National Journal has a great article today about a new process for drafting legislation:
“The standard method for writing a bill would have had [Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill.] and his aides calling in consumer groups, telecommunications lobbyists, and technology experts to hash out the details. Instead, Durbin reached out to the editors of two online political blogs so that he could hear directly from their readers.”
While the article (found here) is an interesting anecdote about the impact of the Internet on Capitol Hill, there are several deeper questions that come to mind from my perspective as a digital PR practitioner. How did Durbin and his staff decide which blogs to reach out to? Who was posting comments to his posts? Did any organizations with a stake in rural broadband access get wind of his efforts and e-mail their supporters to get involved with the conversation?
If Members of Congress are reaching out to Internet users directly, how is your organization positioned to have a prominent voice in the virtual policy debates of the future?
There are several options, most of which begin with active monitoring of the blogosphere and having the ability to mobilize supporters quickly. Contact us and we can talk more about positioning your clients, organization, or message in order to be a part of the online legislative process.