Photo Source: Associated Press
By Becky Hogan
Senate Appropriations Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski proved last week that she really does keep in touch.
Mikulski halted a Senate Appropriations hearing to respond directly to a tweet by Buzzfeed Reporter Rose Gray, criticizing the Maryland Senator for “interfering” with the line of questioning.
And just like that Mikluski found a new way to boost her Twitter following. She saw a major spike in Twitter Followers after responding to Gray’s tweet on C-SPAN.
TWITTER FOLLOWERS DAILY CHANGE
In actuality, Mikulski spent much of the hearing trying to steer the proceeding back to its intended purpose — evaluating the U.S. cybersecurity budget — rather than what it was turning into, a discussion of government surveillance programs.
She finally got people’s attention when she halted the hearing to respond to the tweet that she had just read from her Blackberry.
“We’re here on cyber, but any Senator can ask any question at this hearing that they want to. So Rosie, it’s an open hearing,” she said, holding up her smartphone. “Hi. Look forward to keeping in touch.”
Her shutout to Gray (and the Twitterverse) confirms that Mikulski manages her own Twitter account and responds to tweets in real-time—something that makes her authentic to the Twitter audience.
It also shows an emerging trend in how politicians use the social networking site: Twitter has enabled direct communication between politicians and the rest of the world. It’s an immediate mode of communication that allows the media and even constituents can have interactive conversations with their representatives.
Perhaps we’ll see more grandstanding via Twitter to boost follower numbers in the future!