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White House Talks Twitter as Rapid Response

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, August 4 2011

Here's the White House communications director, Dan Pfeiffer, answering a question from CBS News' Shira Lazar on how he believes Twitter helped in finalizing the debt deal:

DP: Twitter is in some ways the perfect medium for a story like the debt ceiling, because it had so many twists and turns, you needed to be able follow it in real time at all hours of the day and night. And from a White House point of view, it was great medium for updating the public, correcting misinformation, and engaging with the media and the public

Twitter opened up a new channel for people across the country to voice their concerns and interests to lawmakers - especially as traditional phone lines were jammed -- as well as a way for people to talk with one another and share information about the issue.

Twitter also offered us a great way to engage with the public about the latest in the deal. We started up a program last week that we call "Office Hours" where we schedule senior policy officials to answer questions posted to #WHChat about the deficit debate. And the results are encouraging - since last week, @WhiteHouse has gained 22,000 followers and seen an increase in mentions by 450%.

(With Becky Kazansky)