RTC Perspectives: February 2012


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Since our first Perspectives of 2012 was published so close to President's Day, we took Presidential technology as our theme and decided to ask the question: What if the Presidents had used technology? If tools like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter had been available to our historical leaders, how would they have used them?

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RTC Perspectives: February 2012

  1. 1. From the Editor: Presidents and TechnologyDuring the height of the Great Depression, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt turned to technology to unite the country. Usingthe fairly new medium of broadcast radio, he was able to reach directly into the homes of Americans. These broadcasts werenotable especially for their informal and personal tone. These informal broadcasts were actually the precursors to weeklyPresidential radio broadcasts that still continue today. Radio was still cutting-edge technology when FDR began these broadcasts,but just like the technologies of today — it was rapidly adopted by the public. When the first Presidential Fireside Chat wasbroadcasted, more Americans had radios than telephones.1FDR actually began his “Fireside Chats” while governor of New York, but it is the use of these informal and personal radiobroadcasts during the Great Depression and World War II that captured the popular imagination and became such a part ofFDR’s legacy that they are even represented in the FDR Memorial in Washington, D.C. While it may seem strange to think thatPodcasting, Tweeting, G+ Hangouts or Pinterest Pinning could ever become part of a Presidential memorial, it’s really no strangerthan a radio broadcast.It has been true in the past and it is still true now that how the President chooses to use technology can actually help to maketechnologies mainstream that have otherwise been in more niche use. Just think back to how novel candidate Howard Dean’suse of social media seemed just a few years ago. When the press picks up on a new way a Presidential candidate or President isusing technology, it has the power to push that technology into the mainstream. Think how commonplace “YouTube debates” orchats with candidates seem now, or taking questions from Twitter. Don’t be surprised if every campaign commercial begins tohave a hashtag present and you start seeing them on buttons and literature.Since our first edition of Perspectives for 2012 was being published so close to President’s Day, we decided to take a look at howthe past leaders of our nation may have utilized technology — and what technologies of today we think they would have used ifit had been available. With the 2012 Presidential elections moving into high gear, we’re seeing campaigns use every form ofcommunication technology they can. Why not look back and take lessons from history?We hope you enjoy our exploration and encourage you to join us in the conversation!All the best,Carlen Lea Lesser, VP/DirectorDigital Integration & InnovationP.S. I also want to give a special thanks to RTC’s Josh Scott for our amazing cover art. It’s a “visual Perspective” on the theme forthe issue. We’re so thrilled he is adding his considerable talents as an illustrator to Perspectives!1 http://www.history.com/topics/radio-and-televisionCopyright RTCRM www.slideshare.net/RTCAgency ~1~
  2. 2. Table of Contents From the Editor............................................................................................................................................ 1 Meet YouTube Star Ronald Reagan ………………………………………………………………..……………………………..………3 Teddy Roosevelt: Virtual Hunter, Book Reviewer and Taxidermist...…….…..………………………….…….…….…..4 If Only President Ong Teng Cheong Used Facebook ………………………….…………………………………………….…….5 @TJ (thomas jefferson) #pursuitofhappiness …………………………………………………………………….…..………….….6 George Washington Knows How to Use the Google……………………….………………………………………………………7 Jackie, 2 repins………………………………………………………………………………………………..…………….……………………...8Copyright RTCRM www.slideshare.net/RTCAgency ~2~
  3. 3. Meet YouTube Star Ronald Reagan Summary: Ronald Reagan, known as the Great Communicator, honed Sara Weiner, Associate Director his presentation skills first as a radio sports reporter and then as a Digital Integration & Innovation Hollywood actor, before beginning his political career. During his campaign and in his Presidency, he capitalized on his communication Years of planning, prodding & implementing charisma and personal appearance during televised debates, news digital stuff. Philadelphia born ’n’ raised. conferences and Presidential speeches. If he were to do it all again Geeky, athletic and green. Go Big Red! today, YouTube and other online video platforms would expand his visual footprint and provide him with another television-like medium.Key InformationKnown for his exceptional oratory skills over the decades, Ronald Reaganearned himself the title of “The Great Communicator.” His ability to presentsensitive policy material with timing, humor and a strategic choice of wordswas developed in his early career. First as a radio sportscaster in Des Moines,Iowa, and later as a Hollywood movie star, Reagan learned the value ofpresentation and delivery well before he ever ran for President. As a result,memorable televised debates