

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ocial Media has made it to the final frontier: Congress! And to best understand how and who is using it the Congressional Management Foundation has put together a first of its kind research paper "#SocialCongress: Perceptions and Use of Social media on Capitol Hill".

Here at SevenTwenty we were are super excited to partner with Brad Fitch President & CEO of the Congressional Management Foundation and have him join us to share the results of the study so you can know how offices are using social media, who is responsible for social media strategy and what staffers view as the benefits and drawbacks of social media.

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#SocialCongress: Perceptions and Use of Social media on Capitol Hill

  1. 1. #SocialCongress Perceptions and Use of Social Media on Capitol Hill Call In: (702) 489-0007 Access Code: 445-939-781 Pin: ENTER AFTER LOGGING IN
  2. 2. Congressional Management Foundation • Founded in 1977 • Management Guidance to Individual Offices • Training and Publications • Research on Congress • Evaluate Web Sites – Gold Mouse Awards
  3. 3. Agenda • History of Research • Methodology • Findings
  4. 4. Methodology • Survey Conducted Oct. through Dec. 2010 • 260 Respondents • Representative Balance by Chamber & Party • House – Majority Senior Managers • Senate – Plurality Senior Managers
  5. 5. #SocialCongress Introduction: Congress is often accused of being slow to adapt. Whether it be through institutional reforms or technological developments, the House and Senate are often criticized as being resistant to change. This has not been the case with social media. — Introduction, #SocialCongress
  6. 6. While congressional offices may lag behind some leading private-sector organizations in their use of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, the legislative branch has adopted social media much more quickly than it adopted other technologies, such as fax machines, email and websites. — Introduction, #SocialCongress
  7. 7. While difficult to precisely quantify, it is hard not to conclude that both legislators and citizens have benefited from a robust new offering of communications vehicles and platforms. — Introduction, #SocialCongress
  8. 8. Findings
  9. 9. Finding 1 Congressional offices are using social media to help gauge public opinion, augmenting traditional tools used for that purpose.
  10. 10. Survey Question “In your opinion, how important are the following for understanding constituents' views and opinions?”
  11. 11. 34% 34% 42% 44% 54% 56% 64% 68% 83% 90% 90% 97% 98% Member/Senator's blog YouTube Twitter Online town hall meetings Online surveys/polls Identical form communications Facebook Paper surveys/polls Telephone town hall meetings District/state office hours In person town hall meetings Personalized messages from constituents Attending events in the district/state Very Important Somewhat Important
  12. 12. Finding 2 Congressional offices now include social media among the tools used to communicate Senators’ and Representatives’ views and activities.
  13. 13. Survey Question “In your opinion, how important are the following for communicating the Member/Senator's views and activities to constituents?”
  14. 14. 39% 44% 51% 64% 72% 74% 79% 80% 82% 83% 85% 91% 95% 98% 99% 100% Member/Senator's blog Online town hall meetings Twitter Paper newsletters YouTube Facebook Telephone town hall meetings Franked mass mailing letters National media District/state office hours In person town hall meetings Email newsletters Member/Senator's official website Attending events in the district/state Responses to constituent mail Local media Very Important Somewhat Important
  15. 15. Facebook YouTube Twitter Member's Blog 34% 39% 42% 51% 34% 72% 64% 74% Constituent's Views Member's Views Constituent's Views Member's Views Constituent's Views Member's Views Constituent's Views Member's Views Importance of Social Media Tools for Communicating with Constituents Very Important Somewhat Important
  16. 16. Finding 3 Congressional staff feel the benefits of using social media outweigh the risks.
  17. 17. 72% 59% 55% 7% 10% 14% Social media enables us to reach people we were not reaching before. Social media is worth the time my office spends on it. Social media offers my office more benefits than risks. Staffers’ Views on the Value of Social Media Agree Disagree
  18. 18. Finding 4 Younger staffers see more value in social media than their older colleagues.
  19. 19. 66% 58% 32% 6% 12% 27% 30 and Younger 31-50 51 and Older Social Media is Worth the Time My Office Spends on It Agree Disagree
  20. 20. 63% 49% 36% 10% 24% 18% 30 and Younger 31-50 51 and Older We Can Control Our Message on Social Media Agree Disagree
  21. 21. Finding 5 Staffers from offices that embrace technology are more likely to see social media as a benefit to the office and to believe the Internet has improved the dialogue between citizens and Congress.
  22. 22. Technology Adoption Terms • Early Adopters: “My office is among the first to use new communications tools.” • Mainstream Adopters: “My office waits until other offices have proven new tools.” • Late Adopters: “My office is among the last to try new tools.” “My office is not interested in using new tools.”
  23. 23. Technology Adoption Terms • Early Adopters: • Mainstream Adopters: • Late Adopters: 34% 48% 12%
  24. 24. 43% 77% 54% 69% 62% 53% Made Members/Senators more responsive to their constituents. Caused staff to worry more about information being leaked prematurely or taken out of context. Email and the Internet Have… Late Adopters Mainstream Early Adopters
  25. 25. 54% 11% 68% 36% 88% 47% Social media enables us to reach people we were not reaching before. Social media enables us to have more meaningful interactions with constituents. Social Media and Constituents Late Adopters Mainstream Early Adopters
  26. 26. Finding 6 Social media managers have a more positive view of constituent communications than senior managers or staffers who are primarily tasked with answering mail.
  27. 27. 45% 74% 68%66% 47% 60% 70% 59% 46% Reduced the quality of constituent messages to Capitol Hill Made Members/Senators more accountable to their constituents Made Members/Senators more responsive to their constituents Email and the Internet Have… Social Media Managers Mail Staffers Senior Managers
  28. 28. Coming: Congress on Facebook
  29. 29. Presentations & Webinars • “How to be an Effective Citizen Advocate” • “How to Influence Lawmakers Back Home” • “How to Conduct an Event in the District Members of Congress Will Attend”
  30. 30. Invite Legislator to Facility
  31. 31. Organizers’ Benefits • Chart of the Month • Slide of the Month • Private Briefings on Research • 2-4 Minute Co-Branded Training Videos
  32. 32. Videos • “Strategies for Influencing Undecided Lawmakers” • “How Congress is Using Social Media” • “What Congress is Looking for in Constituent Communications” Handouts • How to Build Relationships with Elected Officials • How to Maximize Your Impact on Congressional Decision-Making • How to Create an Event Which Will Attract a Member of Congress, Local Media and Enhance Your Mission – It’s Easier than You Think
  33. 33. 2013 Research / Surveys • House Chiefs of Staff – Best Practices for Fly-In Meetings and Leave-Behind Material • House Schedulers – Best Practices for Setting Up Meetings with Members of Congress and Staff • House District Directors – Best Practices for In-State Interactions with Lawmakers
  34. 34. CongressFoundation.org bfitch@CongressFoundation.org

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