White House Press Secretary Fields ‘First Question’ From Twitter
The first question at a White House press briefing goes to a wire service reporter as a strict matter of seniority and custom. President Obama’s Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs, hasn’t exactly disrupted that time-honored tradition but has begun fielding what he’s calling the “first question” on Twitter — aka #1q.
The very first “first question” Gibbs chose to field might as well have been asked by a member of the White House press corps (or as a conveniently selected spin opportunity) — about the reasons for a state visit to India. Heck, since you can be anything you want on Twitter (say, oh, a venus fly trap or a kegorator or a cat trapped in a dog’s body) the question could actually have been from a member of the media.
But it’s the second question Gibb selected in his virtual press conference that may differentiate the questions he fields from those preferred in the sometimes contentious, sometimes boring, daily White House Briefing Room sessions.
Spoiler alert: The president’s Secret Service code name has not been changed to “dude.”
Chances are White House press corps Twitter powers like Mark Knowler and Paul Brandus will not be feeling the heat. Or that anything significant will be answered this way. But as countless other brands have discovered, engaging with your audience where they are and personally responding to at least some of them is important in the age of social media.
But I do have one serious criticism. Gibbs really needs some help from the White House A/V team to do something about those appalling “webcam-up-the-nose” production values.
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Also on Wired.com