What if your Executive went into the middle of the town square and said, “Hey! I’m the (Mayor, Governor, President, CEO, Commissioner, etc.)! Ask me anything you want!”
Setting aside the fact that 99.999% of them would NEVER do that, what do you think would happen? Now imagine if your Executive went to the town square of the English language internet and said the same thing? You don’t have to ask what would happen because you can see it right here. Newark Mayor Cory Booker did just that this weekend. On the popular Reddit site (frequently called the “front page of the internet”), he opened the floor for questions and answered away. Huge, massive answers. Comprehensive descriptions of problems and proposed solutions, with links.
Yes, it’s a very technical, niche audience, but it’s one that has more and more frequently driven what is popular and deemed news-worthy on the internet. News organizations are mining this site for leads.
After you finishing laughing/hyperventilating at the thought of your Executive actually doing this, think about the good that could come from it. Imagine your Executive trying to raise awareness for something. More interestingly, imagine your public health or emergency Executive answering any and all comers about a disease outbreak or other ongoing emergency. Not depending on the press to issue cleaned up talking points, but actually, directly, specifically answering questions from the public. Sure they don’t know what Reddit is, and they don’t type that fast. But what if your comms team supported them. Found supporting links and fact sheets, crafted the angle of the response, mined the thread for questions that are pertinent and important, typed up your Executive’s responses?
I’m starting to think this doesn’t looks so world-stopping now…