Republican Congressman Darrell Issa of California gave travelers a chance to air their complaints against the Transportation Security Administration using stories posted to Facebook.
Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee, solicited travelers’ stories via Facebook, and TSA officials were in the uncomfortable position of having to respond to the complaints at a committee hearing Monday.
While more than 350 comments were submitted directly to the pages of the committee and the Issa page over the weekend alone, four stories were selected and read aloud by the California congressman.
Justin LoFranco, deputy director of digital strategies for the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said that on Friday, committee members each began posting to their own Facebook pages and the committee’s, asking for travelers’ complaints.
LoFranco’s team stylized and visualized their Facebook requests by designing an infographic that could be paired with the posts, entitled “Tell Us Your Story.”
Hundreds of stories have come in, and the committee will submit all of these Facebook posts — direct messages, links, questions and comments — into the official public record.
LoFranco was pleased with the strong response on Facebook over a single weekend. He added that it’s not always possible to crowdsource a hearing on Facebook because the committee only has about a week of lead time.
This initiative exemplifies how graphics play a role in the committee’s strategy for reaching out to citizens via the new timeline layout on Facebook.
The beauty of the timeline experience is the emphasis on the visual. Generally speaking, we have noticed that pairing visuals with posts is much more powerful and meaningful. Sometimes it’s a matter of finding the right visual.
Going forward, I would love to pin a graphic on every post, but it’s not always feasible. I’ve learned that a simple, behind the scenes photo at a hearing can tell a story without words.