This post is *not* about the Obama administration’s health reform policy or the heated debate surrounding it, but rather an interesting way the White House is using its presence on social networking sites to help promote its agenda.
WhiteHouse.gov kicked off a new campaign called “Health Reform by the Numbers” yesterday with a short explanation:
Each day this week we’re promoting a key number on Whitehouse.gov and social networks like Facebook and Twitter to raise awareness about why we just can’t wait for reform.
New blog posts at WhiteHouse.gov accompany the rollout of a new number each day (1,115 was Monday, representing average monthly insurance premium for families; Tuesday’s number is “8” which is number of people denied coverage per minute, etc…), and those posts and related stats have been tweeted by @whitehouse and linked back on facebook.com/whitehouse. Pretty standard integration for a cross-channel awareness campaign.
What initially caught my eye, however, wasn’t the content of the campaign (the tweets/posts), but rather a change in the White House’s avatars on Twitter. It appears the new media team switched out the typical icon of the White House silhouette for a graphic of the number being promoted as part of the “By the Numbers” campaign. A quick check shows they’ve done the same switch over at Facebook, Vimeo, LinkedIn and YouTube (though not at MySpace or Flickr, for whatever reason). It also looked like each site isn’t necessarily being updated each day, as some are still showing the campaign’s launch-day number of 1,115 and some are showing day two’s featured number: “8”.
Regardless of any inconsistencies in execution, I think the avatar switch out is a cool little tactic to draw additional attention to a campaign that’s obviously high-priority/high-profile right now, and a tactic that could easily could be duplicated by other agencies (it could also have the potential to get stale if it’s overused). If you know of any other government or commercial organizations which have taken a similar tack, would love to hear about them.