The agenda has been set: politicians, take action and take to Twitter

“The Agenda Setting Function of the Mass Media” written by Donald Shaw and Maxwell E. McCombs is testing the plausibility that mass media ultimately force our attention to certain issues—not necessarily telling us what to think, but what to think about as stated in their research. If this is true, then politicians like Cory Booker need to rethink their marketing strategies in both traditional news outlets especially on social media.

For starters, he has two Twitter accounts. Both are verified, but one is @SenBooker, managed by staff and the other is @CoryBooker. Many times Booker can be seen retweeting himself, which doesn’t allow for much participation in the twitter conversations that are often dictated by the mass media. For example, right now mass media has set the agenda around the #MeToo movement/sexual assault, DACA, and the economy (just to name a few).

In this tweet, he is on brand with mass media, addressing the Nunes memos which has definitely been part of the agenda.

Others are missed opportunities to engage in important conversations. For example, DACA has been a major topic in the news. In the tweet above, he retweets someone addressing DACA, but does so on his personal Twitter rather than on @SenBooker where voters are most likely looking to engage with him.

Especially when compared to other politicians, like Senator Elizabeth Warren who not only engages in conversations within the media’s agenda, like DACA, but Tweets out media rich content, which creates even more traction around the conversation.


Overall, it’s important for Booker and other politicians to realize, they aren’t in control of the agenda, but if they want to be recognized for being a part of the conversation—it’s up to them to join in and Twitter is a great place to do that.


One thought on “The agenda has been set: politicians, take action and take to Twitter

  1. You are so right about politicians missing opportunities to engage in important conversations. The example that you brought up with Sen. Cory Booker was a great one. He has such as huge platform with his @SenBooker Twitter account that so many of his constituents follow but he’s not using this account to discuss or even retweet major topics that are being had. I definitely agree that politicians need to rethink their marketing strategies because they have the opportunity to set the agenda with their social media usage.

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