30 Jan Jawboning in the Age of Social Media
The term “jawboning” was coined during the administration of Lyndon Johnson. Growing up in Washington, D.C., my memories of President Johnson are crystal clear, as he frequently attended our family’s church. He was known to effectively employ a political arm-twisting tactic in which he called a congressman on the phone and applied moral suasion, or persuasion, to advance his agenda. The press called this tactic “jawboning”, coined from the biblical account of Samson slaying his enemies with the jawbone of a donkey (Judges 15).
Fast-forward to the recent presidential election: Donald Trump boasts 22 million followers on Twitter and has taken jawboning to a new level using the reach of social media. Regardless of your political leanings, this demonstration of the power of social media for moral suasion should cause you to reflect on your own organization’s effectiveness in harnessing this same power to promote your brand and your agenda.
Harry Howe, Enterprise Project Manager