and speeches throughout his campaigns andPresidency show a man who is confident in his message and comfortable infront of the cameras.In decades where the Web didn’t exist, Reagan took advantage of televisionto make his presence known. In one particular instance, he even paid for aPresidential debate himself so as to ensure he would get televised facetime—time that showed his wit, charisma and approachable persona.Reagan understood the value of personality, and used televised moments to his advantage.ImplicationsReagan’s demeanor, appearance and oratory skills differentiated him from other candidates and other Presidents before andsince. Television provided Reagan with a visual and auditory communication channel that capitalized on these skill assets, so if hewere running today, surely Reagan would utilize YouTube, WebEx, Vimeo and any platform where he could host a personalchannel, have live streaming events, and/or utilize both visual and verbal communication in the form of online video.YouTube, which alone gets 800 million unique visitors each month, would have expanded this strategy into the homes ofmillions, both domestic and abroad. Similar outcomes could be garnered from Vimeo. WebEx or Adobe Connect could offerexclusive real-time Q&A with the President, akin to the way Presidential candidates now televise university visits. Whicheverplatform Reagan chose, Web-based video platforms in general would allow the 2012 Reagan to reach a wider (and perhapsyounger) audience, through a less expensive and more intimate/interactive option than television.Sources:http://www.2020site.org/fun-facts/Ronald-Reagan-Fun-Facts.htmlhttp://www.bukisa.com/articles/193718_fun-and-interesting-facts-about-ronald-reagan#ixzz1lLLvpaSBhttp://www.mrmediatraining.com/index.php/2011/02/04/ronald-reagan-at-100-the-great-communicator/Copyright RTCRM www.slideshare.net/RTCAgency ~3~
  4. 4. Teddy Roosevelt: Virtual Hunter, Book Reviewer and Taxidermist Summary: Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, the larger-than-life, boisterous, Rebecca Johnson, Strategist thrill-seeking 26th President of the United States: It’s hard to imagine him Digital Integration and Innovation sitting still at a computer desk typing email responses day in and day out. And that wouldn’t be incorrect, for while Roosevelt certainly would have Tradigital marketer. Social media junkie. DC Locavore. Native NYCer. Soccer enthusiast. used present-day technology to further understand the world around Aspiring urban homesteader. NPR fiend. him, it would only be a supplement, not replacement, for real-world, @digibec firsthand experiences.Key InformationPresident Roosevelt has a voracious appetite for reading, but he’s not into that whole eBook trend. In fact, he doesn’t get whyanyone would prefer a digital book to an actual, physical, in-your-hands, “I’ve finished this now I can put it on my bookshelf”book. Teddy is a book annotator; the type who underlines personally profound passages, scribbles illegible notes in the marginsand earmarks pages that require revisiting or referencing. When it comes to purchasing books, he researches and reads reviewsabout books on Amazon but still goes to the bookstore to purchase them even if that means he has to wait a few days. A friendof his, William Howard Taft, turned him on to GoodReads.com, a social media platform that lets Teddy connect with his readingbuddies, keep track of his past reads, currently reading and want-to read books and lets him post personal reviews of his readsand have other users “like,” comment on and debate his reviews.Roosevelt used to be a hunter. And not just of deer and ducks; he was a big-game safari enthusiast. However, times havechanged and Roosevelt, the staunch and ardent conservationist, understands and complies with national and internationalhunting regulations. In order to relive his wilder days, Teddy recently bought two hunting-focused arcade games—Big BuckHunter and Big Buck Hunter: African Safari—that come complete with dual pump-action shotguns and a wide array of locales andgame. Roosevelt particularly likes the tournament mode, where he can challenge his hunting buddies and show them who thereal gamekeeper is.Roosevelt is constantly looking for and learning new life skills (especially if they have to do with survival or the wilderness) anddo-it-yourself projects. He’s particularly gotten further into taxidermy, which he began learning at the age of 9, and which he’sbeen using to start a museum containing the animals he’s hunted and captured during his travels. After a little perusing of theInternet he’s found a robust community of taxidermists, both professionals and hobbyists, and they’ve been sharing tips andtricks via various online forums. This same community turned him on to the reality TV show “American Stuffers,” whichchronicles a family of professional taxidermists and the stories behind their clients. He’s learned a lot from the online taxidermycommunity and the TV show, and really thinks his skills are drastically improving; in fact, he’s even been able to answer some ofthe forum questions and he’s thinking about making his own taxidermy video tutorials.ImplicationsWhat can be learned from Teddy Roosevelt’s hypothetical uses of modern technology and digital platforms? The answer is thatRoosevelt’s habits and approach wouldn’t be too dissimilar from a great deal of