Central Intelligence Agency : Instagram in a secret culture

| July 28, 2021

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The feature

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has an Instagram account, which is linked from the agency’s website, along with its presence on other social media channels – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Flickr.

The CIA started on Instagram in 2019, and now has 392,000 followers. The career focus is evident from the range of ‘stories’ linked from the top of the page – Pride 2021, ‘Interns with Impact’, ‘CIA Scholarship Program’, Careers, Resources, etc. Frequency of posting is relatively steady, with a handful of posts per month, including videos and photographs.

Recent posts include a first-person profile of a mid-career professional, an image celebrating the Pride Summit and a video of employees taking the CIA’s oath in different languages.

The takeaway

The CIA’s Instagram account has a clear reason for being – to build its reputation among potential young recruits, a point the agency’s leaders made when it launched. This makes it easier for those managing the account to decide what does – and does not – get posted.

Imagery is distinctive – most photos of people show them facing away or side-on to the camera. Editorial tone is patriotic without tipping over into jingoism, and focused heavily on CIA employees and their stories.

The account is well coordinated with the CIA’s website, which is also focused on recruitment.

This is ‘inside-out communications’ with a twist – if the CIA can show more of its work culture on Instagram, then even the most secretive of large companies could consider it too.

https://www.instagram.com/CIA/

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Our Bowen Craggs Club membership has enabled us to benchmark all aspects of our digital presence against global all-sector best practice, share lessons and ideas with peers, and get both quick-win and longer term recommendations for improvement. Bowen Craggs is also providing us with valuable advice on our approach to online communications following the acquisition of G4S by Allied Universal.”
 

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