Women come in first when it comes to digital dialogue - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Women come in first when it comes to digital dialogue

Posted: Updated:
Cartney McCracken Cartney McCracken
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • UPDATE: Power Restored to Over 400 in Raleigh County

    UPDATE: Power Restored to Over 400 in Raleigh County

    Monday, September 1 2014 12:33 PM EDT2014-09-01 16:33:12 GMT
    Emergency crews are responding to a downed tree on the 300 block of Stovall Road in Glen Morgan Monday (9/1) morning.
    Emergency crews are responding to a downed tree on the 300 block of Stovall Road in Glen Morgan Monday (9/1) morning.
  • Update: Names Released in Deadly Crash in McDowell County

    Update: Names Released in Deadly Crash in McDowell County

    Monday, September 1 2014 11:54 AM EDT2014-09-01 15:54:18 GMT
    Fatal Car Accident in McDowell CountyFatal Car Accident in McDowell County
    Two people were killed in a car crash Sunday, August 31. Troopers at the Princeton detachment of the West Virginia State Police said three people were traveling from Cheers in Princeton back home to Northfork when they crashed on Route 52 near Switchback. One man and one woman were killed and one man was sent to Bluefield Medical Center. Troopers told us in a statement made by the survivor, the man said the driver was drunk and driving too fast on wet roads when they lost control of the car.T...
    Two people were killed in a car crash Sunday, August 31. Troopers at the Princeton detachment of the West Virginia State Police said three people were traveling from Cheers in Princeton back home to Northfork when they crashed on Route 52 near Switchback. One man and one woman were killed and one man was sent to Bluefield Medical Center. Troopers told us in a statement made by the survivor, the man said the driver was drunk and driving too fast on wet roads when they lost control of the car.T...
  • Update: New Information Released in Raleigh County Murder Investigation

    Update: New Information Released in Raleigh County Murder Investigation

    Monday, September 1 2014 11:48 AM EDT2014-09-01 15:48:36 GMT
    Joe Collins is arrested on murder chargesJoe Collins is arrested on murder charges
    The Raleigh County Sheriffs Office made an arrest Sunday after a man was murdered in Glen White.Joe Collins was arrested and is being charged with 1st degree murder for the shooting and killing of Larry Totten.The incident occurred Sunday morning at Mr. Tottens residence.
    The Raleigh County Sheriffs Office made an arrest Sunday after a man was murdered in Glen White.Joe Collins was arrested and is being charged with 1st degree murder for the shooting and killing of Larry Totten.The incident occurred Sunday morning at Mr. Tottens residence.
  • ColumnsMore>>

  • Hydraulic fracturing could improve geothermal energy

    Hydraulic fracturing could improve geothermal energy

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:00 AM EDT2014-09-01 10:00:21 GMT
    A recent issue of The Economist had an article titled “Geothermal Energy, Hot Rocks, Why Geothermal Is the New Fracking.” The month before, a New York Times article titled, “Geothermal Industry Grows, With Help from Oil and Gas Drilling.”
    A recent issue of The Economist had an article titled “Geothermal Energy, Hot Rocks, Why Geothermal Is the New Fracking.” The month before, a New York Times article titled, “Geothermal Industry Grows, With Help from Oil and Gas Drilling.”
  • Changes to the oil, gas industry create benefits, concern

    Changes to the oil, gas industry create benefits, concern

    Sunday, August 31 2014 4:00 PM EDT2014-08-31 20:00:17 GMT
    Robert N. Hart
    Robert N. Hart
  • Dislike of slimy, spicy, stringy foods doesn't make one picky

    Dislike of slimy, spicy, stringy foods doesn't make one picky

    Sunday, August 31 2014 6:00 AM EDT2014-08-31 10:00:13 GMT
    I like to think of myself as a broad-minded person, open to new adventures, ready for anything that comes my way. This is especially true with food. I love to eat; I love to cook. So I was bowled over when a friend said to me, “You're a very picky eater.”
    I like to think of myself as a broad-minded person, open to new adventures, ready for anything that comes my way. This is especially true with food. I love to eat; I love to cook. So I was bowled over when a friend said to me, “You're a very picky eater.”

Cartney McCracken is a Charleston native and founding member of Washington, D.C.-based Control Point Group, which works to develop successful strategies for political campaigns. Before joining Control Point Group, McCracken worked for Rainmaker Media where she served as communications adviser for several statewide races. She is a graduate of West Virginia University. 

Social media's role in the political process took a giant leap forward for womankind when it was used as a planning mechanism late last month for Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis' filibuster. The senator tweeted to her followers asking for them to share their stories with her so she could tell them as part of her filibuster from the Senate floor. The 11-hour event that took place on the floor of the Texas State Senate chamber would not have had the eyes of women (and men) glued to their laptops, tablets and smartphones across the nation if it wasn't for social media.   

After all, our nation has opened the digital dialogue and encouraged open online discussions between elected officials and constituents, but several politicians are still pretty darn scared of the social sphere. Even worse, many of them don't see the why they need a Twitter or Facebook account: "Are people in my district really online?"  

Can you guess the gender of the majority of candidates and elected officials that fall into this category? Men. (No offense, guys, but I wasn't surprised.) Earlier this year, the Pew Research Center published a report that said not only are women more likely than men to use social media, women actually dominate, by percentage, on almost all social networking sites.  

While women have made great strides in the political arena, the belief (and sadly, the truth) continues to be that we keep bumping our hair-sprayed heads against this annoying glass ceiling. Thanks to the power of digital dialogue that social media provides, we're breaking through faster than ever. Can you hear the shattered glass crunch beneath our heels? I love that sound!  

Ronni Marie Abney of the University of California and Rolfe Daus Peterson of Mercyhurst College studied down-ticket races in California and found that "voters are, if anything, biased in favor of women."  

Social media tends to favor outsiders and newcomers to the political arena. As more and more women across our nation are running for office, they are embracing this conversational platform as a critical means of voter outreach. Females seeking office are tweeting and posting on Facebook about their positions on issues and educating voters about the importance of being involved in the process — and, ladies, it's working to our advantage.  

My friend and top D.C. social media strategy consultant Lovisa Williams said, "Women are culturally trained to nurture people. Women tend to be the ones who talk about how to build relationships. These same skills that they use personally can be applied for great success professionally. After all, social media at its core is all about relationship building. Women clearly have the advantage here." 

Female politicians have an advantage right out of the gate when it comes to social media because women tend to be viewed as more authentic than men. The authenticity factor is critical for effective online conversations, and women are come in first place for using social media the way it's intended to be used — as a conversational platform. Younger women especially are more likely to engage with voters via social media because they're used to using these tools. The majority of male politicians (I'm not saying all male politicians, just the majority), however, use social media as an additional broadcast platform and just post press releases. If all I wanted to do is read your press release, I'll check the newspaper.