Invite Barack to Connect on LinkedIn


OK, this made me giggle. President Obama has a LinkedIn profile. Seriously.

I know the President made effective use of social media during the 2008 campaign. Some observers believe that his social media strategy was critical to his success in November. Now that he is in the Oval Office, we’re starting to see how he plans to keep his network active to help him govern.

This weekend, for example, his supporters held neighborhood gatherings which were coordinated by the remnants of his campaign, now known as Organizing for America. Supporters were invited to watch a special You Tube video about the his economic stimulus plan. (This video approach mirrors what the President has done with the traditional weekly radio address; that too, is now on You Tube.)

While some have raised privacy concerns and question the President’s relationship with Google, the parent company of You Tube, it seems to me to be a smart communications strategy which bypasses the traditional media and targets his political supporters.

But a LinkedIn profile? Really?

Then I remembered how LinkedIn works. If I add the President to my network, I will have access to others in his network as well as their friends.

Why in the world wouldn’t everyone add him? Even the new Chairman of the Republican National Committee Michael Steele should get “LinkedIn” with the President, right?

But here’s the kicker, when I click on the button to add the President to my LinkedIn network, the screen reads as follows:

Invite Barack to connect on Linked In

How do you know Barack?

  • Colleague
  • Classmate
  • We’ve done business together
  • Friend
  • Groups & Associations
  • Other
  • I don’t know Barack

Then you’re invited to include a personal note. The default message for me is:

“I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.

– John”

At the bottom of the box is a note which reads: Important: Only invite people you know well and who know you. Find out why.”

Well, with 7% unemployment and layoffs announced almost daily, including a big round where I work, shouldn’t everyone be “LinkedIn” to the President regardless of whether of not you agree with his policies or voted for him? I had a mentor once who, when asked if he was looking for a new job, would always answer, “When are you not looking for a new job? Shouldn’t you always be open to finding your next opportunity?” That’s always seemed like sound advice to me.

If adding one of my newest neighbors in Washington, D.C. to my LinkedIn network can connect me to the millions of people who embraced his social media approach to campaigning, sign me up, Mr. President.

p.s. The President will have to approve my request to add him to my network. My fingers are crossed. BTW, I indicated that I was a friend. (That meant I didn’t have to provide an email address. From what I’ve read, only a lucky few have that.)

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4 responses to “Invite Barack to Connect on LinkedIn

  1. I’d be interested to know if he accepts? Post a follow up on Twitter if you get the acceptance.

  2. Richard Baldwin Cook

    Might work – what else is working?

  3. I guess I should say:

    “John Taylor Was Here” 😉

    I think we must have had similar mentors. Mine gave me very similar advice and I’m always open to new opportunities.

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