Tech & The District » Administration Tech the way we see it: insights and musings on technology PR, policy and the District, from H&K’s D.C. Tech Team. Thu, 04 Aug 2011 15:06:44 +0000 en hourly 1 On the Agenda Tue, 23 Jun 2009 20:01:07 +0000 Sharla Lane

I would like to introduce the newest blogger and member of the H&K DC Tech Team, Lindsay Campbell, who has joined us from Rochester, N.Y., for our summer internship. She has kindly authored the post below and will be contributing to the blog on a regular basis.


Well, after weeks of this Seattle weather, D.C. is finally starting to prove why we live here. The sun is back and the clouds are scarce. With June coming to an end, July is rolling in fully stocked with events to keep you busy throughout the month.

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First Hand Account of Tech in the Obama Age: From the Campaign Trail to the White House Fri, 13 Mar 2009 20:35:42 +0000 Vanessa Truskey

A screenshot of the new White House web site

A screenshot of the new White House web site

Tech & The District is pleased to present its first contributing blogger, Liz Purchia!  Liz, a Public Affairs team member at Hill & Knowlton in D.C., left to join the Obama campaign in the summer of 2008.  She offers her thoughts on technology during the campaign and what it will bring to The District.  Enjoy!  -Vanessa

First Hand Account of Tech in the Obama Age: From the Campaign Trail to the White House

As a campaign staffer on the ground in Iowa during the general election, I saw firsthand the strong role grassroots organizing plays in communities across America, particularly in rural areas.  I was in charge of Muscatine County and when I needed to meet with my supporters and volunteers, who often lived 30 miles away from each other, I relied on the online social network the Obama digital teams built. outweighed John McCain’s site by leaps and bounds.  The Web site’s features allowed viewers to personalize their own site on (similar to Facebook), to join online groups with people who shared their same interests.  Groups like Sportsmen for Obama or Women for Obama grew to the thousands.  Without leaving home, supporters could post events in their community, call voters, produce canvassing lists.  I even had volunteers in Massachusetts using the website to call voters in Iowa, updating them on voting laws and encouraging them to vote.

The digital team headquartered in Chicago was supported by in-state digital teams that worked with field organizers to help complement their work regionally.  Based on our feedback and ideas, the site would transform to improve accessibility and ability to reach out to constituents.

No political campaign has seen anything like what President Obama did.  As the saying goes “imitation is the best form of flattery.”  His Web site is a model for others to use.  The campaign Web site of Benjamin Netanyahu, who ran for prime minister of Israel, is eerily similar to Obama’s.  I would even go so far as to say took tips from Obama.

From the first day after the election, a new White House Web site was up and running and completely revamped.  It’s as user-friendly as the campaign site.  There were full digital staffs for the Transition and the Presidential Inaugural Committee, which was only a positive sign for what’s to come.

As a member of the Public Affairs team in Washington, D.C., I often monitored the Web sites of Members of Congress and the different departments.  Looking back now, others have taken a cue from the Obama handbook and are improving their sites. and are just the beginning of the tech advances in government.  Technology will allow the Obama administration to be the most open and accessible administration in history.

Grassroots organizing will always be a central component to political campaigns, but the ability to use technology and social networking tookfield operations to a whole different level, which will only continue to be refined and improved.

If the administration’s use of technology is done anything like the campaign, I have HOPE our country will turn itself around.

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Week in Events: February 2-8, 2009 Tue, 03 Feb 2009 16:08:54 +0000 Sharla Lane Our new administration is headlining the news every night and the events in DC this week reflect the regulatory aura.  Learn the legalities surrounding communication materials on intellectual property or just sit in on the hearing to nominate the next CIA director. If you would rather take a break from governmental issues, stop by the DC Search Engine Optimization February Meet-up for digital advice that will cost you a whole dollar.

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D.C. 2.0? Wed, 17 Dec 2008 22:09:00 +0000 duncanburns Web 2.0. A much used term, but one which many communicators
are still trying to grapple with – knowing they need to embrace it, but not
sure how. Knowing that this is the future, but not sure how to persuade internal
colleagues and executives that the potential risk is worth the potential reward
just yet. I thought this WSJ article was a pretty good primer for marketers.

Increasingly those of us in PR are seeing “traditional”
journalists producing more and more for their organizations’ web outlets, not
just the “hard copy”. They’re establishing brands online and are finding their
feet with it. What’s their beat, how do they cover their beat while also
ensuring they’re producing enough online content – where hits are tracked by
their editors, where salary is often affected by the number of people reading
their story. When media companies like the Tribune are going into bankruptcy,
one can’t really see the trend towards measurement abating. Can you?

We’ve seen a lot of this in Tech PR, just look at some of
the sites we’ve linked to on the left of this page. But I wonder what impact
the arrival of a new, famously web-enabled, Administration will have on how DC
journalists ply their trade – online and offline? Beyond blogging, I wonder how
they will engage in the two way dialogue that is the hallmark of web 2.0. And
what then happens those first few times when it’s the not “right” sort of
response? How will the government respond when there’s less protection in the
polls and as tough choices start to have an impact? Much more to come on this
topic, but I think it’s going to be a fascinating story to watch in 2009.

What do you think will happen with D.C 2.0? Or is that just all too much hype?

p.s. Congratulations to our Pro Bowls Skins! And Happy
Holidays all!

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Long Time Readers, First Time Bloggers Fri, 17 Oct 2008 20:54:00 +0000 Vanessa Truskey Washington DC is a fascinating place. A place with so much history, so many stories and a place that conjures up so many images – monuments, flags,  power, jazz, crab cakes, the Redskins…. technology?

The city, and the government and industry within it have an impact on so much in our world. There are thousands of people talking and writing about DC and what goes on here. We don’t want to look at things that are already better covered elsewhere. What we want to look at is the continuation of an emerging trend in the last decade (and beyond some might argue) that has seen Washington become ever more active in shaping, enabling, constraining or regulating the technology sector. We’ve also seen the growth of a technology corridor in northern Virginia – much based on contracting to the government, but not all.

That’s what we want to look at and discuss on this blog. Tech and the Capital.

2008 and 2009 are going to be even more fascinating here in DC. We will obviously see a new President and Administration, a new Congress with different members and some committee changes – all of which will have profound impacts on technology and by extension you and me as consumers. Who will lead the FCC and the ITC? Who’s going to be running Committee X or Think Tank Y? Is Chris Cooley the best Tight End in the league?

We’ll also see the ongoing fallout, impact and hopefully rebound of the financial crisis. I’ve heard several people say that Washington runs Wall St now. I’m sure not for how long until those animal spirits are released again,  but long enough that the debate over whether the Shuttle or the Acela is quicker between here and NYC will get even louder. And all of that will have an impact on technology. How? I’m not entirely sure yet, but join us for the ride as we try and work it out…

If you’re interested in Tech, interested in DC or interested in both this blog is for you (I hope).

Have a look at H&K’s code of conduct and you’ll see the guidelines we’re going to try and stick to. Be patient as we find our stride, but also let us know what you think (but please be polite).

From the team here on the corner of 14th and F St – thank you for reading this far and we hope you’ll stick around a little longer.



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