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The Tweeter Becomes the Tweeted: SEIU Iowa Pings Grassley with 24 Hours of Health Care Tales

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, June 10 2009

SEIU's Change that Works Iowa campaign has stumbled upon a cute, creative, and timely way to deliver their message for health care reform directly to that state's senior senator. Now, we know Chuck "I'm no NAIL" Grassley is among national politics' most active and passionate Twitterers. And so the home-state arm of the labor giant hit pinged the Senate Finance Committee's ranking Republican with "24 Hours of Health Care" -- a full day's worth of hourly tweets telling the poignant personal stories of Iowans in health care crises.

The format of each tweet-story: a terse recap of the Iowan's circumstances sent from @CTWIowaSEIU, containing a Bit.ly short link to a fuller version of their personal stories, as posted on the SEIU website. For example:

Robin Van Camp: Pvt insurance wouldn’t cover daughter’s hearing aids, had to dip into 401-K. @ChuckGrassley http://bit.ly/1TEgb

You'll notice that SEIU smartly included "@ChuckGrassley" in their tweets so that their messages will reveal themselves when the senator (and/or his staff) no doubt Twitter searches his own handle. This isn't their first time on the Twitter, it seems. The posts were also directed messaged to Grassley's Twitter inbox, and SEIU notes that Grassley already follows their @CTWIowaSEIU account. In addition to ginning up a healthy amount of local press, SEIU's Twitter tactic earned a response from Grassley's office. Grassley's spokesperson gave a tip of the hat to the campaign:

It is using Twitter in a similar fashion to how Sen. Grassley uses Twitter -- as another way to communicate with Iowans and make representative government work.