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Government Uses Twitter to Engage the Public

capitolI continue to hear people say they just don’t “get” Social Media. It moves too fast. But you must know you are a little behind the times if the Department of Health and Human Services, its Food and Drug Administration, and its Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are already using the power of social media to broadcast urgent information in a personable and more engaging manner. Beginning with the peanut butter and peanut-containing products recall and the Salmonella outbreak, the communication strategy includes Twitter as well as podcasts, YouTube video and a blog.

In Ad Age’s first Twitterview, Pete Blackshaw talks to the man helping HHS address consumers’ concerns with social tools including Twitter.

AndrewPWilson: For me personally, listening is the first step in anything in social media. What is being said and how can I contribute.

Pblackshaw: Are real consumers benefiting from your interactions, or are you mainly dealing with marketing folks and social-media consultants who Twit?

AndrewPWilson: I sincerely hope “real” people are benefitting. It goes beyond the short-term need here though. It’s about developing meaningful relationships.

Pblackshaw: What does a “meaningful relationship” mean in a government context? Same as business? Help me out!

AndrewPWilson: Speaking personally, “meaningful relationship” is when both sides of the equation benefit.

Pblackshaw: Is there a certain DNA, if you will, to your followers? Health groupies? Power moms? Congressional staffers? Liability lawyers? more…

So, what does this have to do with women? Everything. They are going to love it. And if the US Government has caught on, their expectations for companies and brands just heightened.


Stephanie Holland is President and Executive Creative Director for Holland + Holland Advertising, Birmingham, Alabama. Working in an industry that is dominated by men, she is one of only 3% of the female creative directors in the country. Stephanie works mostly with male advertisers, helping them successfully market to women. Subscribe to She-conomy by Email

One Response

  1. Don’t forget…the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of State and several U.S. Embassy’s on communicating on Twitter as well.

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