Veterans Affairs and New Media

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Brandon Friedman and Alex Horton of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs present information about how the department is using social media during the July 27, 2011 DoD All Services Social Media Conference.

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Veterans Affairs and New Media

  1. 1. VA and New Media<br />Presented by: <br />Brandon Friedman<br />Director of Online Communications<br />Alex Horton<br />New Media Specialist<br />
  2. 2. Bottom Line Up Front<br />This is about leveraging new technology to get the right information to the right Veteran at the right time.<br />Veterans today are online, so it’s our job to meet them where they’re already congregating<br />Direct engagement/interaction encourages trust in the system and adds that long-needed human touch<br />
  3. 3. A Framework for Communication<br />Three phases:<br />Disseminating information effectively<br />How we reach the Veteran<br />Obtaining feedback and acting on it<br />How the Veteran reaches us (and how we react)<br />Sustaining and building an audience<br />Constant, healthy, two-way communication between VA and our audience using new media tools<br />
  4. 4. How We’re Reaching Veterans<br />VA currently uses five primary platforms<br />Blog <br />Facebook<br />Twitter<br />YouTube<br />Flickr<br />
  5. 5. VAntage Point: The Official VA Blog<br />
  6. 6. Facebook<br />
  7. 7. Twitter<br />
  8. 8. YouTube<br />
  9. 9. Flickr<br />
  10. 10. What We’ve Accomplished<br />VA Blog<br />VAntage Point launched on Veterans Day 2010 w/an editor and two primary bloggers<br />Allows for both internally produced articles as well as “guest pieces”<br />In first months, published over 80 articles, 70 guest pieces, and received nearly 4,000 comments from the public<br />
  11. 11. What We’ve Accomplished<br />Facebook<br />With over 135,000 subscribers, VA’s main page has the largest following among cabinet-level agencies (top 10 among all federal agencies)<br />91VA medical centers (VAMCs) have Facebook pages w/plans to expand to all 152<br />VAMCs reach over 47,000 each day<br />
  12. 12. What We’ve Accomplished<br />Twitter<br />VA’s main feed has over 21,000 followers<br />All three VA administrations and several program offices have Twitter feeds<br />49 VAMCs have Twitter feeds w/plans to expand to all 152<br />VAMCs reach over 10,000 each day<br />
  13. 13. What We’ve Accomplished<br />YouTube<br />VA has posted over 310 informational videos which have been viewed over 531,000 times<br />VA’s 2010 Veterans Day video received over 180,000 views alone<br />
  14. 14. What We’ve Accomplished<br />Flickr<br />VA has posted over 7,700 photos which have been viewed over 577,000 times<br />
  15. 15. Where We’re Headed<br />Refining how we measure success<br />Reach<br />Impact<br />Ability to funnel feedback to appropriate offices and SMEs for action<br />Live chats w/VA leaders/Interactivity<br />
  16. 16. Conclusion<br />VA has made great strides in the past 18 months in terms of reconfiguring how we interact with our stakeholders<br />Our efforts have not gone unnoticed in the media and among VSOs<br />We still have much to do<br />
  17. 17. VA’s Social Media Sites<br />Main Sites<br />http://www.blogs.va.gov<br />http://www.facebook.com/VeteransAffairs<br />http://twitter.com/DeptVetAffairs<br />http://www.youtube.com/user/DeptVetAffairs<br />http://www.flickr.com/photos/VeteransAffairs<br />Directory<br />http://www.va.gov/opa/SocialMedia.asp<br />

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