Best Social Media Practices in Congress Recognized in New Research

Announcing the winners of the Congressional Management Foundation's (CMF) 113th Congress Gold Mouse Awards identifying the 87 winners including the 70 best websites in Congress and, for the first time, 17 Members of Congress using innovative social media practices to interact with constituents.

However, while praising the best legislators who are promoting transparency and accountability in government, CMF also criticized many in Congress for missing opportunities to enhance citizen engagement, according to the best practices report.

"Too few are using social media to build trust and understanding of Congress, and too many are employing 1960s-style 'Mad Men' advertising strategies -- repetitive and simplistic jargon wielded like a hammer to hit citizens on the head ... over and over again."

CMF also identified trends in congressional websites, among them:

  • While still weak, Member websites have shown signs of improvement, with an increasing number providing basic legislative and casework information and links. More than three-quarters (79%) provide the Member's voting record, compared to 56% in the previous Congress.
  • A majority of congressional websites lack substantive elements of accountability and transparency, such as: where the Members stand on the issues, how they voted on key pieces of legislation, and what they're doing in Congress on constituents' behalf.
  • Democratic personal offices earned twice as many awards as Republicans, and Republican-led committees won nearly all of the committee awards.

Best Social Media Practices in Congress Recognized in New Research