White House launches Twitter handle to introduce Obama’s SCOTUS nominee

Many Americans watched the president’s nomination of Merrick Garland on TV. Others followed the decision on social media. Here’s how account managers chose to engage.

Since its debut Wednesday morning, the Twitter handle @scotusnom has gained more than 24,000 followers and counting.

President Barack Obama faced millions of eager Americans today when he nominated Merrick Garland to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Behind the digital scenes, however, White House social media managers were hard at work introducing Garland on Twitter following the announcement.

The Twittersphere welcomed @scotusnom similarly to how many users welcomed @POTUS and @FLOTUS when the White House established those accounts to extend its digital reach.

RELATED: 11 Essentials for a Stellar Online Newsroom.

Once the SCOTUS account went live, account managers posted photos and videos of Garland. From his early days as a private-sector lawyer to his notable roles supervising the Oklahoma City bombing case and the case against the Unabomber, these visuals worked to humanize the president’s pick.

Here’s an example of how the White House introduced Garland, who’s currently serving as Chief Justice of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit:

The nomination faces a primarily Republican Senate and many outspoken members who say that they won’t confirm or even vote on the president’s pick. To combat this—and in an effort to encourage Americans to stay informed—account managers retweeted politicians and supporters from around the country:

In his address today, Obama said, “I have fulfilled my constitutional duty. Now it’s time for the Senate to do theirs.”

To stay on-message with Obama’s request for the Senate to “do its job,” social media managers created the hashtag #doyourjob, as well as #SCOTUSnominee:

As the #SCOTUSnom tweets continue to pour in, social media managers must stay engaged and work diligently to sort through Twitter supporters and inevitable trolls. Pursuing an open dialogue with the public is a wise strategy, but will require careful monitoring to succeed in pushing the president’s agenda.

What do you think about the White House team’s using social media to interact with the public, PR Daily readers? How would you advise differently?

(Image via)


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