The president should have his own blog. Maybe he’d only post once per week but it would be an incredibly effective way to reach young voters. My idea comes in through the back door. The weekly presidential radio address goes out on Saturdays and I have to say that while some news outlets quote it in passing, it doesn’t seem to garner the attention it should.
Ronald Regan instituted the weekly radio address and it fit his style and unique characteristics. He was a trained actor able to deliver a message and to be convincing not necessarily with the substance of his words but with the tone and style. All presidents since have taken up the torch and delivered a Saturday speech that I would say most of us have ignored.
So what’s better about blogging?
Well, it’s social for starters. A blog can collect likes, raw audience numbers and tweets and re-tweets. All of these things generate numbers that can be tracked to gauge audience receptivity. That’s a pretty good start. A blog might be more easily quoted by the op-ed pages of Sunday papers too.
A blog lives on too, which means that if an interested citizen or reporter wanted to research something related to the blog or that point in time, the option would be open. I wouldn’t know where to get the presidential Saturday address from four months ago, would you?
But there’s also the difference between the spoken word and the written word. For a person like the current president who is an introvert and very logical, a written post is an opportunity to lay out a chain of logic that might be more convincing than a tale or a metaphor committed to radio and less likely to be mischaracterized or misquoted.
When you get down to it, the difference between a blog and a weekly address are small considering the effort expended. But the audience reach and the viral capability seem to me to favor blogging. No doubt someone will point out that the radio address goes out to a population that may not have or use computers. To that I say, keep talking. Just remember to publish the speech to your blog when you are done so that the digital natives have it too.