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March 24, 2020

Popular Science Hosts Twitter Q&A on COVID-19


MediaPost: "Popular Science is hosting weekly Twitter Q&A sessions to answer readers' questions on the COVID-19 virus.The first session was hosted on March 13. It was initially set to run for an hour, but ended up running for over two hours, due to demand, according to a spokesperson. During that time, the Q&A session generated more than 850,000 impressions and over 4,000 engagements. Popular Science has 1.3M Twitter followers.The Bonnier Corp. brand decided to make it a weekly initiative, due to its popularity and the fact that information regarding the virus continues to rapidly change.The Q&A sessions are spearheaded by engagement editor Ryan Perry and senior editor Purbita Saha. Questions are answered by Popular Science’s science desk, including articles editor Rachel Feltman, associate editor Claire Maldarelli and assistant editor Sara Chodos. Feltman told Publishers Daily the team noticed Popular Science readers were fatigued by the constant COVID-19 news cycle “churning out content in a way that’s not always helpful,” which can make people feel “more afraid.” The PopSci team felt they could “use Twitter as a platform to connect directly with our readers at a time when people really need direct connection,” Feltman said... Popular Science has a running set of posts online that it continues to update. Some 3.7 million people are reading the publication's COVID-19 coverage, which includes news, features, practical tips and explainers, like an article about how to not touch your face, and another on soups that freeze well.The Twitter Q&A session has helped “inform our coverage as well,” Feltman said. “A lot of the questions were on topics we had written articles about. So it was a great reminder that a lot of people will have these questions and not really know how to seek out information about them or be embarrassed to seek out information.”“It is a reminder to serve our readers content — not just write it and hope they find it,” she added"...

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