‘Direct to Constituent’ Communications

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Mark Hannah has a thoughtful post about how the Obama administration and Congress are adopting what he terms “Direct to Constituent” communications —  a governing variation of the corporate “direct to consumer” communications —   letting government officials bypass filters such as the press. It has fascinating possibilities and not just for government.

Of course one of the best examples of this was candidate Obama’s collection of 13 million email addresses enabling that political operation to communicate with a very broad audience without the mediation of the press. As it moves forward there’s been quite a lot written about how that operation continues within the DNC to advance the administration’s agenda.

It will be interesting to keep an eye on this trend: looking at which politicians in Congress and which agency heads embrace this new platform, who understands this new trend and who truly gets it as a two-way opportunity. So far, it has been largely a one-way conversation. (To wit Obama’s Saturday You-Tube Fireside Chats)

At Sunlight we keep a close eye on the active Twitters like U.S. Rep. John Culberson and engage with them as they tell the story of the day to day passage of legislation. It’s a story the press would never tell but it has the ring of authenticity and immediacy that we come to expect on the Web.

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