Social Media to Save Government Money?

Of all the nonsense about social media, I can’t say I have heard it represented as a money saver until I read this interview with Jane Postlethwaite (Social Media Can Save Council Money). Man it’s weird to call a YouTuber buy her full name when you basically barely know her first name. She’s StylistBrighton, damnit (and SytlistBrightonStyle). I met the fashion stylist/model in London, but who knew her name was Postlethewaite?

Anyway the former fashion model and YouTube weblebrity is now the Brighton and Hove City Council Social Media Officer, and she’s opening the UK government’s eyes to using social media to reduce costs. It’s a fair point. When you have 9,000 employees and take 400 calls a day, there’s got to be an efficiency angle… keeping or improving relationships with the public without the burden and cost of mail and phones.

Could social media one day permit these people to see sunlight?

I have a client that receives 500 calls daily in a customer-service department with only about 4 or 5 people. If customers could gain access to basic information (the 80% of the calls that represent the same 10 questions), why shouldn’t social media provide cost offset?  As an example, I no longer call stores to check their hours or directions… Google covers that for me, and its’ faster and has zero cost to me or the company.

So kudos to Jane for being brave enough to enlighten a government office to social media (far braver than me trying to do it for pharmaceutical firms). And extra credit for conceiving it as an efficient channel of communication that can maintain or improve public relations and also reduce calls, letters, lines of people…

One day, when the US catches up, I hope I can update my driver’s license in a single tweet. A girl can have her dreams.

The Guys That Prank Called Us at 4, 5 and 6 am

Every once in a while someone decides it would be original and cute to prank call us.

In this particular case, the caller woke my family at 4, 5 and 6 am from the phone number 562-322-5116. Apparently the children of AT&T customer Joe Lopez, whose relative Lillian lives at 8119 Golden, Paramount, California 90723. $50K annual income on a $243K house.

It wasn’t even a “is your fridgeorator running?” funny call. Just kids shuffling the phone around like they thought they were NASA scientists for getting me on the phone.

Soundboard Prank: Dr. Phil Speaks to Survey Telemarketer

Heard of sound boards? Here’s one for Dr. Phil, where you can press various buttons to get some of his best soundbites. A new sport for the yougun’s today is the sound-board prank. Here’s a wonderful example that had me in stitches. It works so well because of the strong ego embedded in Dr. Phil’s tone that is such a stark contrast from what we might expect in a self-help guru.

Now enjoy the Spricket24 prank call, which was done by an amateur with a lot of patience. It’s fun to hear people baffled by an audio recording of a video that mentions you.

Politics and Viral: McCain and Obama Music Video Parodies

yes we can no we can’t mccain obama music video parodyThis is the year where viral video will, no doubt, shape the election. And while this blog cannot possibly keep up on the political satire that’s overtaking YouTube, this one felt worth a mention.

Barack Obama’s speech inspired this music video featuring Black Eyed Peas. It’s called “Yes We Can.”

That spawned Election08 (comedians in LA) to produce a music video called “John He Is.” And here’s another parody by BarelyPolitical called “John McCain: No You Can’t.”

Candidly, I’m laughing more at the amazingly simple video by BarelyPolitical that features John McCain prank calling Hillary Clinton with a burp and a fart. Now that’s political humor for the common denominator.