Thursday, April 7, 2011

Nothing Too Big For This Small Boy- How YouTube & Twitter Helped Make National News

     Here's a cute story about a small New Jersey boy who has big dreams. It's also about a big politician who understands social media.  Five-year-old Jesse Koczon is the star of a YouTube video that's become an instant classic.  In one emotional scene Jesse sobs that he's "too small to be governor of New Jersey".  Take a look. 

     Jesse's video generated over 176,000 hits in less than a week.  But it also generated a lot of buzz because New Jersey Governor Chris Christie got into the act.  The Guv sent this tweet to  Jesse:

Governor Christie
Don’t worry Jesse, people gave plenty of reasons why I couldn't be Governor, though being too small wasn't one of them

     For those not familiar with Governor Christie,  the reason that being small wasn't a problem is that he can politely be described as "husky".  So, the little kid gets a personal message from the Governor and everybody's happy.  But it doesn't end there.

     Yesterday,  Governor Christie signed a proclamation making Jesse honorary governor for a day.  Jesse's twin brother, Brandon, was named honorary lieutenant governor.  During a private moment Jessie and Governor Christie had a talk- about taxes. And that led to a pretty funny exchange in front of reporters.

Governor Christie: Didn't you and I have a talk back there about property taxes?
Jesse: "Of course I did."
Governor Christie: "And what did I tell you?"
Jesse: "Don't raise them." (laughter)
Governor Christie: "And if you do raise them, what happens?"
Jesse: I won't be Governor for that long." (more laughter)

     You can see the exchange because the Governor's staff posted video to YouTube.

     This story is now being carried by all kinds of media outlets.

     The takeaway: Governor Christie could have ignored Jesse's video.  But instead, the social media-savvy politician used Twitter to respond.  And now, in the middle of a budget/economic crisis there's a feel good story coming out of the New Jersey Statehouse.  Clearly, Christie gets social media- his official web page features links to Facebook and YouTube.  He has more than 35,000 followers on Twitter.  And it's not just for show.  Governor Christie is using social media to get his message out there. Here are just a couple of recent Tweets I found.

Governor Christie

Tune in to @ @ tonight to catch my interview with Diane Sawyer

Governor Christie
@ I sent your issue to the state treasurer for investigation & follow up
Governor Christie

@ U know nothing. My parents were middle class, both worked. I pd 4 my own college & law school. Sorry so uninformed & bitter
Governor Christie

Just left Nino's Reataurant in Harrison. Best Sicilian pizza in NJ. 

     You don't have to be a politician to see the value you get by using social media to interact with your customers.  Whether you're a politician or a company or a public relations pro- when it comes to social media you can lead, follow or get out of the way.  Just be careful you don't get voted out of business.

Update: Since this was first posted the original video of Jesse has been removed from YouTube- citing a copyright claim by Disney Enterprises.

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1 comment:

  1. Hey Steve - Yes, this is a great example of smart use of social media. Seemed like a pretty genuine and fun interaction - it's what you like to see. :-)