Tag Archives: Will Franklin

Whole Foods: Texas Social Media Awards Overall Winner

The Austin American-Statesman hosted the 2nd annual Texas Social Media Awards last week and out of a well rounded group of 25 social media users that were honored the Whole Foods Market team took the overall grand prize.

The Whole Foods Market team describes their social media strategy as covering all of their social media bases with “localized Twitter accounts, blogging, Flickr, YouTube, Facebook, Gowalla and Foursquare — providing customers with recipes, product facts and nutritional information.”

They must be doing something right.  Whole Foods Market started out with one tiny store in Austin and today they have emerged as the leader in natural and organic foods, with more than 300 stores.  Now if they could only leverage their social media skills to get rid of the “Whole Paycheck” nickname.

You can check out Whole Foods Market’s award winning social media presence at,

Earlier I predicted a social media user involved in the 2010 election cycle would win the overall Texas Social Media Award (Will Franklin or Melissa Tweets), goes to show how little I know…

This years overall winner follows the path tread last year by the 2010 overall winner Josh Williams, the co-founder and CEO of Austin-based Gowalla, a location-based social networking app.

I will stand by my claim that a social media user involved in politics should of won.  Take Whole Foods Market’s description of their social media strategy and change a couple words,  and that is what Will Franklin and Melissa Tweets did and more, “localized Twitter accounts, blogging, Flickr, YouTube, Facebook, Gowalla and Foursquare — providing voters with real time information, facts, events and social and real life networking opportunities.”

However it would of been much harder for the Statesman to show that social media users had direct and measurable results in a political campaign other than their candidate winning the election or the candidate they opposed lost.  By choosing a corporation that has easily measurable stats and benchmarks the Statesman took the easy way out.  That being said, thank you to the Statesman for advancing the conversation and benefits of social media and for hosting the event!

Might I recommend for next years Texas Social Media Awards breaking up the nominees into different categories like Political, Corporate, Start Up and Individual.

Texas Social Media Awards Nominee Profile: Melissa Clouthier

The Austin American-Statesman is hosting the 2nd annual Texas Social Media Awards and several conservative social media professionals and enthusiast made the cut.

One of these conservative social media professionals to be honored by the Statesman as one of the Top 25 Social Media Users is Melissa Clouthier who I had the chance to meet at a skeet shoot with Governor Perry.  Like Will Franklin, I can assure you that Melissa has not sold out her conservative credentials to get this award.

The doves and clay pigeons of the Texas are lucky Melissa chose a keyboard rather than a shotgun.  If you are not following Melissa on twitter yet you are missing out, follow her @MelissaTweets.

Check out her work below, do you think she has what it takes to be the overall winner?

Here is the Statesman profile of Melissa.


Melissa Clouthier Self-submitted bio: Short version: Frazzled mom, alternative health doc, conservative libertarian blogger, columnist, podcaster, radio host, iPhone & Mac lover, fantasy reading geek. Long version: Too busy to write one!

Texas Social Media Awards Nominee Profile: Will Franklin

The Austin American-Statesman is hosting the 2nd annual Texas Social Media Awards and several conservative social media professionals and enthusiast made the cut.

Yes, the Austin American-Statesman is honoring conservative social media users, who would of thought.  For those distrustful people out there, yes I know it is circumspect that the Statesman is honoring “conservatives”, but I actually personally know a couple of them and can vouch for them that they did not sell out their conservative credentials to get this award.

One of these conservative social media professionals to be honored by the Statesman as one of the Top 25 Social Media Users is Will Franklin who can be found keeping it classy daily at www.Willism.com.  Between you, me and my 5 daily readers Will is my dark horse candidate for the overall winner of the 2nd Annual Texas Social Media Awards.

Will was Governor Perry’s Director of New Media and helped lead Perry to victory in a brutal Republican primary and then helped Perry dominate his democratic general election opponent, partly by painting him online as “Liberal Bill.”

One thing Will did not do for Governor Perry’s campaign is update the Governor’s personal twitter account, @GovernorPerry.  While other campaigns and candidates were using the candidates personal twitter account as an attack dog, Will and Team Perry went another way.  Will was social media savvy enough to advise Perry to use his twitter account as a way for voters to see inside the Governor’s personal life and show a softer, more human side of him that voters would not of been able to easily see without the use social media.

Another thing social media related Will has never done is call himself a “social media ninja.”

Here is the Statesman profile of Will Franklin.


Will Franklin Self-submitted bio: Will served as Director of New Media & Research at Texans for Rick Perry. He guided a team that crafted online messaging, directed online fundraising, and engaged supporters in grassroots efforts for Texas Governor Rick Perry’s 2010 re-election campaign. Will created the vast majority of Governor Rick Perry’s reelection campaign web videos in both the primary campaign and the general election. Will also created most written and video content for WashingtonKay.com, LiberalBill.com, and RickPerry.org. Will designed social media training for “Team Perry” staffers, and created the successful “Perry Blogger Summit” and other blogger outreach and training programs with hundreds in attendance. Will managed the Governor Perry Facebook account, the @GovPerry2010 Twitter account, and is also credited with getting @GovernorPerry addicted to “tweeter.”

* Will and I have worked together professionally in the past and currently do so on Representative Wayne Christian’s Texas Legislative Update videos.  But still, he rocks at what he does.

Technology and the GOP

Mary Katharine Ham with the Weekly Standard takes an in depth look at the role technology played in the successful campaigns of Rick Perry, Bob McDonnell and Scott Brown.

Austins own GOP Tech experts Vincent Harris of HarrisMedia and Will Franklin with the Perry campaign are quoted.

Finally it seems critical mass has been reached and Republican campaigns are starting to embrace “New Media.”


Web-savvy is no longer a monopoly of the political left

BY Mary Katharine Ham

April 26, 2010, Vol. 15, No. 30


Home to two-term Republican governor Rick Perry, Austin is also the newest outpost of the social networking giant Facebook, which announced it had surpassed Google as the most visited website in the United States around the same time it was announcing it would open a $3 million office here with an estimated 200 jobs. Not a bad catch for the governor, who uses a bless-their-hearts tone towards the California techies in the room when he says, “California’s got problems. They just do.”

In a second annual event, Perry has invited a group of tech wizards to the capitol from the nearby geek conference known as South by Southwest (SXSW, if you’re hip, as all attendees are). And the Silicon Valley types aren’t going to make it out of here without a lesson on the combination of tax policy and increasingly sophisticated culture to which Perry attributes his state’s success in luring companies away from the West Coast.

Perry gets a Tenth-Amendment glint in his eye as he backslaps the owners of Austin-based Gowalla, who talk about how the tax structure was a reason they based the company there. The founder of Gowalla, a young man in skinny jeans, a western shirt, and an ironic neckerchief, is exactly the kind of businessman Perry is delighted to be keeping from California.

Full article here.