Tag Archives: Gavin Newsom

Twitter Observation: Politician vs. Entertainer

For any readers outside of my class, this week’s PR assignment was to follow the Twitter accounts of a politician and an entertainer, and compare their feeds.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t follow politics. I know I should, but I haven’t yet gotten into the habit. Therefore my choice of politician is based on basic knowledge I know and a little bit of randomness rather than keen interest and activism. So who is the lucky politician? Cue the drumroll… it’s Lt. Governor of California, Gavin Newsom! And as a juxtaposition, I’ve chosen late night host and comedian, Conan O’Brien.

I’ve mainly focused on the tweets that have been made available in the past week, although I’ve also glossed over older tweets to get a better picture of what kind of topics they tweet about and what their twitter persona is like.

Newsom tweets about what event (conferences, benefits) he is currently at to promote change and awareness in California. As of late, the majority of his tweets are about education and college tuition fees. For instance, he mentions the UC Regents meeting and expresses how frustrated he is that there are no alternatives to prevent a tuition increase if Prop 30 fails to pass:

He also retweets statistics and other people that are covering the meeting, doing a kind of mini live-coverage of the Regents meeting. In addition, he tweets about his campaign against bullying in San Francisco schools and promotes College Track, an afterschool program that works to increase high school graduation, college eligibility and enrollment, and college graduation rates. All his tweets, including retweets, reflects how important education is to him and emphasizes his wish that something needs to be done immediately.

Observing Newsom’s twitter feed as a whole, it appears he doesn’t reply to any tweets. I wonder why this is. Aside from the fact that he is a busy man, I assume it has to do with media control. That is, to prevent any misunderstanding he may have with a fellow follower, causing a political uproar. Regardless, I’m surprised how often he tweets. It’s not a lot, but it is more than one a day, and you can tell it’s really him who tweets and not someone working for him. Overall, his twitter serves to  send a message of awareness, keep people informed about policies in education, and to express a few opinions. Though there were a few tweets about Joseph Gordon-Levitt, The Dark Night Rises, and Looper, which I found to be outliers.

In contrast, Conan only posts one tweet every single day, with the occasional two related tweets to finish his thought. His tweets are basically witty one-liners or short jokes. Most of his tweets poke fun of recent current events (whether political, social, economical, etc.), although a good majority of them are jokes made at his own expense. He also attaches photos from time to time of himself being silly.

Just like Newsom, Conan does not reply to anyone. It seems the purpose of his twitter account is to only entertain, with his tweets having the appearance of having been planned out and scheduled ahead of time. I’ve often wondered if he himself is actually tweeting. Aside from the tweets in which he talks about himself, I’m sure he has writers on the side composing his funny one liners.

Looking at the Twitters of both Gavin Newsom and Conan, neither of them seem to utilize Twitter as a two-way interaction between themselves and their followers. While Newsom uses his twitter to inform and promote his politics, Conan’s twitter exists to provide a joke a day and make light of current events.