Using Twitter to Amplify Reach of the “We Are Empowered” Watch Party with Alicia Keys

Content From: Tina Hoff, Senior Vice President and Director of the Health Communication and Media Partnerships Program, Kaiser Family Foundation, and Sarah Levine, Senior Program Officer, Health Communication & Media Partnerships Program, Kaiser Family FoundationPublished: March 11, 20143 min read



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Co-Authored by: Stephanie Green, Program Officer, Health Communication & Media Partnerships Program, Kaiser Family Foundation, and Robbyn Kistler, consultant.


On January 19, Grammy Award-winning artist Alicia Keys joined with Greater Than AIDSExit Disclaimer to host a “We Are Empowered” National Watch Party and Twitter Chat about women and HIV/AIDS. Ms. Keys urged women and their loved ones to come together and log on to VH1.comExit Disclaimer to watch “We Are Empowered"Exit Disclaimer, her intimate and inspiring half-hour conversation about friendship, love and strength with five women living with HIV in the U.S. The “We Are Empowered” Watch Party activation was presented as part of Empowered, a national public information campaign Ms. Keys launched with Greater Than AIDS in 2013 to reach women in the U.S. about HIV/AIDS.

Leveraging the power of social media to support a community dialogue about women and HIV, Alicia Keys @aliciakeysExit Disclaimer (18.5 million followers) live tweeted from 8-9 PM ET on January 19 using #WeAreEmpoweredExit Disclaimer.

Women across the country took to Twitter to share their experiences, among them Atlanta’s SisterLove, New York‘s Creative Arts Team, HBCU Spelman College, The Red Pump Project, and more. Watch parties are continuing to take place with many local AIDS service and community organizations adopting the model.


This week we observe National Women & Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (March 10) and March is Women’s History Month. We encourage you to keep the conversation going; host a Watch Party. Stream the video at www.greaterthan.orgExit Disclaimer and share your experiences at Disclaimer or @greaterthanaidsExit Disclaimer.


VH1Exit Disclaimer (available in 99 million U.S. households) partnered with Greater Than AIDS and Alicia Keys to produce messages promoting the Watch Party event. VH1 placed messages across all platforms – reaching viewers in primetime, including the season premiere of the top-rated “Single Ladies,” on the top marquee of VH1.comExit Disclaimer and FacebookExit Disclaimer and TwitterExit Disclaimer (7 million combined followers).

WalgreensExit Disclaimer coordinated a pre-event Twitter Party with female bloggers widely read by Black American and other minority women to generate interest and encourage women to host parties. Nearly 700 tweets by 500 contributors used #WeAreEmpowered, reaching more than 16.5 million accounts – making the hashtag a trending topic on Twitter during the pre-party. Walgreens also helped amplify the messages by engaging popular bloggers to share stories of their personal experiences with HIV/AIDS and encourage their followers to host watch parties.

Greater Than AIDS produced a downloadable Watch Party e-kit, with tips for hosting a watch party, banner ads, and a discussion guide. Information on the Watch Party was shared through e-blasts, a press releaseExit Disclaimer, FacebookExit Disclaimer and TwitterExit Disclaimer.


For the January 19th event, other popular accounts tweeted to help amplify the messages; these included the White House,, VH1, Walgreens, ONE Campaign, Russell Simmons, and Hydeia Broadbent.

In total, there were approximately 3,900 tweets by 2,200 contributors around the promotion reaching an estimated 20.8 million Twitter accounts. These promotions and others before and following January 19 contributed to over 6,700 viewings of the conversation to date, including many group screenings as part of the Watch Party event and other community gatherings. Additionally, Greater Than AIDS distributed more than 1,600 viewing kits to local organizations across the country to support outreach.

Give this question some thought: how does Twitter fit into your communication plan for raising HIV/AIDS awareness?