Social Advocacy & Politics


In the tradition of turner4D’s work building enterprise-level social media programs for news media outlets, think tanks and advocacy groups, we now have a fully developed service offering for universities, colleges and large academic units within them. Our services include introductory and advanced social media training for faculty and strategic training for the school’s marketing team, as well as a fully articulated strategic plan.  We believe that an enterprise-level social media program that integrates a school’s brand channels and the personal channels of its faculty is now an essential tool for turning good research into real policy solutions that get implemented. By effectively coordinating social networking activities to raise the profile of the research and the general reputation of the school, universities and colleges can improve their recruitment and retention of students and faculty, as well as better position the school and its faculty as a “go-to interview” for the media and a more attractive recipient for research grants. For more of our thinking about this, check out our Senior Vice President of Digital Strategy Alan Rosenblatt’s (@DrDigiPol) latest column at

Twitter’s clarification of its rules regarding the posting of threats and promotion of violence raises (again) two key questions regarding how we evaluate and respond to social media posts about the use of violence to pursue extremist goals. How do we differentiate between people talking about violent extremism and people promoting it? Is it better to ban promoters of violent extremism or monitor them for intelligence gathering? In the wake of Donald Trump suggesting that we should shut down parts of the Internet and our efforts to understand the San Bernardino attack, authorities and the public are looking to social media to try to make sense of its relationship to violent extremism. Read the remainder of Alan’s article at Social Media Today. __ Alan Rosenblatt, Ph.D. is Sr. VP of Digital Strategy at turner4D and a 20+ year veteran of digital politics.  He writes every other Tuesday for Social Media Today, where this post originally appeared.  

Posted by Alan Rosenblatt in Social Advocacy & Politics, Social Media Read More

  You might think that we are so deep into the social media age that every advocacy organization, policy think tank, news media outlet, political campaign, university, association, charity and foundation already fully embraces social media and optimizes their use of it across their organization. This is not true. While some organizations have developed a full-scale, enterprise level social media program that leverages all of their assets and the available tools, many more have created some portion of such a program and some are still dragging their feet to get such a program off the ground. Regardless of how far your organization has gone in this direction, you can still take it to the next level. Alan’s latest piece in Social Media Today lays out a nice argument for why organizations and campaigns should have a robust enterprise-level social media program. Read it in its entirety at here. One of turner4D’s strongest service offerings is to help organizations create an enterprise-level social media program. We do everything from helping clients develop social media strategies, policies and infrastructure, training their entire staff to be effective parts of the social media program, and providing ongoing support to organizations to ensure their social media programs…

Posted by Alan Rosenblatt in Social Advocacy & Politics Read More

Byrony Gordon of the Telegraph wrote in frustration this week about how social media is turning us into idiots. She chronicles several tweets and trends across social media in the aftermath of the attacks on Paris as evidence that, “…social media hasn’t just turned people stupid – it has also turned whole organisations into unthinking idiots whose knee jerk reaction in such situations is not to uncover the truth but get hits.” Gordon’s proclamation flies directly in the face of James Surowiecki’s notion of the scientifically-based “wisdom of crowds.” Surowiecki draws upon science-based analysis drawn from research on the Central Limits Theorem, which explains how large probability samples produce great estimates of phenomena in the real world. Gordon’s analysis draws conclusions from a far less systematically drawn sample. Her sample suggests that people feel less safe after the recent attacks in Paris, despite the reality that attacks like these have been happening around the world for a long time. Her analysis highlights specific examples of idiocy among the world of tweets and wall posts, such as the claim that the Eiffel Tower went dark for the first time since 1889 (a preposterous claim, for sure) and the massive number of…

Posted by Alan Rosenblatt in Social Advocacy & Politics, Social Media Read More

Facebook, Twitter and Google+ have all added or turned on features in the wake of the Paris attacks this past Friday, November 13. These features incorporate many of the behavioral uses of these platforms into their code. For example, Facebook turned on its “Safety Check” feature, where people can mark on their profile that they are ok instead of just posting something to your wall. The new app creates a featured post for your profile that says you are safe in the midst of a crisis or disaster. Like more common features on other social networks (e.g. @mentions, hashtags and the Quote Tweet functions on Twitter), these built in features are inspired by the ways people were using the platforms already. These new features typically make using the social networks easier for users and often help campaign organizers, too, but not always. And the new tools are not always received in the most positive light. For example, the Facebook Safety Check feature was not turned on for all recent crisis events, prompting criticisms by activists that Facebook was showing a bias turning it on for Paris, but not for attacks happening in other parts of the world. Read the rest of…

Posted by Alan Rosenblatt in Social Advocacy & Politics, Social Media Read More