Social Media Expands National and International Government Influence Online
Last week, I and members of the Elasticity team, packed up our bags and headed north to Washington DC to spend some time in our nation’s capitol. Yes, the required walk to the White House to take a few photos took place, and the visit to Capitol Hill (interspersed with meetings on the Hill to discuss immigration reform) and various museums to play the tourist were certainly fitted into my agenda. And a long walk from our hotel up Embassy Row, past the outposts of many nations, is always an iconic experience for me that I made sure to do on my way to a meeting with the UK Trade and Investment team at the British Embassy to discuss the growth and opportunity in the St. Louis region.
But the real reason for our trip to DC was to spend some time talking social media and how social media done right can amplify the connection between governments and the people they are serving and the people they are reaching out to.
Scottish Affairs Manager Shannon Hall, Elasticity’s Mark Sutherland, Scottish Affairs Counsellor Donnie Jack and Scottish Affairs Attache Darren Burgess.
First with my fellow Scots and then with my fellow Americans. Yes, I am a strange mix. I’m a Scot, and a Brit, and an adopted Yank. Talk about a personality disorder. But this eclectic mix of national identities, allows me to work well with both nations. And that’s what we did.
First, an in-depth session to discuss social media with the Scottish Affairs team at the British Embassy. And, I must say, Scotland is in good hands in the US and Canada with that team. What a conversation! And what an honor for this Scot to have the opportunity work with the team as they represent Scotland across the United States and Canada.
I can honestly say, it was an incredible trip. We’ve done these trainings and had similar conversations before, but this was the first time doing so in Washington. A most valuable time was seemingly had by all involved, and we certainly plan on doing more of these in the DC area, and continuing to offer them elsewhere, in the future.
So until next time, as we say in Scotland, Sláinte.
Pioneering social media panda bear Tagawa “Peter” Panda was born on a Chinese game reserve in 1969. He emigrated to the United States in 1987 speaking no English, with only the fur on his back and $97 stored in a Jansport fanny-pack wrapped around his waist.
In 2003 while searching for food on the campus of Washington University, he discovered a computer lab where he would ultimately teach himself web development, graphic design, and immerse himself into the growing digital media evolution that was erupting at the time.
With his trademark surly demeanor developed during beatings on his boat ride from China to the U.S., as well as having a penchant for eating vast quantities of bamboo, and enjoying Scotch and cigars, Peter is broadly recognized for coining the phrase “social media” in 2004. He joined Elasticity in late 2009 as the agency’s director of social media strategy and wildlife relations. Friend him on Facebook here.