Posts Tagged ‘tsa’

TSA coulda been a social media contender (updated)

There was a time when I pointed to the Transportation Security Administration as an example in social media, like this:

Hey, if the TSA can start a blog, what’s stopping other government agencies?

But I have to say that they’re fumbling badly with the introduction of their new Advanced Imaging Technology machines and the “advanced patdown” – also known as the “Don’t touch my junk” patdown.

I don’t need to tell you how much attention all of this is getting and how many gaffes and incidents are getting attention now.From women being asked to remove breast prostheses to children being patted down to an amputee having to run her prosthetic leg through the luggage x-ray machine to a woman doffing her duds and trying to be patted down in lingerie to (and this one hit home for me) a bladder cancer survivor having his urostomy bag broken by the pat-down and having to board his plane with pants soaked with his urine.

And tomorrow seems like it’s going to make things even worse, with “National Opt-Out Day” encouraging US travellers to opt out of the scanners and allow themselves to get groped.

The TSA’s response? In part, this video:

Not an image of Blogger Bob. This is The Stig.

Not Blogger Bob.

Ouch. The lameness burns.

UPDATE: The very smart (and very good on how to work with video) Ike Pigott has taken a run at why the Pistole video doesn’t work in his very worthwhile blog Occam’s Razor. Check it out.

TechCrunch has pointed to the mysterious “Blogger Bob” as having the most unenviable job in social media — that of running the TSA’s social media presence. He’s at the former “Evolution of Security” blog and he’s running the one official TSA Blog Team twitter account. And man, he takes a lot of heat.

But the problem with TSA isn’t their social media activity. It’s that their social media activity isn’t matching up with their real-world actions. Blogger Bob is trying to do his best in the time-honored Dell model, but it doesn’t feel like TSA is doing what Dell did to re-engineer their business and to better meet their customers’ expectations and demands.

If I use TSA as an example in a future, it is going to be more along the lines of:

Don’t start down this road unless you’re willing to actually CHANGE based on what you hear. Just saying you’re listening only gets you so far.

So to Blogger Bob, I wish a happy and stress-free American Thanksgiving. To all those travelling, I hope your trips are free of horror stories.

To the TSA, I hope that you’re soon better able to balance the need for security with basic human rights.

And finally, if that video by TSA administrator John Pistole has left you with a bad taste in your mouth, here’s something that’s about airport security, but also a bit more entertaining: webisodes from the Gruppo Rubato production of “Airport Security”, starring buds Kris Joseph and Nancy Kenny, among others.