Tuesday, February 10, 2009, 4:59 PM

Marketing the recovery plan



After a detour for jury duty and other obligations, Wag the Dog is back. Let's take a look at how advocates for President Obama's stimulus plan are seeking to influence public opinion -- starting with the president himself.

1. The White House live blogged the president's townhall meeting today in Florida, just hours before the Senate adopted the $838 billion package. It was the president's second townhall meeting in as many days.

2. President Obama held a prime time news conference Monday evening, which the White House immediately posted on Youtube.com. The video had nearly 12,000 views in its first 18 hours online.

3. At the microblogging site Twitter.com, the author dubbed @obamanews kept the public up to date on the Senate debate over the stimulus. @obamanews enjoys nearly 12,000 followers.

4. Just a stone's throw from the White House, the Treasury Department launched a new website dedicated to the new financial market stability plan - a separate animal from the stimulus package - complete with fact sheets, videos, press releases, and more.

5. Treasury Secretary Geithner gave what appears to be an exclusive interview to New York Times conservative columnist David Brooks in an effort to market the stability plan. The results were mixed, but the effort to lower the temperature among critics is admirable.

6. "Organizing for America" - a new grassroots operation housed under the Democratic National Committee - has kept supporters engaged by encouraging house meeting to discuss the president's agenda. Check out this video of the president thanking his supporters and addressing the economic recovery debate on Capitol Hill. The video has 753,000 views in three days.

The strategy accounts for townhall meetings, beat reporters, thought leaders, web video, micro-blogging, grassroots engagement, vocal surrogates, and more.

What do you think? What is missing?

In the coming days and weeks, we'll also take a look at how the president's critics are getting their message out.

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