Gold Mouse Awards Expand to Social
This morning, the Congressional Management Foundation announced the winners of its annual Gold Mouse awards for the best Congressional websites. This year, CMF also awarded awards for offices that best used social media to communicate with constituents and support transparency. A total of 17 Members (7 Senators, 10 Representatives) received honors.
CMF decided to recognize specific social media practices with their awards, regardless of which platform offices used. It also refused to consider potentially meaningless counting stats like how frequently Members posted to various platforms or how many Twitter followers they had. In all, CMF honored efforts on 16 different social media platforms.
Judges honored several different ways that Members used social media to answer constituent questions directly, including YouTube, Google Hangout, and Crowdhall. Others used social media creatively to address specific policy issues, like Sen. Jerry Moran’s reddit discussion of bitcoin before a hearing and Sen. Patrick Leahy’s effective use of Twitter hashtags during a bill markup.
Several winning entries utilized more than one platform to maximum effect. Sen. Tammy Baldwin compiled Tweets using Storify to highlight Wisconsin manufacturing, while Sen. Mark Kirk used videos, Flickr images, and a Scribd site to chart his recovery from a stroke with the help of a young fellow patient.
Defense communications expert Jack Holt, former Democratic caucus media director Rob Pierson, consulting firm executive Nick Schaper, and communications professor Scott Talan judged the social media portion of the Gold Mouse competition.