Monday, November 29, 2010

What's the digital IQ of public sector organisations?

If organizations that used Facebook to disseminate their message were actual people, NASA would be the captain of the football team and the class president, the White House would be his cheerleader girlfriend and the the Department of Commerce would be the nerd they both pushed into a locker...
Technews Daily 
Digital IQ Index: Public Sector cover
Source: George Washington University
The George Washington University in the United States has released a report ranking the 'Digital IQ' of 100 government agencies, political and nonprofit organizations.

Based on the effectiveness of their websites, use of social media and other online tools, the ranking shows some stark differences in the performance of public sector groups seeking to understand, participate in and influence public discussions.

More than 80 percent of the organizations in the study had a presence on at least one social media platform, 63 percent hosted a blog and 20 percent had some presence on mobile platforms.

The report states that social media use is already demonstrably bearing fruit in politics, with 74 per cent of the US House of Representatives and 81 per cent of the US Senate candidates elected in November's midterm elections having more Facebook likes than their rivals.

The report also suggested that most public sector organisations have yet to unlock the power of digital platforms, with over 50 per cent of the organisations indexed registering Digital IQs in the 'Challenged' and 'Feeble' ranks.

Despite these low rankings, 85 per cent already had a Facebook presence, 87 per cent were on YouTube and 83 per cent used Twitter, with 73 per cent on all three. However many had not focused on building large audiences - with 46 per cent of public sector organisations having fewer than 10,000 Facebook 'Likes' (previously Fans) and the median Twitter audience being 5,000.

Only 25 per cent of organisations engaged in two-way dialogue on Facebook and only 35 per cent on Twitter.

President Obama's weekly YouTube videos have apparently 'taken off', with the White House YouTube channel having been viewed over 34 million times. The report states that,
Analysis of views of Obama’s speeches and public events reveals that the public is increasingly turning to the White House channel rather than to traditional news outlets, suggesting a key transformation in the media ecosystem.
Eight of the President's top officials have taken to the social media sphere as a channel to engage with citizens and amplify their message. In particular,
Secretary of Energy Steven Chu gets kudos from his fans for his personal approach on Facebook. In the midst of the obligatory energy-related news, Chu posted his review of the latest blockbuster, “The Social Network.” White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs answers questions from his Twitter followers on the YouTube Series “First Question with Robert Gibbs.”
Mobile use still appears to be lagging, with only 28 per cent of the public sector organisations evaluated having a mobile site, smartphone app or iPad platform. The US Military led in all of these categories, with each of its six branches present on mobile.

The report showcases a number of US public sector social media successes, from NASA's 'golden ticket' lotteries, through the National Guard's 'show us your arms' recruiting strategy to the General Service Administration's real-time dashboard of all executive branch and Federal agency notifications, which citizens can sign-up to to receive alerts across a range of categories.

The report can be downloaded as a PDF from

I wonder how Australia's public sector would rank.

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