The U.S. government is learning to meme. It’s for our own good.

The U.S. government is learning to meme. It’s for our own good.


-So, this is Copernicus Jackson. This is one of the characters that we came up with. Doesn’t that look like a Copernicus Jackson? -I don’t — That’s not the name that I’m thinking. -You’re not thinking that name? No? Oh, all right. Well, to each his own, right? ♪♪ This is the stock photo. This is the library, man. This is the cornerstone of the CPSC social media strategy. You know, it’s spring, it’s playground season. You see a lot of playground injuries around checking to make sure that, you know, your playground equipment isn’t too hot. You know, a lot of kids get second-degree burns. We haven’t done dragons and playgrounds, so that might be a good way to go. So, this dragon picture looks like a good base for a playground safety graphic. The Consumer Product Safety Commission regulates over 15,000 different kinds of products, everything from toaster ovens to ATVs to snowmobiles. You know, we’re the agency that’s responsible for making sure those things are safe. Something like playground safety, you know, the first thought I have is, “Okay, how are we gonna make something that people will just like to look at?” And so, when you start to, again, think about how big the country is, you know, you start thinking, “Okay, well, what would someone in Arizona like to see,” you know, when it came to a playground safety message. Here we have a map of the lower 48. And then we do have Alaska and Hawaii down there in the corner. This is basically to help keep in mind just how big the country is and, you know, the types of product hazards that are affecting people. The main goal of the social media we do is to accomplish three things — you know, get people’s attention, engage with them somehow, and then educate them. The response has been overwhelming. We had an internal goal set for ourselves last year to get 300,000 engagements, and we got 800,000 engagements. So almost — yeah, like, almost triple what we were shooting for. This is where we take the lasso tool. And that’s how I trace it. I just freehand it. Oh, yeah. There’s a very fine line between being respectful of the severity of the stuff we’re talking about and also being able to get their attention on a very crowded Internet. So, you have to be creative, you know? And you have to really try to approach things in a way that people haven’t seen before. I like to create characters a lot, so for this one, maybe we name the dragons. You know, maybe each dragon has its name. You know, let’s go with Marcus. Marcus and Cliff. [keyboard clacking] Down here, we’ll drop the heavy knowledge, which is the safety tip, which, in this case, is “always check your playground equipment.” So, at this point, we’re at the approval process. So, we print it out, or I e-mail it to my supervisors. Here’s what we got going on. Dragons — Marcus, Cliff. Playground — mountaintop castle. -Dragons work perfect ’cause of the fire. Works. All right. -Awesome. So we did our review, and the suggestion was to remove this second line ’cause it’s a little bit redundant. That’s a very good change, actually. We’re gonna post this straight through the app. There we go. The goal is definitely to save lives through memes, to save lives through social media. And, you know, when I was brought on, that was part of the mission that was handed to me, was, you know, the expectation for this Twitter feed is that it will share life-saving messaging and that that messaging will save lives. And tweet. ♪♪ It’s out there now. We’ll see how it goes. ♪♪

8 comments

  1. This is adorable, it is nice that these guys are doing something they find funny.
    This brings a smile to my face.

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