White House Is First Client for Social-to-Real World Consultancy

  |  August 14, 2012   |  Comments

SocialxDesign is starting off with one of the biggest brand name clients in the world: The White House.

A new strategy consulting firm with ties to Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C. aims to help bridge the gap between online social engagement and real-world action. SocialxDesign is starting off with one of the biggest brand name clients in the world: The White House.

It's no coincidence the firm's principals already had been working with President Barack Obama's White House before the company's official launch today. CEO Giovanni Rodriguez and Chief Strategy Officer Toby Chaudhuri came together while working for the White House Initiative for Hispanics, which featured a series of events across the country fostering civic engagement among Hispanics.

In conjunction with the White House program, Rodriguez and a small panel of advisors helped guide development of a community platform intended to turn good intentions into action. The result was, a platform built by Dextro and used by the education-centric initiative to connect Hispanics to resources such as jobs, as well as to one another. At White House affiliated events, people could use the platform to connect with federal officials and record their plans to take specific actions back home in their own communities.

"The real innovation was in the design of the experience," said Rodriguez. "The White House actually went to 20 cities and empowered [attendees] to do work and then to record it."

Chaudhuri and Rodriguez have been operating in stealth mode for about six weeks. While the company will continue serving the White House and plans to work with public affairs, government, and non-government organizations, it has also been working with three technology clients and talking to other potential commercial clients.

SocialxDesign aims to apply behavior design and social engagement to marketing and business strategies for clients. For now, the two principals are the only people on staff, but they have content and app developers, strategists, and others on board as contractors.

Though SocialxDesign (read "Social by Design") is working with the Obama White House, Chaudhuri and Rodriguez said they will take a non-partisan approach to choosing clients with political leanings. "We're not drawing any lines when it comes to parties...At the base of what we're doing is civic engagement," said Chaudhuri.

Rodriguez, a contributor to ClickZ's Marketing to Latinos section, is also an original member of Latinos in Social Media, a social media-based group that takes an online-to-offline approach to influencing politics. Along with fellow Marketing to Latinos author Gustavo Razzetti, Rodriguez co-wrote ClickZ's just-launched ebook "Latinosphere: Marketing with Latinos in the Age of Digital."

Silicon Valley-based tech communications agency Eastwick is backing the new consultancy with a strategic investment. "We saw that there was sort of a white space there," said Barbara Bates, Eastwick's CEO and co-founder, recognizing the need for services that bring technology, social media, and public affairs-related practices together. "It's not just the audiences and the markets we're looking to bridge; it's other disciplines like social and communications," she said.

"If you can actually bring the world of online and social engagement...and pair it with the world of offline have to think it's pretty powerful," said Rodriguez.

ClickZ Live Chicago Join the Industry's Leading eCommerce & Direct Marketing Experts in Chicago
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 4 days and 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda and register by Friday, August 29 to take advantage of Super Saver Rates!


Kate Kaye

Kate Kaye was Managing Editor at ClickZ News until October 2012. As a daily reporter and editor for the original news source, she covered beats including digital political campaigns and government regulation of the online ad industry. Kate is the author of Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media, the only book focused on the paid digital media efforts of the 2008 presidential campaigns. Kate created ClickZ's Politics & Advocacy section, and is the primary contributor to the one-of-a-kind section. She began reporting on the interactive ad industry in 1999 and has spoken at several events and in interviews for television, radio, print, and digital media outlets. You can follow Kate on Twitter at @LowbrowKate.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

ClickZ Today is our #1 newsletter. Get a daily dose of digital marketing.



Featured White Papers

BigDoor: The Marketers Guide to Customer Loyalty

The Marketer's Guide to Customer Loyalty
Customer loyalty is imperative to success, but fostering and maintaining loyalty takes a lot of work. This guide is here to help marketers build, execute, and maintain a successful loyalty initiative.

Marin Software: The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising

The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising
Latest research reveals 68% higher revenue per conversion for marketers who integrate their search & social advertising. In addition to the research results, this whitepaper also outlines 5 strategies and 15 tactics you can use to better integrate your search and social campaigns.



    • Sales Planner
      Sales Planner (Verve ) - New YorkAbout Verve   Verve is the leader in location powered mobile advertising. We manage one of the largest mobile...
    • Systems Analyst/Support
      Systems Analyst/Support (Agora Inc. ) - BaltimoreIRIS (Increased Revenue Intuitive Software ) is proprietary software that helps marketers...
    • Client Services Support Specialist
      Client Services Support Specialist (Agora Inc. ) - Delray Beach OVERVIEW:  This position requires a highly motivated and resourceful individual...