Friday, October 20, 2017

Lulu Flunks Out of the CIA’s K9 Bomb-Squad School

When most people of think of the CIA, we think of spies and torture. Homeland helped to humanize the agency, but now that the show is over, that critical task has fallen to the Twitter team. And, now, at least for the short term, whenever the CIA is mentioned, everyone’s first reaction will be, “Isn’t that the place that retired Lulu the bomb-sniffing dog”?

This is branding at its best. Putting a face (or a tail) on a deadly serious organization humanizes the agency, which by default operates in the shadows. This is especially important for government agencies, which the public too often associates with giant faceless bureaucracies.

Indeed, a little levity, done strategically, brings a lot of benefits. It can help recruit young people, improve goodwill on Capitol Hill, and enlarge the agency’s digital microphone.

Finally, this isn’t the first time the CIA has employed humor to rave reviews. Their very first tweet, three years ago, set the tone for what is now one of the government’s best Twitter accounts. No wonder they have more than two million followers!

Addendum (10/20/2017): Success!

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