Wow, how humbling! I’m on the cover of the latest edition of Federal Computer Week–the top publication for government technology employees.
They did a pretty in-depth interview with me about how the government is using social media to manage its online reputation–and become radically transparent. Here’s an extract:
FCW: What is the risk for government if people say negative things about it on the Internet?
Beal: There is risk in loss of confidence. The U.S. government has to monitor and manage its reputation for its agencies just the same way as a large Fortune 500 company has to manage the reputation of its different products and brands. The negative impact on the government isnt that its stock price will go down. At the end of the day, every little negative item out there will reflect on the U.S. government as a whole. In general, we tend not to see the individual departments. People dont blame the departments they say its the U.S. government.
However, the individual agencies really do need to take responsibility for whats being said and to manage their online reputation. The U.S. governments reputation will be chipped away piece by piece with small attacks on individual agencies. Agencies need to respond to these individual attacks. It can feel like a game of whack-a-mole. Some agencies, no matter what they do, are still going to be criticized, but they still need to respond.
Overall, they may not necessarily see the benefits themselves. But when you look at the sum of the whole, by responding to criticism, engaging stakeholders, youre helping the overall U.S. government with its reputation. It all contributes to the overall online sentiment toward the government.
That made my day!