present-day people’s, because he believed ingetting out into the world and having active, hands-on, real-life learning experiences. Despite giving him access to new sources ofinformation and exposure to different cultures and phenomenon, in Roosevelt’s eyes, the Internet and advances in technologywould always play second fiddle to his innate curiosity and passion for understanding and exploring the world. In fact, it’spossible that Roosevelt would have found technology such as cellphones, digital cameras, etc., an annoying distraction andhindrance to fully experiencing the wonders of the world. One shudders to imagine Roosevelt hikingthrough Yellowstone National Park, and when he pauses at a scenic overpass to take in its beauty, havinghis cell phone go off.Copyright RTCRM www.slideshare.net/RTCAgency ~4~
  5. 5. If Only President Ong Teng Cheong Used Facebook Summary: Since declaring in his inauguration speech, “My loyalty is, first and Ruth Lim, Coordinator foremost, to the people of Singapore,” the late President Ong Teng Cheong will Digital Integration & Innovation always be most fondly remembered as the “People’s President.” Given Ong Teng Cheong’s vocal and unconventional leadership style, coupled with his charismatic Understanding the people behind the screen. personality, there is little doubt that the President would probably be one of the Advertising enthusiast. Asian perspective. earliest politicians in his time to make use of new technology to communicate his Marathon shopper. Pass over the coffee please. political agenda to the public, had it been available during his term.Key InformationAs Singapore operates in the Westminster Parliamentary System, the Prime Minister is the head of government, while thePresident’s role is largely ceremonial. However, the President does have constitutional power over government expenditure offinancial reserves and appointments to key public offices.1The late President Ong Teng Chong was the first elected President of Singapore (previous Presidents were appointed by thegovernment), and was in office from 1993 to 1999.2 Having served his term with dogged determination to do right by his country,the late President is best remembered (and celebrated, by political leftists) for his head-on confrontation with the ruling party(whose members made up 95% of the government) by pushing for transparency in their use of the country’s financial reserves.It was often said that the late President stepped down from his Presidency a sad man. Despite the tedious six-year-long disputewith the government, President Ong later confided in an interview that he was never granted a complete account of thecountry’s reserves.3ImplicationsDue to the government’s tight-fisted control over the country’s mass media, the term-long dispute between the late Presidentand the government went on, with the Singaporean public having little or almost no information about what was happeningbehind closed doors. Unlike with traditional mass media, the Singapore government exerts minimal control over free speech onthe Internet — this hints at the possibility that things might have turned out differently had the President had access to thedigital technology of today during his term in office.  Social Media: Social media has proven time and again its immense power to influence politics in countries all over the world. Popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or even YouTube would have empowered the President to express and gain public awareness for his political agenda, and rally the people he is fighting for to join him in the fight (and still be legal in Singapore’s book!). Had the late President been able to rally the public to openly express support his agenda, I believe that the government would have felt the pressure to prioritize the issue and respond with greater urgency.  Constitution Mobile App: From his very first day in office, the President’s top priority was to fulfill his role in accordance to the Constitution (which is also the root cause of his dispute with the government). By endorsing or even sponsoring the development of mobile apps that educate the public of the country’s constitution, such as the Constitution app, currently available on Apple iTunes, the President would be able to motivate the public (especially the younger generation) to become more familiar with, as well as better understand, the Singaporean Constitution. This would be a critical knowledge set that would empower the people to join him in being vigilant in ensuring that the government always acts in accordance with the Constitution.1 President of Singapore, retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/President_of_Singapore2 Ong Teng Cheong, retrieved from http://infopedia.nl.sg/articles/SIP_161__2008-11-24.html3 The Mess That Is Our Presidency, retrieved from http://www.yawningbread.org/arch_2005/yax-444.htmCopyright RTCRM www.slideshare.net/RTCAgency ~5~
