Monday, November 8, 2010

Holding a town hall without any walls

If you invite them, will they tweet? That was the question the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention faced when it held its first-ever Twitter town hall in support of HIV/AIDS testing in June.

Timed to tie in with National HIV/AIDS Testing Day, the 90-minute town hall invited people across the Twittersphere to weigh in on the topic of testing by using a special hashtag. The event was promoted in advance online and through partners.

CDC officials and leaders on HIV/AIDS led the conversation during the town hall, which resulted in more than 1,000 tweets from 145 users, as reported during a social media session at APHA’s Annual Meeting on Monday, "The Role of Social Media in Public Health."

Ultimately, the HIV/AIDS testing town hall reached more than 243,000 Twitter users, CDC officials estimated. Which means that if you do it right, heck yes, they’ll tweet.

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