What's Trending? a Tale of Two Twitter Chats - CHANGE, presenting author (June 21)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014: 1:00 PM
Rock & Roll, Renaissance Hotel
Dana Pitts , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Kate L Awsumb , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Robert Tauxe , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Michael Beach , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA

Brief Summary
BACKGROUND:  Twitter is the number one venue for most CDC high-profile data releases.  But what does that mean for scientists? This presentation will cover two different Twitter chats.  One for Food Safety measured by potential reach as the most successful Twitter chat in CDC history. The second chat, a more defined subject on Recreational Water Illness, created a media buzz and strong potential reach by engaging an Olympic Athlete with a strong Twitter following.  METHODS:  Strategic goals include:

  • ·        Selection of topics popular for Twitter
  • ·        Awareness of social media landscape related  to  topic
  • ·        Connecting science to a broader  audience
  • ·        Knowledge of target audience preferences
  • ·        Engaging Twitter partners (known as  influencers)
Partners include:
  • ·        A broad selection of food programs joined as one-CDC voice: Traveler’s Health, Global Health, Nutrition, Physical Activity, & Obesity, Environmental Health, and Public Health Preparedness and Response.
  • ·        Beyond CDC, external co-hosts USDA, FDA, the Center for Food Integrity, Foodsafety.gov and the International Food Information Council (IFIC), provided extensive acumen on food safety, nutrition and consumer education. 
RESULTS:  Over 700 individuals, companies and organizations participated in the Food Safety one hour chat that produced 2,550 tweets and extended to twice the average rate of people potentially reached through CDC’s monthly chats. During this session CDC will present a communications plan that can be used to define Twitter goals, track data and partners for high-impact Twitter chats. CDC will also present feedback from scientists on best methods of engaging with communications specialists to maximize science detail with communications art. CONCLUSIONS:  From dairy farmers to Washington State's Clark County Health Department, and large companies like Tyson Foods, and ConAgra, everyone picked experts brains at the same time and in one virtual place. By LISTENING, we learned that there are many food myths out there.  People are eager to engage when food safety and nutrition are at the same conversation and when data releases are connected to issues and personalities that showcase the context of our science.