I really wanted to share this recent Social Media success story I heard on “On The Media” which is broadcast on National Public Radio (NPR). This was an interview with Bruce Schnier, security specialist speaking about the T.S.A. (Transportation Security Administration). A recent poll showed that our beloved TSA has tied for last place as the “most hated” federal agency. Guess who they tied with… Yeah, the IRS.
This success story is actually about our government using cutting edge technology to communicate with us. This is worth repeating; our government is using cutting edge technology to communicate with us… The image to the right is a sign which can be seen at TSA inspection stations in every airport across the U.S. The sign reads “Making any jokes or statements during the screening process may be grounds for both criminal and civil penalties.” You got to love them. And, they wonder why they tied for last place? This reminds me of something that Will Rogers once said “Thank God we don’t get all of the government we pay for.”
About a month ago, a half dozen TSA employees started their “Evolution Of Security” blog and began answering questions about their rules, liquids, shoes, laptops, other electronics, and myths. It quickly turned into a forum for complaining and griping. But, over the past month, it has evolved into more of a “thank you for listening” two way communication tool. The citizens who have participated in this TSA blog are using words like “accessibility” and “humanization”. These are not words commonly associated with our government agencies or many of our large corporations for that matter.
For the first time, we as frustrated citizens and customers can be heard and have an open dialog with our government agencies or previous deaf product or service companies. Already some conversations within the TSA blog has actually caused them to invoke policy change. When Bruce was asked it he thought the IRS should have their own blog; he said “I think every government organization should do this…” I think every company should also do this. It’s free, it works, and our customers love it. It’s this kind of communication that is changing the way we do business, marketing, sales, design, and P.R.
This is the power of two way communication… This is the power of the blog!