Author Archives: Cindy Uken

Cindy Uken

About Cindy Uken

Cindy Uken is a health care reporter at the Billings (Mont.) Gazette. She is attending Health Journalism 2013 on an AHCJ-Rural Health Journalism Fellowship, which is supported by the Leona M. & Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.

Getting a handle on social media #ahcj13

Photo by Pia Christensen

Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms can be useful — or time-killers.

Social media should be both interesting and useful or helpful.

These are the messages two social media producers delivered to journalists on Thursday at Health Journalism 2013, AHCJ’s 15th annual conference.

“Sometimes when people get started, it’s one or other,” said Adrienne Lavidor-Berman, social media producer for and

Lavidor-Berman and Elizabeth Comeau, health and wellness producer for, spent an hour with journalists helping them find ways to make Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms helpful and not simply a drain.

Some key takeaways:

  • Treat Twitter as its own beat.
  • Take time to follow the right people and respond to them.
  • If tweeting someone’s article, mention them by name in the Tweet to help them build a following.
  • Market your content to the people you know will find it most useful.
  • Twitter is very journalist friendly.
  • If you can’t find someone’s Twitter profile, search for them through Google.
  • Think before you tweet.
  • Follow AP, Reuters and the reporters who work for those organizations.

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