Cory Booker! (Cue narrator of old “Superman” TV show.) He’s hip! He’s cool! He has more Twitter followers than God! Races into burning buildings! Rescues freezing dogs!
More than a one-man department of city services, he’s setting the bar for elected officials, exploiting the Internet for public good and personal political profit! And now he’s got some pro tips for you and your little Twitter feed.
Rule No.1: “Do not erase a tweet ever.”
Attempting to make a coffee-related joke following the revelation of South Carolina governor Mark Sanford’s South American love trystback in 2009, the caffeine-addicted Booker said he was hiking the Appalachian Trail with a “hot Columbian blend.”After a staffer deleted the post down the cyber memory hole, Booker caught flak. Better to stand by the brainfarts, he vowed.
Rule No. 2: “I always try to retweet my critics.”
Not only does it give him points for authenticity and credibility, sending the mean things people say about you to your 1.3 million fans is, well, a little like throwing open the gates of trolling hell. Not that he gave that reason — but when he mentioned this advice, there were knowing snickers in the audience.
Rule No. 3: Tweeting isn’t extra. It’s a priority.
“We are syndicators of information,” Booker said, waving his arms around to indicate Everybody. “We are media outlets.” So Booker doesn’t so much as “find time” to tweet as he does it incessantly, to the point that some people wonder if he ever sleeps. Yet he still uses traditional channels, including Newark’s version of New York City’s 311 phone system, to reach older constituents.
Rule No. 4: “You never know the power of a random act of kindness.”
Whether it’s throwing open his own house to victims of superstorm Sandy (his power never went out) or showing up at a snowed-in citizen’s house to personally shovel out the driveway — and let’s not even talk about the time Booker ran into a burning house! — ground-level politics has never been as personal, or as effective.
Rule No. 5: “Change the discussion.”
After Conan O’Brien joked that the best medical plan for Newark residents was a ticket outta town, the “hurt” mayor started a mock feud by publicly banning the carrot-topped late-night comic from EWR airport. Lots of back and forth later, Conan wound up shelling out a $100,000 donation to the Newark Now Foundation — and Booker got warm-fuzzies from his beleaguered Newarkers for standing up for their city.
Source: NBC News.
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