  6. 6. @TJ (thomas jefferson) #pursuitofhappiness Summary: As one of the “founding fathers,” Thomas Jefferson shaped the Remy Wainfeld, Intern course of American history for centuries to come. With a political ideology Digital Integration & Innovation steeped in universal human rights, Jefferson fought for the protection of individual civil liberties. If Jefferson had access to modern technology, DC Hoya in a New York state of mind. Twitter would have served as the ideal platform to garner support for his Entertainment enthusiast. Food lover. Pysch political ideology, listen to and understand his constituents and involve nerd. Spanish wannabe. the electorate in political dialogue.Key InformationAs a patriot during the American Revolution, the third President of the United States of America, and a fervent advocate ofliberty, Thomas Jefferson will always be remembered for his strong influence on American history and revered for his continuinglegacy. Throughout his political career, Jefferson strongly supported many revolutionary causes that championed universal rightsbased on the concept of human dignity. He constantly strove for political and social progress.As a passionate politician who preferred to speak with his quill pen, Jefferson would have taken full advantage of Twitter.Famous for having authored many patriotic pamphlets, the Declaration of Independence and other political memoranda,Jefferson was entrusted by other politicians with the responsibility of representing the unified message of many revolutionarycauses. Due to his eloquent and elegant manipulation of the written word, Jefferson was well known as a silent (in person), butpowerful, member of Congress.1 @TJ would have enabled Jefferson to spread the main ideas of these dense documents incompact and easily digestible 140-character snippets. As a supporter of universal human rights, Jefferson could have given awider audience access to these documents often only available to the political elite, and mobilized a greater portion of theelectorate. Twitter could have helped Jefferson better understand the needs, opinions and concerns of American citizens. Oftenunable to communicate directly with the electorate due to distance, Twitter provides a digital communication pathway. Twittergives every person a voice, as well as equal access to participate in political dialogue, truly valuing the democratic ideals forwhich Jefferson fought.Implications and Action ItemsDue to the inherent democratic nature of Twitter and its ability to connect people, jump-start causes and facilitate dialogue,Jefferson could have greatly utilized the communication platform, bearing in mind the following implications:  Understand Your Audience. The hashtag (#) feature of Twitter aggregates trending topics and further propels popular ideas. The retweet feature enables followers to spread others’ messages to their own followers, and further increase exposure to a particular tweet. These features allow politicians to regularly understand the issues that concern the public, and further adapt their campaign platform and policy recommendations accordingly. Similarly, brands can conduct social listening to gain insight into how people view, understand and relate with their brands.  Speak Directly. The “at” (@) feature allows individuals to speak directly with each other. This feature would have enabled Jefferson, who frequently collaborated with others, to communicate directly with his constituents and involve them in the political discourse. Brands can similarly utilize the @ feature to engage directly with the consumer.  Be the Change. Due to the speed and far-reaching exposure that Twitter grants users in spreading their message, many political movements this past year, including the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street, employed Twitter to promote their cause and build a following. As an original American patriot, Jefferson could have employed Twitter to mobilize all segments of the American population, and even the international community.1 “Thomas Jefferson,” The White House. http://1.usa.gov/2d9VMGCopyright RTCRM www.slideshare.net/RTCAgency ~6~
  7. 7. George Washington Knows How to Use the Google Summary: Our first President was well loved by his people, both David BenBassett, Coordinator professionally and personally. A major passion for military ventures turned Digital Integration & Innovation George Washington into a man well versed in strategy and efficiency, skills that established him as the precedent for great Presidents to come. University of Maryland business student. Looking back, which of today’s digital platforms could Washington have Marketing focused. Tennis player. Gadget nerd. benefitted from? Chopping down a cherry tree? There’s an app for that. Searching the twitterverse for people and Writing the Constitution? No problem, with Google Docs. ideas. @benbassett919Key InformationIf George Washington were somehow back alive today he would be popular because zombies are trendy. However, he was aman who once relished anything that made himself and his people more effective, and I’m sure Washington would go wide-eyedat the technology we’ve been afforded. He might recall being elected to preside over one of the most important events in U.S.history, the meeting of the First Constitutional Convention. Washington lived his life for democracy and fought both from thefront lines and behind a desk to give the American people a voice. While he was not known specifically for his speaking orwriting, he was known to collaborate and converse with his soldiers and subordinates. So with that said…Mr. President, meet Google. Google+ and Google Docs, to be specific.Despite its flaws, Google+ (G+) would be a perfect tool for the Convention. With no Expedia or Kayak, many delegates were heldup by poor