By Robert Lopez
News & Record, Greensboro, N.C.
As President Barack Obama laid out an ambitious agenda Tuesday night, Joy Cook was in Washington trying to break it down into 140-character chunks.
The 37-year-old single mother, who runs Joy Cook Public Relations Group in Greensboro, was among those invited to take part in a White House Social to post about the State of the Union address on social media.
The occasion marked Cook’s second invitation to the White House — she live tweeted a visit by British Prime Minister David Cameron in 2012.
“Politics is personal,” Cook said Tuesday afternoon in a telephone interview from Washington. “And sending a tweet, engaging with the president, is personal. You’re able to know firsthand what the president is talking about. And I’m really excited to not just tweet, but also Facebook and Instagram to relate that information to Greensboro and the world.”
Cook, who grew up in Durham, is a graduate of UNCG and has worked in public relations for 15 years.
She started her own agency two years ago, working out of the Nussbaum Center for Entrepreneurship and specializing in strategic communications and digital engagement.
She is also the author of “Watch the Company You Tweet: 4 Step Guide to Making an Impact on Twitter” and served as a delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
On Tuesday, Cook was posting pictures of herself sitting behind a desk with the White House logo on it. The White House Socials, according to the White House’s website, are hosted several times a year for people to engage with the administration through social media.
On Tuesday, those invited to the event also met with several senior White House advisers.
“It’s a way to have a more transparent White House,” Cook said. “A way to give more people access.”
Cook said she received her invitation to the event on Sunday.
“I put out a call to my Facebook followers to tell me what they wanted to hear,” she said. “A lot of people want to hear about immigration reform, and the two years of free community college. Student loan debt is another big one my followers wanted to hear about.
Personally, I’m looking more to hear about net neutrality and cybersecurity.”