AJC Embraces Social Media and Other Communication Tools

The Algemeiner
Kenneth Bandler
August 2, 2013

 

A recent blog on this site charged that the AJC and other mainstream Jewish organizations are not keeping pace with a rapidly changing communications environment, particularly in videos and social media. The author is entitled to his own views, but not to his own facts.

For the AJC, robust, innovative communications have long been, and will continue to be, essential to engaging both Jews and non-Jews in the U.S and around the world. Creative, indeed path-breaking, examples over the years of using print and broadcast media are plentiful on AJCarchives.org. That commitment continues to this day.

Utilizing the power of radio remains a core component of AJC’s multi-pronged communications strategy. Since 2001, AJC Executive Director David Harris has delivered weekly radio commentaries on the entire CBS radio network, reaching tens of millions of listeners across the country, and providing insight into complex challenges of the day, including Israel’s quest for peace and security, the threat of international terrorism, the Iranian nuclear program, growing anti-Semitism, and U.S. energy security. Even with the advent of social media, these radio spots are the single greatest point of contact between the American people and a Jewish community voice.

In addition, the AJC has produced numerous videos, and many of them far exceeded the low number of 2,200 views that the blog author incorrectly presented as fact.

Two fast-paced videos on AJC initiatives to better understand Israel — The Rhythm of Israeland Is This Really the Israel You Know? — have combined views on YouTube of nearly 150,000 to date.

The moving video, Jewish Service Heard Around the World: Live from Aachen, Germany has more than 475,000 viewers, and was also the subject of a front-page story in The New York Times.

Our video library also includes hard-hitting advocacy pieces, such as Iran: This is the Button, a key element of our campaign to use a wide range of communications tools to support efforts to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear-weapons capability.

And a series of videos, produced exclusively for the AJC by Egyptian human rights activist Dalia Ziada, have been featured on AJC social media sites, as well as our dynamic, revamped website.

Let’s be clear. We’re not resting on our laurels. We know there’s much to be done in the social media sphere, and we also know that we have to keep up with the accelerating pace of change. But we’re a far cry from the blog’s depiction of our efforts. We have multiple Twitter and Facebook accounts. We are communicating in several languages. And our reach is growing daily.

Meanwhile, we’re also very active in traditional media, and not just on radio.

As examples, AJC staffers have three separate blogs on the Huffington Post (in English, French, and Spanish), regular blogs and columns in the Jerusalem Post, frequent op-eds in the Wall Street Journal and Foxnews.com, among other media outlets, and a regular op-ed in El Pais, the Spanish world’s most influential newspaper and news website. That doesn’t include op-eds, letters to the editor, full-page ads, and interviews that appear often in leading papers and on popular websites, as well as interviews and citations on television and radio.

Over the past decade, the AJC has reached more people in more places, in more languages, and through more media platforms, than any comparable organization. To get a better appreciation of the depth and breadth of the 21st century AJC, visit ajc.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter @ajcglobal.

Kenneth Bandler is the American Jewish Committee’s (AJC’s) Director of Media Relations.