Alright, so this is a bit different then usual: this entry is more for constituents than elected officials themselves. But this has been on my mind lately and I thought it was worth sharing.
If you’ve ever read this blog, you know that I advocate for elected officials to be on Social Media to better connect with their constituents. It is an incredible tool to reach people who you wouldn’t reach otherwise, to get their input, to distribute useful information, etc. Of course, constituents should use Social Media to make their opinions known on issues, and that’s a great thing. Sometimes, however, they use it in a method that is either ineffective or downright spamy. For all you citizens out there, please don’t do the following:
- Repeatedly tag an elected in a status: There are some groups that tag me, and other elected officials, in the same sort of status – over, and over, and over again. That’s just annoying. I am more than happy to talk with any group about any issue, and I’d bet good money that the vast majority of elected officials feel the same way. Don’t tag me in a status if you have a concern. Call me. Email me. Set up a meeting. Let’s talk. Not spam.
- Tag an elected in a picture we aren’t in: Same as above. This might be a personal pet peeve, but I hate being tagged in a picture I’m not actually in. It shows up in your newsfeed (there are ways in Facebook that you can make it so that you approve tags before they appear, and those are very useful) and is just misleading. Again – if you want to talk to an elected official, reach out. Don’t tag inappropriately.
- Spam: There is one person on Twitter who keeps sending me the same tweet that he sends to other elected officials and news organizations in the area – and the White House, among others. Again, all he’d have to do is make a phone call, but won’t respond to spam, and I bet most others won’t either.
A personal tweet, message, an Email, a letter, a phone call – these are all great and effective ways of letting elected officials know about your issues and your thoughts. You might not always get a response (I do what I can but I am sure some things slip through the cracks), but at least you are letting your voice be heard in a manner that is appropriate and not spam.
Anyway, those are my thoughts – you have any opinions or experiences you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments!