Number seven on our list of Social Media Moments was our August Twitter chat with Food and Nutrition Service’s Under Secretary, Kevin Concannon and ABC’s Dr. Richard Besser. This edition of Dr. Besser’s weekly live chat addressed hunger in America and allowed audience members to pose questions to Under Secretary Concannon via Twitter. This was a great opportunity for us as we opened our virtual doors to many individuals who might not otherwise be able to “speak” directly to our key official on the issue.
Although the Under Secretary and other agency leadership often travel to schools, food banks, community centers and other venues to talk about hunger and nutrition issues, this Twitter chat was a little bit different. This wasn’t a planned speech or a more common scheduled Tweet from our blog. The Twitter chat was Concannon having a conversation with people he had never met but who gathered virtually around an important issue. Sitting in the room around our laptop with the Tweet-stream projected on the wall, we were able to use our well-established Twitter channel in a more nimble and free-flowing manner, rather than just a broadcast.
And then, in the waning moments of the chat, we experienced a rare earthquake in our nation’s capital. Not sure what would happen, we posted a Tweet that our building was rocked and we might not be back – little did we know Dr. Besser replied that he too felt the shake. When the shaking stopped, the Under Secretary was quite eager to get back to the questions from Dr. Besser and those following the chat, and so we came back to the table and finished before being evacuated from the building.
It was truly one of my favorite memories from my time here at USDA, and will be forever a great story to retell when people ask, “Where were you when the Great DC Quake rocked the east coast?”
To see our number eight moment, check out our blog from yesterday.