By Jackie Scott
I often wonder what our founding fathers would think of the social media tools used today by our elected officials and public leaders. If Twitter was a communication vehicle in 1787, the preamble to the Constitution might have read slightly different –
“We the tweeple of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union…”
Last month, I read an article in Time magazine titled “Cory Booker: The Mayor of Twitter and Blizzard Superhero” by Sean Gregory which showcased the Newark Mayors social media savvy during the December 26th blizzard (http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2039945,00.html#ixzz1BzHl8QEs). In a state of emergency, Mayor Booker turned the Twitter microblogging site into a public-service announcement and instant communications tool. I was fascinated by the article and Mayor Bookers “Superhero” status and I wanted to learn more about the man behind the cape. Could he really save the city of Newark from impending doom in 140 characters or less?
I’m new to the twitterverse and consider myself a “twittern”. I recently launched my very first twitter account http://twitter.com/niceworknj in December and I spend my “twitternship” learning, reading tweets, sharing existing content and following a few seasoned twitter professionals. I’m intrigued by twitter personas, trending topics, communication styles and the tweeting rules of engagement. For research sake, I started following Mayor Booker tweets and I was immediately impressed with his warm style of communicating with his constituents. In the last few weeks on twitter, he inspired his followers to get healthy in 2011 by joining the national “Lets Move” physical fitness campaign, he publicly shared success stories and failures in local government, he recruited and mobilized volunteers to participate in Martin Luther King Day of Service projects in the city, he provided frequent status updates on issues and events in Newark, and he responded to his constituents needs and concerns in a timely manner with a friendly tone.
Quite frankly I’m not into politics and I don’t live in Newark, however I will continue to follow Mayor Bookers tweets. This charismatic leader has mastered his “Mayor of Twitter” domain and I’m confident more public officials will be following his lead and his tweets! Whether you are a public leader or a public servant, a CEO of a corporation or a non-profit organization – Twitter is a excellent engagement tool to connect, inform, inspire and share conversations with your constituents and/or stakeholders.