The DoD’s Jack Holt: Social Media In Government

Posted on April 1, 2011, by , under Featured Interview.

Jack Holt of Defense Media Activity gives to-the-point answers regarding what social media is to him and how it is viewed by the U.S. Department of Defense. Holt also expresses caution with the future of social media in our government.

What is your current role and responsibilities?

Currently I’m assigned as a public affairs planning officer with the Defense Media Activity. However, I’m also adjunct faculty at Georgetown University in the Technology Management Program at the School of Continuing Studies. All that said, I am also considering the viability of launching my own consulting practice.

How would you describe your on-line and off-line brand?

A collaborative leader, coach, teacher, and mentor asking “What do you want to do?”

You are a thought-leader in the federal government web 2.0 space. What advice would you give someone looking to follow in your example?

Never take no as an answer from someone without the authority to say yes; think strategically/act tactfully; and understand the commander’s intent.

What are your thoughts on how to best leverage social media to build a community of interest?

Understand people, leadership, strategy, and small unit tactics.

How has social media changed the DoD?

It has awakened them to the power of small engagements, yet, unfortunately, the quest for dominance is creating friction with the quest for transparency. We’ll see.

What is the future of social media in the government?

We will unquestionably advance though the advancement will be difficult. I believe there is still too much uncertainty and confusion. Uncertainty is a threat that creates risk which will either create or destroy. I have faith in our ability to adapt creatively to uncertainty.

What is something most people don’t know about you?

My grandfather was a movie actor in silent films making the transition to talkies and stardom. My father was a movie star making the transition to television and the development local market broadcasting. And now, here I am making the transition from broadcasting to the development of new media with social media the latest iteration. The greatest pearl of wisdom my father left me was deposited when we were talking about acting. He said: “Son, you cannot not communicate.”

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