How One Federal Agency Meme-d Up Its Social Media

How One Federal Agency Meme-d Up Its Social Media

June 22, 2022 0 By administrator

If you’re on Twitter, you may have come across a tweet from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. 

Maybe “The Adventures of Pasta Frog” reminded you to pay more attention to your pan while cooking. Or a dinosaur with a jetpack cautioned you “it’s not always this easy to find something dangerous.” Quinn the Quarantine Fox could have wished you a good night. It could have also been Bill Zebra sharing tips on lawn mower safety. 

The independent federal agency, which has about 545 employees, has amassed 156,700 Twitter followers since joining the platform in January 2009. What may have attracted many of those followers is the agency’s strategy starting in September 2016 to use funny and sometimes bizarre graphics and memes (often with recurring characters) to inform the public of the latest safety tips, in addition to sharing product recall alerts and other content. The agency is also active on Facebook and Instagram, featuring the same content as Twitter, and its social media presence has been featured by a variety of news outlets.

Joseph Galbo is one of two 

social media specialists at

the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

 (Courtesy of Joseph Galbo)

“I think a lot of digital government professionals are not pleased with the fact that a lot of the public feels disconnected from their federal government because as federal employees we spend a lot of time every day thinking how can we provide better services to people,” said Joseph Galbo, a social media specialist at the agency. “Of course, we’re educating consumers about product safety hazards, but we are also trying to be relevant and engage the public in a fun and different way.”

Some of the agency’s memes have been archived by the Library of Congress and the commission even tweeted “birds are real” a nod to the “birds aren’t real” parody conspiracy theory, fueled by Gen Z – and used the opportunity to advertise its website through a series on two birds having a chat (invitations to a potluck dinner were also discussed). 

Government Executive recently spoke with Galbo who the kids might call a “meme lord”about the agency’s social media presence and strategy. The interview has been edited lightly for length and clarity. 

GE: First, you could start off by telling me how you decide what content to post, obviously it’s very engaging, it’s very different from what we see kind of from the typical federal agency. Can you kind of walk us through the process? 

JG: Yeah, absolutely. So, at CPSC, we have a broad jurisdiction, thousands of consumer products that we are responsible for and then a number of those products tend to cause injuries or deaths every year, so what we do is we have a kind of seasonal calendar and as consumers are using a product more throughout the year, we’ll decide that it’s time to basically run education campaigns on how the public can use those products more safely. So, a lot of times what you’re seeing is…

(Excerpt) To read the full article , click here
Image credit: source