Rep. John Fleming Takes First Prize in House Republican “New Media Challenge”

June 9, 2010

Washington, Jun 9 – Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference, announced today the winner of the House Republicans’ “New Media Challenge” which featured 56 Members in a six-week “March Madness” competition to see who could gain the most new Facebook friends, Twitter followers, and YouTube subscribers. Rep. John Fleming (LA-04) took first prize; Rep. Phil Gingrey (GA-11) took second prize; and Rep. Lamar Smith (TX-21) took third prize.

“On behalf of Chairman Mike Pence and the entire Republican Conference, I am thrilled to congratulate the ‘Three Kings of New Media’” said Vice Chair McMorris Rodgers. “The biggest winner, however, was the Conference as a whole. From the start of the Challenge on April 19 to its completion on May 28, participating Members gained a total of over 30,000 new Facebook fans, over 11,000 new Twitter followers, and over 1,100 new YouTube subscribers.”

“It is my pleasure to congratulate the New Media Challenge winner Rep. John Fleming for his steadfast efforts in regards to online communications,” said Chairman Pence. “Like Rep. Fleming, House Republicans know that New Media is essential to communicating with the American people. We will continue to make listening to the American people our top priority.”

“As a Member of Congress, there is nothing more important than listening to my constituents and ensuring they have a voice in Washington,” said Rep. Fleming. “Direct communication through New Media tools such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube is the future of constituent interaction, and I’m excited to see House Republicans leading the way in using these tools to make government more interactive and responsive. I’d like to thank the House Republican Conference for sponsoring this competition and all the Members who participated in making it such a great success.”

The New Media Challenge symbolizes the progress and leadership of House Republicans when it comes to using these critical technologies. In January 2009, 56 percent of House Republicans used YouTube, 37 percent used Facebook, and 28 percent used Twitter. Today, those numbers are 89 percent, 79 percent, and 64 percent, respectively. House Democrats are substantially behind in all categories. On May 25, 2010, House Republicans launched America Speaking Out – a revolution in the use of New Media to engage constituents and build a positive agenda for America’s future.

“The New Media Challenge was a unique and fun opportunity for me to connect directly with more of my constituents – and all Americans – and I look forward to continuing to utilize social media for more engaging discussions in the future,” said Rep. Gingrey.

“The New Media Challenge was a great opportunity for our office to think about how we can engage directly with constituents, and how to best use social media they already turn to every day,” said Rep. Smith. “We have had a great response from people interested in the issues and hungry for timely information that isn’t first filtered through the mainstream media.”

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