Thursday, November 11, 2010

Connecting with Constituents

For my project, I wanted to tie in a project for work with this class.  As of now, I'm interning for Congressman Doug Lamborn (our congressman for our district).  After talking with numerous constituents, I learned that one of the biggest complaints people have is that they don't know what's going on in Washington and what Congressman Lamborn is working on.

Now I spent two months in Washington this past summer.  I attended hearings, met other politicians, watched bills pass on the house floor, etc.  I had then, and still have now, a pretty good connection with what's happening.  But the people in general I believe are often left in the dark about what's going on.  The media itself can only ever report on a handful of bills, and many other laws slip through under the radar without much if any media coverage.

So for my social media project, and for work and the benefit of the people of our district, who deserve to know what's going on with their government, I decided that our office should expand on our social media platform.  My idea was to create an ongoing youtube series where Mr. Lamborn would provide updates with legislation that's moving around the House.  He'd also read some constituent mail, generally the topics which we receive the most correspondence on.  Two other representatives which I like do something similar - Ron Paul (Texas - R) and Jason Chaffetz (Utah - R).  Mr. Paul has an ongoing series called "Texas Straight Talk", and Mr. Chaffetz has a series called "Cot Side Chats" because he actually sleeps on a cot in his office in Washington.  And of course the president has his own campaign going on called "Your Weekly Address".  All of these can be found on Youtube, so it's incredibly easy for people to access.  I'm trying to come up with a name for our series, and I think we're going to call it "Colorado Common Sense".  For now I simply have "Your Weekly Address" where the title will go.

I discussed this project with him on the way back from an event in Denver one night, and he seemed to really like the idea.  I know at this point he's on board for the project, and our press secretary and communications director also think it's a great idea.

I went ahead and put together two versions of the video opening for the upcoming series, a blue version and a red version.

Which do you think looks best?

So far the project has been running smooth enough.  But I ran into some problems.  The main problem is his schedule.  I've been wanting to get our first installment filmed and posted up here before today, the due date of this project.  I've spent weeks trying to get some time, but with the elections and all, he's been incredibly busy.  It doesn't help that he's sick this week as well.  I was actually hoping to film yesterday, and might be able to tomorrow if he's up to it.  Otherwise I will definintely post our first video here when I do get that chance, which I think will be pretty soon.  But it's put a real damper on my plans, especially for this social media project here.

I really wish I had more I could post now, but it's out of my hands for now.  I'll post up any updates I receive.  For now, please subscribe to our youtube channel and our Facebook page!


  1. I think this is a really good idea to create awareness about what is going on in Washington D.C. and Congressman Lamborn. Do you plan on continuing this after the class, and how are you going to get the word out about the youtube vidoes? That must have been quite an experience in Washington D.C. I have family out there and it is crazy! Good job with what you did, although timing did not work to your adavntage. Oh, and I liked the blue video much better. The red clashes a little too much with the mountains or it just makes me think they are on fire.

  2. lol @ mountains on fire. :D

    I plan to continue this project, I just need to find some time with the Congressman. We'll be in recess this next week for thanksgiving break, so I might be able to get a video together then. If so, I'll post it up here.

    I'm still looking for tips to create exposure and a larger following for the video series. As of now, we have email lists, snail-mail lists, a facebook page and a website we can refer people to. I'm going to cross-promote with these tools, but otherwise I'm not sure what else I could do right now to get the word out and get people subscribed.

  3. I agree with liking the blue this is great!!
    It was a unique idea for this project.
    And I agree most people our age usually are not very aware of what goes on in politics.
    I wish I knew more aobut went on but I feel as ifI do not have much time to spend on researching what is happening, so the videos are a good idea and can save time.