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HUD Uses Social Media to Connect with Public and Increase Transparency

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RISMEDIA, June 19, 2010—In an effort to better serve the American people, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has embraced social media and streamlined its website contact tools to facilitate open communication and total transparency.

“When you are seeking information, nothing is more frustrating than not being able to contact someone who can help you get answers to your questions,” said HUD’s Web communications architect, Eileen Coleman. “We believe that communication and transparency are vital, and we are continuously working to improve our communication methods.”

As the new generation of information seekers primarily accesses news and other content through social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, HUD deemed it essential that the Department get up-to-speed on today’s popular channels of communication. After all, 50% of Facebook’s 400 million users log on every day, according to Facebook. Furthermore, while only 21% of Twitter’s 19 million users are active, that’s still 3,990,000 people to reach, according to Mashable.com, a respected social media news blog.

HUD also created its own Youtube channel, which currently features Lead Free Kids, a collaborative effort with the Ad Council about lead-based paint, and a short informational video about fair housing. Users access 2 billion videos a day on YouTube, according to the site.

For more information, visit www.hud.gov.

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