Social Media –– No Free Lunch!

Last week I attended a ‘by invitation-only’ meeting with my local congresswoman, US Rep. Melissa Bean.  I say ‘by invitation-only’ because that’s what the Daily Herald called it. I’m not one to talk politics –– although I’m intrigued by the content of what they argue –– but I suspect the headline was meant to create political debate.  Why? Because I didn’t have an invitation to the meeting and yet and I was there.  I heard that she was holding a luncheon for small business owners to address concerns and questions regarding the new health care law.  So I just showed up. I wasn’t patted down by security, or even asked to show an invitation.  So was I a party crasher?  That’s interesting … I wonder if I can be on Dancing with the Stars?

Anyway, I was excited to sit across the table from her, introduce my business, and ask a question.  I even got to sneak in a second question after everyone else had a chance.  Now I know you’re all dying to know not only what I asked, but also what she answered. But before I get to that, let’s discuss the missed opportunity by both sides of the aisle to further their campaign efforts via social media.

As soon as I was seated (no pun intended), I took a picture of our table and posted it on my TT Patton Facebook fan page.  I would think any one of the ‘suits’ following around Rep. Bean would have done the same.  I mean the November elections are just around the corner.  Isn’t it time to start chatting with your fans and constituents?  But after visiting her Facebook Fan page, I noticed she has only 811 fans, not enough to win an election in November.  And her last post was in August 2008, of a picture taken in 2006.  Not too current there, Melissa! She should take a note from her party’s leader in the White House; 8 million+ Facebook fans and counting…and they post all day long.

But what about the other side of the aisle?  If you thought this was a ‘secret meeting’ why not post that on your fan page and talk about it.  Well Mr. Joe Walsh, the candidate for the Republican Party in November, only has about 900 Fans, also not enough to win.  His page is at least current, but he’s fighting Washington instead of his competitor here in Barrington.  

Oh well, perhaps they both need some lessons in social media management and how a little current viral messaging can go a long way!

Now back to my question. I mean questions!  My first question was “What is really considered Free Preventive Care? And how is it funded?  And do insurance companies know that it is required to be free?  And when will it be mandated and how?  And what services are considered Preventive Care? And does this really make health care less expensive in the long run?”  You didn’t really think I asked just one question did you?  

My second question was related to her daughter’s boyfriend, soon to be 18. Does she think she’ll get his vote in November?  She’s fairly certain she will, with a few caveats of course.  

It was an informative and tasty lunch.  But I can’t share the details, because it was “by invitation-only.”



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