conditions and it took time to assemble everyone in one place. With just a few colonial laptops, Washington could’vehosted a G+ Constitutional Hangout! Imagine him sitting in the State House with those who had arrived, watching a projection ofthe remaining delegates’ faces as one after the next took the main spot when they spoke up to make their case. They might evenmake snarky comments over G-chat as New York bickered with Virginia. Aside from allowing everyone to “be in the room,”Google automatically focuses the screen on the person currently speaking, which would have allowed Washington to easilymoderate the convention, stepping in when things got out of hand or he wanted to guide the discussion in another direction.Google Docs, on the other hand, would’ve made writing the actual document a breeze, though it would’ve lacked the fancyparchment-scroll look of the original. Each member could’ve added in bits and pieces as they came up with them, leavingcomments and suggestions for later review. Washington may have even shared the draft with the American people, allowing theproud citizens of the early States to help draft the code that would apply to every future generation of Americans. Washingtonprobably would have loved the ability to get all those involved who had stake in the outcome.Implications and Action ItemsSo what would George Washington want us to take away from his introduction to modern technology? He probably would haverejoiced in how connected the people of a nation so much larger than his own have become and would ask us to unite as astrong nation and do some good. Here’s how we can facilitate this:  Get Personal. Phone interviews and conference calls can be awkward and result in misinterpreted information. Use tools like Hangouts, Cisco and Skype to make meetings more personal. Not only does video chat allow you to see faces, but also body language so you can determine whether your audience is keeping up or if they require more explanation.  Get Efficient. With technology, travel time can be productive time. With collaborative tools, all members of a team can work on the same document at the same time without having multiple files, making drafting and deck building a snap.  Get Together. Easy sharing functionality can let you get ideas from the people who interact with your products most frequently; your customers. Reach out to your target customers and pick their brains to ensure you remain customer-centric.Copyright RTCRM www.slideshare.net/RTCAgency ~7~
  8. 8. Jackie, 2 repins Summary: Jacqueline Kennedy was known for bringing poise, style and Lian Han, Strategist grace to her famous post as First Lady. In today’s social media Digital Integration & Innovation environment, she would be able to leverage a host of new visual sharing platforms like Pinterest and Flickr to interact directly with her fans and DC resident with a love for new media and art. followers while building a deep media story and providing a “behind-the- Kennedy/Johnson ’60. scenes” glance at life in the Oval Office.Key InformationJacqueline Kennedy Onassis ranks as one of the most visually and culturally vibrantFirst Ladies in American history. In addition to bringing a dash of class and color tothe historically drab White House “scene,” she brought together noted poets,musicians and artists to mingle with statesmen and politicians. Her support of thearts, her sense of fashion and her ability to soften even the tensest diplomaticsituations provides enormous context and practical lessons for marketers today.Jackie Kennedy was very much a visual communicator. With her earlyphotojournalism career and her signature fashion sense as well as the dramaticrenovation of the White House interior, she would have thrived in today’senvironment where shareable media platforms like Pinterest and Flickr engageusers through crowd-sourced content. These platforms reflect the same attitudeof cultural co-mingling, universal sharing and sophisticated atmosphere that Jackieinfused into the White House and American experience.Pinterest would have been an ideal platform for her fans to understand the depthand influences of the iconic Jackie O, from fashion and cuisine to documentationof her international travels and cultural awareness. Flickr, on the other hand,would be a perfect platform to chart the progress of the newly renovated WhiteHouse interior.ImplicationsSo what can we learn from Jacqueline Kennedy’s adaptation to 21st century media? Allowing her photography to show that“slice-of-life” perspective in a controlled, monitored environment would be a perfect outlet for Jackie’s creativity to shinethrough, in addition to garnering “favorites” and comments from loyal followers. Pinterest’s ability to upload photos and originalcontent alongside repinning and commenting would build a vibrant followership rife with discussion, recycling and new imagery.Pinterest and Flickr both reside within a positive, feedback-driven online community that encourages collaboration betweencreator and consumer. These platforms provide marketers with the ability to interact directly with supporters while providing acontrollable outlet for brand transparency and process. These attributes are key to building an ongoing dialogue and relationshipwith customers — likely the most important relationship marketing principle.Copyright RTCRM www.slideshare.net/RTCAgency ~8~